Better football turf grass by growing under LED

4 October, 2019

TLS and Hortilux are testing the way cold and warm climate turf grass responds to several spectra of LED grow light. The first results are very promising: adding LED to the grow light system will increase energy efficiency and provides more possibilities to improve the physiology of the grass. Based on specialised knowledge Hortilux and TLS provide tailored grow light solutions to increase turf quality. Over a hundred football stadiums are already using the grow light solutions provided by TLS and Hortilux.

The LED tests are being carried out in a state-of-the-art climate chamber in which the temperature, CO2, humidity, light and air speed can be fully controlled. In practice, this means that the growth of turf grass is tested in similar temperatures and humidity to what we usually see on the British isles. The test are under independent supervision by Dutch research institute Proeftuin Zwaagdijk.

During the testing, TLS and Hortilux have used several LED light spectra to improve the turf’s thickness, resilience, density and root growth. Initial results suggest that adding LED grow light is a real game-changer.

David Roxburgh, Head Groundsman for Rangers FC, was the first to inspect the results and is truly impressed. “Because of the use of different light spectra, there is a clear difference between the physiology of the grass samples. There is a difference in root strength, length of the grass and coloration. A combination of two of the samples would make an ideal turf for playing football. The root strength is very important because the roots will be an anchor for the turf and become a steady surface to play on. Also the density of the grass is of importance. It should be dense, but should not grow too fast. Otherwise we have to mow a lot and that would cost a lot of energy. ” Says Roxburgh.

In the period to come, several groundsmen from top-flight clubs in England, Spain and Italy will visit the climate chamber to see the results for themselves. The general idea is that increased resilience and denser grass will improve the beautiful game of football!

Additional tests and calibration will be performed over the next few months and the results will be used on the next-generation TLS Smart Rig. This rig will help football clubs to improve the quality of their turf by adding LED grow light with a light spectrum suited to the club’s specific circumstances. 

In addition to improving turf quality, the new rig is 80% more energy-efficient than traditional grow light solutions. This means a smaller carbon footprint and a lower energy bill for your favourite football club.

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