Today we sit down with the wonderful Pien Stams, Marketing Product Manager for Lemnis Oreon, a leading international LED lighting manufacturer, and producer of the Oreon Grow Light 2.1, the first hydronically-cooled LED lighting system to be deployed in the cannabis industry. Hybrid Tech is proud to distribute Lemnis Oreon lights throughout North America.
Q: Thanks for sitting down to talk with us, Pien! Can you tell us how you got into the LED light manufacturing business and some background on yourself?
A: Lemnis Oreon was founded by Lemnis Lighting. Back in 2005, long before many other traditional lighting companies did, Lemnis Lighting had a mission to develop and market lighting solutions based on an energy efficient LED technology. Lemnis Lighting introduced the first domestic and street lighting products in 2005. They soon recognized the increasing need for greenhouse lighting and a few years later, in 2007, Lemnis Oreon was born. All companies founded by Lemnis Lighting are now independent operating businesses active on four continents. In addition to the continued development of the market potential, we are intensively working together with our partners to further optimize the business case for growers.
Q: What do you feel is the best part about your work?
A:Lighting is very important for growers. A huge part of there monthly cost is spent on lighting. When there is an important innovation in greenhouse lighting, like LED, growers are always interested. We like to communicate with them about the possibilities and results of LED in general and of our product in particular. Our solution improves the yield, lower’s cost and sometimes improves quality. With such a proposition you always have interesting conversations. Most rewarding is the recurring business. All growers that have bought our solution invest again when there business is growing.
Q: How did Lemnis Oreon get started and how has the evolution of that business been?
A: We started with years and years of research and developing our water-cooled solution into a LED fixture. Throughout these years we’ve had many testing phases and finally started our first commercial project in 2009. Since then the LED grow light industry evolved rapidly, as well as the Oreon Grow Light. In 2013 we introduced the Oreon Grow Light 2.0 and in 2014 the 2.1 version. Our water-cooled grow lights are now installed above many different cultivation projects worldwide. At first growers only compared LED solutions with sodium lamps. Sometimes they only compared the investment cost and not the huge savings in running cost. Now the market has learned more about LED lighting. Nowadays a decision is made not only based on investment cost but also on the durability of the system, running cost and the yield and quality of the crop. Ofcourse also the experiences of colleagues helps growers to choose for the technology of the future.
Q: What would you say is the most critical factor in your success?
A: There are several. It is a combination. First of all the cooperation with partners like the best growers, installation companies and plant physiologist. They helped us to develop the perfect product for the market and they’re were willing to install our lamps in a commercial situation in a very early stage. They were the best in the market and successful with our product. When you are introducing an innovative product those partners are essential. Their success is our success. Secondly, the quality of the product. Everything we develop must stand the extreme atmosphere in the greenhouse for years and years. Thirdly, we also believe the water-cooling concept is essential. We have used this way of cooling from the beginning on, and we are now at a phase where we can honestly say we have the most optimal, integrated cooling system. LED’s need to be cooled and the best way is to do this is by hydronically cooling. For this reason, the LED’s and all other components stay cool which is important for the durability. But water-cooling brings more. It also enables us to have the highest output in the market per fixture (1589 uMol/s) and the highest efficiency (2.72 uMol/J) in a very compact fixture (less shade). The remaining heat is transported from the lamps out of the greenhouse. Finally the most critical factor is the satisfaction of our clients. When they grow, we grow with them. Our clients are our ambassadors.
— Lemnis Oreon (@LemnisOreon) May 26, 2017
Q: What’s been the biggest challenge in your business?
A: LED is a relatively new technology with extreme benefits. New technology needs time to get acceptance. We have experienced that in all lighting markets we have developed (i.e. domestic and street lighting). But if you are the first in the market, it not only gives you an advantage, it is also necessary to convince the market of the possibilities of this innovation. This is a time and cost consuming, but inevitable phase.
Q: What’s your #1 tip for new growers just getting started with cultivation?
A: Clearly define your needs (light level, spectrum, duration of lighting, indoor, greenhouse etc.) and find the solution that suits you best. Compare alternatives on every aspect that comes with lighting, both financial and quality. Compare investment cost (in lighting and cooling, cabling etc.), but also look at running cost (electricity, maintenance) and expected production yield and quality. Of course also look at the quality and durability of the lighting system. So first ask yourself: ‘what do I need, what are the alternatives and what are the cost (both investment and running) of the entire installation?’ Compare the products in quality, price and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), because any lighting choice influences the cost of electricity, maintenance, cooling, the climate and most important the quality of production.
Q: Can you tell us a little about the Oreon Grow Light 2.1 and some of the work you’ve done there?
A: So to summarize: with the Oreon Grow Light we have combined generic LED technology with specific needs for horticultural lighting. Generic as in energy efficiency, and long lasting technology. Specific as in, a small and high quality housing to stand the rough climate of a greenhouse and of course water cooled. Inside the LED fixture we only make use of the highest quality components. From chip to connector and from driver to glass plate. Everything is from the highest quality. LED technology is extremely durable. To maximize the use of this technology, all other components should contribute to this property and therefore we only use the best components in the market.
Q: Finally, where can folks find out more about you?
A: Ask our distributors for more information or visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. Don’t forget to follow our Twitter account (@LemnisOreon) and LinkedIn page to stay up to date daily! Of course you can also contact us directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.