New research: LED unit

SGL has been researching LED technology since 2007, together with respected partners such as Philips. Based on the test results at the SGL Test Centre and our experience in the field, we have decided it is time to test whether similar results can be achieved in a stadium environment. Based on the feedback from our customers and the research, we worked together with Philips and a team of experts and engineers to develop a unit that is practical and suitable for full pitch treatment.


The LED unit has a light intensity that is equal to the LU440 and has a large lighting footprint. The height of the unit can be adjusted with the push of a button, from 1.5 to 2 meters high, which makes it possible to continue pitch maintenance while the unit is operating. As we reported from previous research, the lack of heat is an issue for using the technology in a stadium environment. In order to compensate for this, the unit has the possibility to add the exact amount of required heat with infrared armatures.

The LED unit will be tested in different climates and environments in order to see if, and under what circumstances, it can produce the desired results. We will keep you posted about this exciting research! If you’re interested, please check our website and social media accounts for the latest news.

General information

What is LED?

LED stands for ‘Light Emitting Diode'. An LED is thus literally a diode that emits light: a piece of semiconductor technology that sends out light when a current runs through it. The colour that a LED emits is dependent on the semiconductor material from which the LED is constructed and the current that runs through the diode. By now it’s possible to make any colour of light, including a naturally looking ‘daylight’.

What are the most important differences between LEDs and other light sources?

  • An LED offers a very broad spectrum of colour, making it adaptable for every requirement either for humans, animals or plants.
  • LED light is very directable, enabling optimal uniformity in the light distribution. The special optics ensure that the light beams are directed to the desired areas. LEDs generally work at low voltages (typically between 2 and 5 volts) and with low currents (typically 10.0 – 100 mA). An individual LED does not emit much light, which is why multiple LEDs are often used together. LED lighting can thus be specifically customised.
  • LEDs produce relatively little radiant heat, thus plants can be exposed with LED at a very close range. An LED contains a convection system whereby heat is 'directed' out and thus the heat can easily be guided, for example, out of the back of an LED system. This released heat is called convection heat. This contrasts to the convection heat of, for example, SON-T lamps where the heat is sent together with the light towards the surface that is to be illuminated.

The SGL choice of light source

SGL always prefers light sources that deliver the best and most efficient results for our customers and we are always looking for improved results. Our choice of light source is made based on:

  • Ratio of amount of light/growth
  • Efficiency, so conversion of electricity into light
  • Total costs, long and short term
  • Reliability

Tests & research

As from 2007, LED is being tested at the SGL test centre in different ways under various circumstances. In the SGL test centre different sections are created to test various light sources. Our team of agronomists conduct numerous tests every week to measure and compare grass growth and grass quality. Currently LED testing is expanded to stadium environments with a brand new and specially designed SGL LED unit. More info on R&D >>