We associate large-scale garden centers, with their own greenhouses as a place to display products, with bright spaces lit by natural light. However, the work of such a center lasts much longer than a day marked by sunlight. In order for plants to show their best side to buyers, regardless of the time of day, professional functional light is needed. And such for Mrówka Greenhouse, the most representative PSB Mrówka garden center in Miedzyrzecz, was designed and realized by TRILUX.

Mrówka Green House is an innovative project, of the esteemed Mrówka PSB DIY chain, which opened in Międzyrzecz in April 2023. Under the glazed roof of the Dutch greenhouse, a display area for traditional and collectible plants was created on 1,200 sqm, complementing the 2,500 sqm of existing retail space. Thus, the garden center became the pride of the investor and the largest facility of its kind in the Lubuskie region.

"We took inspiration for creating this type of facility in Poland from Western countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, where modern, spacious greenhouses are already standard. The first project of this type in our network, was a garden center in Nowa Sol, but the one in Miedzyrzecz we can consider the most representative and flagship." - comments Wojciech Bezak, owner of Mrówka Greenhouse.

"In creating the Mrówka Greenhouse concept, we focused on spaciousness and modernity. We wanted it to be a unique place where customers would want to stay and to which they would want to return. One that would combine modern design with natural elements. Our vision was realized thanks to the solutions proposed by TRILUX," - he adds.

Challenge: trading day vs sunny day

Customers appreciate the convenience of shopping in garden centers, which are usually open longer. This is no different in the case of Mrówka Greenhouse in Miedzyrzecz, which is open 6 days a week from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, or 13 hours.

However, the challenge for traders offering live plants that look best in full light becomes the availability of sunlight. The shortest day of the year, December 21, boasts only 7 hours and 40 minutes of sunlight - calculated from sunrise to sunset. This means that for most of the year, the garden center must support itself with artificial light to expose plants. Importantly, as the length of the day changes, the need for interior lighting changes throughout the year, so the center needs a lighting solution that adapts to the current conditions.

TRILUX already had experience in this type of project in Poland from its cooperation with the OBI shopping center, for which it prepared and implemented a lighting project using functional projectors that bring out the intensity of greenery from the plants. For Mrówka Greenhouse, however, he prepared a more advanced solution.

In addition to functional light, he suggested the investor implement a LiveLink system that automates lighting using sunlight intensity sensors. As a result, the artificial light is activated only when not enough sunlight is coming in through the greenhouse's roof glazing. This allows the light to adjust not only to the length of the day, but also to the prevailing weather outside. This is because the system will also react to a reduced light supply on cloudy days.

„Managing the LiveLink system is very easy. It can be done from a smartphone. It is also an excellent way to save on lighting costs. Its level adjusts itself according to the intensity of daylight, so we can be sure that the interior of the facility will be well lit at all times, and artificial lighting will work only when needed. The implementation of this solution went smoothly. It only took two visits by a TRILUX specialist, during and after the installation of the lighting, to get the LiveLink system up and running." - emphasizes Wojciech Bezak, owner of Mrówka Greenhouse .

The right light, for the right range

The Mrówka Greenhouse Garden Center is divided into four zones: decorations, plants, tools and seasonal products. The lighting, designed and implemented by TRILUX, takes all these areas into account. "Our goal was to adjust the luminaires and the color of the light so as to best display the products in each zone. In the case of the plant zone, we opted for a warmer light color that better highlights the greenery," - explains Piotr Orlowski, Retail Manager at TRILUX Poland

As the investor emphasizes, customers have been very positive about the finished development. Commenting on their visit to the new Mrówka Greenhouse, they stressed that it is not only a modern facility, but also meets all European standards. "We knew that lighting would play a key role in customers' perception of our facility. Carefully selected lighting makes the assortment more noticeable and the displays look more attractive. It was worth giving a free hand to TRILUX designers and trusting their recommendations, because as a result we have a facility we are really proud of." - Wojciech Bezak, owner of Mrówka Greenhouse, concludes.