Flexible. If there was only one word to describe the end goal for MITRA, flexible would be the one. Designed to thrive in indoor installations and greenhouses alike, MITRA represents the future of where those of us at Heliospectra see this ever-evolving industry heading. Built on the back of years of experience and direct feedback from our clients, MITRA includes a feature set that any grower would want in their facility: modular design, easy mounting, dimmability, and external power supplies to name just a few.
This series of articles is a chance for us to bring you – the reader – closer to our products to reveal the ways in which our team approaches a project like MITRA, and how a concept can eventually turn into a piece of the puzzle in a successful installation. They’re also an opportunity to shed some light into the inner workings of our company because at the end of the day, we’re all about shedding light, driving business, and improving quality here at Heliospectra.
To really understand what MITRA is, and how it came to be, who better to talk to than with the very woman who led the team behind it? Karin Dankis, our Director of Product Management and Engineering has been with the company since 2016 and has been directly involved with the majority of our current portfolio of products. If anyone knows MITRA, and its many intricacies, it’s Karin.
MITRA was designed to serve a customer base looking for a simpler product platform, but we still didn’t want to make any sacrifices to flexibility and control. It’s something that can work anywhere - indoors, or in a greenhouse. We really wanted to strip things back and go back to the basics and remove as many parts that would affect either the form factor or the heat being generated. That’s why we decoupled the power supply and kept it external – it gives the growers so much more flexibility in their operation. - Karin Dankis, Director of Product Development and Engineering.
There’s that word again, flexible. The core ideology for MITRA. Speaking of which, it’d be silly to not talk about what exactly makes MITRA so flexible – namely it’s unique modular form factor. Karin talks about the company’s desire to expand further into indoor installations, an area considered by many to be the future of this industry. However, at the same time, she maintains that it was imperative that we didn’t ignore the needs of greenhouse growers. The only solution then, was to come up with something that would serve both purposes and that’s exactly what MITRA is.
This duality to the design is fairly evident in many facets of MITRA. The linear version for instance sits neatly under a greenhouse's existing unistructure, minimising its shadow on the crop bed. The square variant on the other hand, designed with indoor installations in mind, aims to spread its light as far and as evenly as possible. By creating a modular system, the team has ensured that MITRA is capable of meeting even the most demanding grower's needs. In order to make that a possibility Karin and her team had to know exactly what those growers needed.
The idea for something like MITRA doesn’t just come out of thin air. Instead the Product Management team spent months brainstorming, and consulting with some of our closest clients to understand the feature set that a game changing product like MITRA would need to possess to make a difference in the market. “We've worked both with new customers, and with some old ones that we have a really good relationship with, that know the brand and where we stand with our products,” Karin says. This customer focused, application-driven approach to design is how our team likes to approach new products. After all, what’s the point in designing something if the end user doesn’t have a say in what the end product will be?
And then there’s the question of the curious name – MITRA, not particularly the most conventional name in this industry, but then again, MITRA isn’t exactly the most conventional light around. Karin refers to our company name, Heliospectra which itself is derived from ancient Greek.
“We’ve continued with that theme through our other products by choosing powerful Greek words to symbolise both what we see as the essence of our products, and a reflection of what we see in the company as well.”
“MITRA specifically refers to the Greek and Persian goddess of light and competence, and we felt that this was the perfect symbolisation of the product itself, and the future outlook of the company,” she states.
Karin certainly has the right idea there; truer words couldn’t be spoken. There’s no doubt that the future of MITRA and of the company is bright. This article is part of a series and in the following articles we’ll be exploring how the product team designed MITRA, how the specialized spectrum options were designed, and finally how everything came together for MITRA from start to finish. Stay posted for the next part of this story!
If you'd like to see more of MITRA, have a peek at the video or head over to our product page.