Future Proofing the Food Supply with LED Lighting

February 14, 2017 Acuity News

As experts and innovators in lighting science, we’re always looking for interesting, and commercially viable ways to use solid-state lighting.  So much of our work deals with structural spaces – rooms, buildings, campuses, roads and parking lots – so it’s really exciting when we get to delve into brand new areas. 

We just announced a sponsored research agreement with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) to develop light protocols for specialized LED lighting to enable more efficient plant growth in controlled environment agriculture settings.

That’s right, we’ll be working with LESA to develop LED solutions that will enhance and accelerate crop automation. This project will be led by LESA’s plant physiologist, Dr. Tessa Pocock, who has extensive experience in advanced LED lighting systems and biosensing technology for plant growth.

Lighting is a powerful tool for optimizing plant growth and nutritional quality and the field of specialized LED lighting for horticulture is growing rapidly. LED lighting can aid in year-round local produce production, water conservation and optimized plant growth rates and nutritional value through careful spectrum management. It will continue to be a major technology for controlled environment agriculture in greenhouses and plant factories. 

LESA Director Bob Karlicek summed it up nicely: “The program creates opportunities to study, develop and bring solutions to market that improve health, productivity and well-being for people, as well as plants and the food ecosystem.”

It’s a radical change in the role lighting plays in bringing intelligence and connectivity beyond traditional indoor and outdoor spaces.

These are exciting times. 

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