Rensselaer has signed a sponsored research agreement with Acuity Brands Lighting, the leading North American supplier of LED-based lighting solutions. As part of this project, the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) will develop light protocols for specialized LED lighting with integrated feedback for efficient plant growth.
“Our 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,” said Robert F. Karlicek Jr., director of LESA and professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering at Rensselaer. “Acuity Brands is the leading innovator in solid-state lighting technologies and applications, and we are excited to be working with them to develop LED solutions that will enhance and accelerate crop automation, while delivering greater energy savings.”
“These are exciting times. We are witnessing a radical change in the role lighting plays in bringing intelligence and connectivity not only to traditional indoor and outdoor spaces, but also now to controlled environment agriculture,” said Justin Moon, director of Marketing at Acuity Brands Lighting. “We are thrilled to bring our expertise in lighting science and technology to this significant LESA project and to support this growing and important industry.”
The field of specialized LED lighting for horticulture is growing rapidly, and will continue to be a major technology for controlled environment agriculture in greenhouses and plant factories. LED lighting can aid in year-round local produce production, water conservation, and optimized plant growth rates and nutritional value through careful spectrum management. This project will be led by LESA’s plant physiologist, Tessa Pocock, who has extensive experience in advanced LED lighting systems and biosensing technology for plant growth.
“We are excited to be working with Acuity Brands on this project. Lighting is an extremely powerful tool for optimizing plant growth and nutritional quality,” said Pocock. As a research partner and LESA industry member, Acuity Brands will support the organization’s exploration of advanced spectral control systems for optimized, automated plant growth processes.