Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc. has signed a sponsored research agreement with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For the project, the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) will develop light protocols for using specialized LED lighting with integrated feedback to grow plants efficiently.
LESA is an interdisciplinary, multi-university center developing “Smart Lighting Systems that See and ThinkTM. Funding for LESA comes primarily from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center (ERC) program.
As a research partner and LESA industry member, Acuity Brands will support the organization’s examination of advanced spectral control systems for optimizing and automating plant growth processes.
“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., Ph.D., 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, 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 market of specialized LED lighting for horticulture is growing rapidly, and the use of LED lighting for horticulture will continue to be an important technology for controlled environment agriculture in plant factories and greenhouses.
LED lighting can add to the year-round production of local produce and aid water conservation. Also, LED lighting for horticulture can employ careful spectrum management to optimize plant growth rates and nutritional value.
LESA’s plant physiologist, Dr. Tessa Pocock will lead this project. Dr. Pocock has extensive experience in biosensing technology and advanced LED lighting systems 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,” stated Dr. Tessa Pocock.
The LESA is headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The LESA organization works to achieve its goals with help from partners Boston University, Thomas Jefferson University, and The University of New Mexico.