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Acuity Sponsors Research Project on Lighting for Plant Growth

The Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, said it has signed a sponsored research agreement with lighting giant Acuity Brands Lighting, Atlanta. As part of this project LESA will develop light protocols for specialized LED lighting with integrated feedback for efficient plant growth.

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, Dr. Tessa Pocock, who has extensive experience in advanced LED lighting systems and biosensing technology for plant growth.

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. “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 Dr. Pocock.

“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 for Acuity. "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."

Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center (ERC) program, LESA is an interdisciplinary, multi-university center developing “Smart Lighting Systems that See and Think”. The Center engages faculty members, graduate students, research staff, and undergraduates to develop advanced smart lighting systems with adaptive and controllable properties that will not only illuminate, but generate a wide variety of new lighting enabled system applications in healthcare, communications, building management and horticulture.

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