Back in 2016, the LEDs Magazine team, working alongside some of our most trusted industry advisors and colleagues, launched its first one-day Horticultural Lighting Conference with the promise that the program would be designed to help attendees understand the convergence of research, technology, and application of LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL) in the modern agricultural sector. That year, the focus was on conveying initial messages about the light response of plants versus humans, how metrics were being developed to evaluate the performance of SSL in horticultural environments, and the potential for specialized light mixes to speed growth, enhance crop quality, and optimize energy usage in farming operations.
LEDs Magazine continues to source experts for insights into the challenges, solutions, and business opportunities within horticultural lighting across our coverage and educational resources. In fact, past Strategies in Light and Horticultural Lighting Conference speaker Peter Barber of SETi-Seoul Semiconductor is ready to present for you on May 14 a webcast exploring the “next evolution in horticulture lighting.” Barber will expand upon the latest thinking on how UV LEDs can strengthen plant resilience to damaging organisms and even extend the shelf life of produce after harvest. Join us to learn more about how to leverage UV LEDs for quality SSL systems.
The following year brought new findings on comparison studies with SSL and legacy lighting; case studies on specific cultivars’ response to new lighting methods and recipes, including further details on the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum and plant biology; and the future of SSL in horticulture, which may include a deeper dive into studying how plant physiology tells growers how a crop is responding to its environmental conditions and what can be done to develop what Plenary speaker Tessa Pocock called “knowledge-based controlled environment agriculture.” She indicated that advanced imaging technologies and smart control of networked horticultural lighting could enable “self-regulating light control” that alters in response to the plant’s critical health parameters.
In the third edition last fall, speakers across academia, commercial business, and market research directed the conversation toward advances in light recipes; progress on metrics and incentives that can support the knowledge base and confidence of buyers and users in horticultural SSL implementation; and how technology development, geopolitical events, and global economic forces are driving the growth opportunities in the horticultural LED market.
Looking ahead, what is on the horizon for horticultural lighting in 2019 and beyond? Certainly, we expect to continue learning from experiments with light mixes; improvements in SSL system design and robustness to the indoor agricultural environment; and how smart lighting converges with horticultural needs as networks of sensors, meters, luminaires, and other equipment can be engineered to maximize the potential of grower operations. But what specifically will be presented is in your hands now. The conference team is looking for abstracts on the following topics:
- Light recipes for plants: The latest science
- Justifying the transition to LED lighting
- Connected lighting and IoT in horticulture
- Case studies proving LEDs from greenhouses to vertical farms
- Market potential for SSL in horticulture
The call for abstracts is open until May 15. The 2019 Horticultural Lighting Conference will be held on Oct. 31 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown in Denver, CO. Download the call for abstracts submission form and send in your proposed material to conference co-chair Philip Smallwood before the deadline.