Lighting specialists to show how LED technology benefits a growing business

Aug. 31, 2018
In just 39 days, the Horticultural Lighting Conference will kick off a full day of knowledge that helps to educate growers on the business value of LED-based horticultural lighting, and allows SSL developers to refine their designs.
Just two weeks ago in this same space, I was commenting on how quickly the summer is coming to a close and the fall season brings with it our October Horticultural Lighting Conference. We continue to reveal the speakers that have been added to the 2018 program. Their knowledge base and backgrounds are quite diverse, which is what you need when addressing the many facets of an application as complex as horticultural lighting. This year, the program has unveiled a theme of solid-state lighting (SSL) design best practices, quality control for performance needs, and capitalizing on the energy-efficiency benefits of LED technology and how to put that back into a grower operation. Read on to learn about the latest additions to the expert lineup.

Axel Pearson, technical manager, DesignLights Consortium (DLC) – Recently, I spoke with organization representatives about the upcoming technical requirements that will put horticultural lighting fixtures on the DLC’s Qualified Products List (QPL). Pearson, an avid supporter of sustainability efforts, has worked with various green businesses and coordinated energy-efficiency projects in the Pacific Coast and Northwest region. A recent addition to the DLC team, Pearson is tackling technical development of the DLC’s SSL program. During the conference, he will provide insights into the horticultural lighting technical requirements (which will have been published by then), and how the DLC plans to support and accelerate the transition to SSL in the horticultural environment.

Doug Oppedal, program manager, senior lighting specialist, Evergreen Consulting Group – Working with energy-efficiency consulting firm Evergreen, Oppedal collaborates with utility programs in the Pacific Northwest on training, research, program management, and other needs. He has served in many roles across the lighting industry, gaining perspective from past stints in the electrician field, as a lighting and controls specialist, and as a lighting designer. A big concern for end users of commercial-type LED lighting is the upfront cost and the complexity of how to plan a lighting installation. Oppedal will compare the features and performance of legacy sources to LED sources, and demonstrate examples of the financial outlay and payback of energy-efficient SSL.

Jeff Bisberg, CEO and president, Illumitex – Horticultural lighting provider Illumitex has focused on engineering light recipes to meet the needs of grower operations. The company approaches the grower’s concerns with a whole-environment approach lighting with the goal of reducing the costs of controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Bisberg has experience in Internet of Things (IoT) technology and applications; during his tenure at Current, powered by GE, he became responsible for the company’s indoor-positioning push. Having been CEO of LED luminaire manufacturer Albeo Technologies when it was acquired by GE in 2012, Bisberg knows product development for SSL, and his management background in IoT and data management certainly aligns with the Illumitex strategy of incorporating controls and data collection for improved horticultural lighting usage. He will participate in a panel on how connected lighting will shape the future of horticultural SSL.

Philip Smallwood, research director, Strategies Unlimited – We can’t neglect our colleague Philip Smallwood, who heads our sister market-research firm, Strategies Unlimited. Smallwood has been with the PennWell Media organization for nearly five years and has been conducting research in energy-related markets since 2007. Not only does he manage the preparation of market research reports, but he also co-chairs the Strategies in Light conference board and the Horticultural Lighting Conference. Smallwood has dived deeply into the market for horticultural lighting, the outlook for the market, and the barriers to the application that can provide SSL manufacturers with a roadmap for technical development. He has said before that revenue from horticultural SSL products will approach $3B by 2022. We’re looking forward to hearing how the forecast may have changed and other details on this still-emerging market.

The Horticultural Lighting Conference will take place at the Hilton Portland Downtown. Register to join us for a full-day program on overcoming technical challenges in horticultural SSL design, business growth potential, the financial impacts on grower operations, and more.