Light Bites: What’s happening in CEA and lighting — March 6, 2023

March 6, 2023
LEDs Magazine plates a healthy serving of controlled environment agriculture and horticultural lighting updates.

A new advisory board is expected to help strengthen R&D direction for Libra Design, while Resource Innovation Institute sets out on new benchmarking efforts, and GLASE prepares to host a lighting research–focused webinar.

Libra launches advisory board

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) lighting specialist Libra Design has formed a new advisory board with the appointment of inaugural members Bob Hoffman of Soli Organic and Allison Justice of The Hemp Mine.

The Libra Design CEA Advisory Board will help to steer product development and marketing, participating in R&D trials of Libra Design technology, advising on new horticultural lighting features, and influencing approaches to new cultivator customers.

Hoffman has long been involved in hydroponic, greenhouse, and vertical farming, most recently as chief science officer, helping conventional field farming operation Shenandoah Growers (now Soli) transition into a new era of CEA operations.

As founder and CEO of The Hemp Mine and a third-generation farmer, Justice has utilized her horticultural degrees from Clemson University and Penn State to launch a premium CBD cultivation, extraction, and production business.

“Indoor and greenhouse horticulture lighting requirement are nuanced, rapidly changing, and most importantly, must address the needs of today’s farmer,” Travis Williams, Libra Design co-founder and CEO, said. “We are honored to have Bob Hoffman and Dr. Allison Justice join our CEA Advisory Board and share their invaluable knowledge with Libra and our clients to move the CEA industry forward.”

Watch for LEDs Magazine’s March 2023 issue, featuring a Profile piece on Libra Design.

RII and FarmTech Society cultivate CEA benchmarking data

Nonprofit energy and water benchmarking firm Resource Innovation Institute (RII) and nonprofit CEA industry association FarmTech Society have partnered to collect, analyze, and leverage CEA resource consumption data to deliver comprehensive benchmarks and improve best practices for indoor farming facilities.

RII and FarmTech Society will expand upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded project, “Data Driven Market Transformation for Efficient CEA,” and will also be supported under the European Union’s Green Deal Infrastructure Strategy.

RII executive director Derek Smith said, “As a global industry, CEA is increasingly facing the pressures of rising energy prices and water shortages. Working together, RII and FarmTech Society will focus on the importance of benchmarking in demonstrating the climate-smart value of greenhouse and indoor farming.”

He continued, “It all comes down to the quality of the data, and with this partnership we are bringing together two organizations who are dedicated to this critical effort.”

GLASE hosts USDA-ARS scientist in lighting webinar

The public-private Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering (GLASE) Consortium, established by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Cornell University, designs continuing education programs to enable CEA business owners, researchers, lighting manufacturers, and systems engineers to reduce energy consumption and improve crop outcomes with the latest science-backed information and technology developments.

On March 16 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, GLASE will host USDA Agricultural Research Service research food technologist Yaguang Luo, who will present a webinar titled “Lighting Modulation for Targeted Enhancement in Food Quality, Nutrition, and Safety of Fresh Produce.”

Based in Beltsville, Md., Luo has studied the effects of LED lighting on fresh produce, including ultraviolet wavelength; the impact of various treatments in preventing pathogens in CEA; and the influence of biological and chemical compounds on the health of various cultivars. She will discuss LED light modulations and resulting findings with regard to plant growth, sensorial quality, and bioactive compounds, as well as microbial reduction methods.

Visit the GLASE website to register for this free presentation and other educational resources.

CARRIE MEADOWS is managing editor of LEDs Magazine, with 20-plus years’ experience in business-to-business publishing across technology markets including solid-state technology manufacturing, fiberoptic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, and LEDs and lighting.

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About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.