Acuity Brands signs on for horticultural LED lighting research project with LESA at Rensselaer

Feb. 16, 2017
Troy, NY — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has signed a sponsored research agreement with Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc., the leading North American supplier of LED-based lighting solutions. As part of this project, the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) will develop light protocols for specialized LED lighting with integrated feedback for efficient plant growth.

“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 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. “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. 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.

About the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA)
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 ThinkTM”. 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. The Center combines academia, industry, and government in partnership to produce transformational-engineered systems, along with engineering graduates who are adept at innovation and primed for leadership in the global economy. The LESA is headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and partners with Boston University, The University of New Mexico, and Thomas Jefferson University to achieve its objectives. Visit the ERC:

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation's oldest technological university. The university offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of fields, with particular emphasis in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and the media arts and technology. The Institute is well known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.

About Acuity Brands
Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) is the North American market leader and one of the world’s leading providers of lighting and building management solutions. With fiscal year 2016 net sales of $3.3 billion, Acuity Brands currently employs approximately 12,000 associates and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with operations throughout North America, and in Europe and Asia. The Company’s products and solutions are sold under various brands, including Lithonia Lighting®, Holophane®, Peerless®, Gotham®, Mark Architectural Lighting™, Winona® Lighting, Juno®, Indy™, Aculux®, Healthcare Lighting®, Hydrel®, American Electric Lighting®, Carandini®, Antique Street Lamps™, Sunoptics®, Distech Controls®, Acuity Controls™, nLight®, ROAM® and Sensor Switch®. Visit us at


Ann Seman - Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications Engineering Research Center
+1 (518) 276-2041

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