LEDs Magazine News & Insights 10 Jun 2020

June 10, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for June 10, 2020. This is not our HortiCann newsletter, although it could pass for it. You have to just deal with some news as it arrives, and then we have made a bit of horticultural-centric news as I disclosed last week.

I did mention the picture-perfect launch of the SpaceX mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in one of our newsletters last week. I also lamented that the horticultural lighting activity onboard the ISS gets very little notice in news of the station. However, our Mark Halper was able to document some new activity involving the solid-state lighting (SSL) Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) that Astronauts Behnken and Hurley have worked on during their short stay.

Meanwhile, we posted a news article on the conclusion of the second round of the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge at Wageningen University & Research (WUR). We have no doubt that more technology and autonomous control, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI), will be critical in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Indeed, that belief was part of the impetus that led us last year to rebrand our Horticultural Lighting Conference as the HortiCann Light + Tech Conference. AgTech will be critical along with CEA in feeding a growing population.

Back to the WUR competition, Team Automatoes won in every aspect of judging the challenge. That team produced more profit (characterized by tomato quality and yield), had minimal impact on the environment, and was judged to have the most advanced AI scheme. We hope to have a presentation on the challenge at the HortiCann event Oct. 20–21, that as I announced last week will be an online event this year due to COVID-19.

And speaking of the pandemic, smart lighting players are quickly moving to add capabilities to their platforms that can help with social distancing, which may become a part of the new normal going forward. Signify has said it has added “people distancing” features to its Interact Office Internet of Things (IoT) platform. Moreover, we have a contributed piece for our next issue that will discuss another smart SSL play relative to social distancing.

We are one week out from our webcast that will separate fact from fiction relative to UV-C radiation and disinfection capabilities. We will have a hard limit on attendance. It’s not a factor with most of our presentations but may come into play in this case, so register now.

Also, I’ll remind you again that next February and Strategies in Light 2021 are a long way off. But we have tremendous planning to make sure we deliver the best possible conference. That effort starts with encouraging submission of papers. The call for abstracts remains open but will close at the end of next week. Get those submissions complete.

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. And always feel free to contact me to discuss content we post or to pitch a contributed article.

- Maury Wright, (858) 748-6785, [email protected]