LEDs Magazine News & Insights 14 Aug 2020 - Editor's Column

Aug. 14, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Aug. 14, 2020. Happy Friday! Again my weekend plans are nonexistent, but I plan to enjoy the respite anyway. As always, I suggest safety and plenty of social distancing. I really do think the pandemic situation is on the improve finally, but it’s vital to maintain discipline because we aren’t far from the start of the flu season.

If anyone is headed out automobile shopping this weekend, I might make a recommendation to you. I’ll warn you that you may need to empty that piggy bank. But it’s only money. I’m talking about the new 2021 Mercedes S-Class sedan. I’m sure it’s a fine automobile from many perspectives. But it’s the in-cabin LED lighting for which you should break the bank. Myself? Going to buy a lotto ticket.

On a serious note, I authored a blog post because of the in-cabin LED lighting in the new vehicle. It has the wow factor. But it’s also based on lighting for health and wellbeing or human-centric lighting principles. Moreover, the LEDs are an integral part of the auto safety system.

We have a mashup of horticultural lighting stories for you today. The lead item concerns well-funded vertical farmer Plenty and a deal to supply Albertsons groceries across California. That agreement does run counter to the supposed localized concept of vertical farming. But Plenty likely needs to show some return to its high-profile investment group.

There is also coverage of a Scotland-based vertical farm project by IGS (Intelligent Growth Solutions). I had not previously heard of IGS. The company has a unique angle on the business model of selling turnkey vertical farms. The farms are supplied in configurations matching prefab buildings that can be installed at the customer premises.

Again, there are celebrity investors involved in the project that I wrote about. It was on a late-night flight to Europe where I stumbled across the reality TV show called BrewDogs on inflight TV. I’ve since gone out of my way to visit some of their establishments. They just seem like such regular guys, but clearly they have worked incredibly hard and been very successful. And now they have invested in their Scottish neighbors hoping to establish a new produce supply.

Remember, we are just two months out from our HortiCann Light + Tech conference. We will have more details on the program next week. I’ll also offer the tease that we have a nearer-term surprise event to tell you about next week.

We do also have a mainstream business story for you to close the news of the week. Our Mark Halper reported a continued decline in sales and profits at Sweden-based Fagerhult. We report on that company’s financials regularly because it is one of the few large pure-play SSL companies in Europe. The news is not a surprise, although we continue to hope for better results for our industry.

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]