Welcome to LEDs Magazine’s Horticultural Lighting + Tech newsletter for Aug. 7, 2023. I often surf through my LinkedIn feed looking for leads on topical debates, R&D, and emerging applications. That’s how we got our July/August feature on how AI algorithms can learn and optimize energy efficiency and crop strategies for growers - in practice, not just in theory.
I also came across a recent conversation about large-scale vertical farming operations struggling or even declaring bankruptcy. A lot of commentary seemed to center around the difficulty in capturing and maintaining investor attention due to overvaluing the business growth potential and underestimating the time to profitability, with some arguing that vertical farming and indoor agriculture businesses fare much better on a smaller level, where their ops and customers remain local rather than cross-country. It’s food for thought, considering some of our earliest horticultural lighting coverage focused on small, point-of-use or point-of-sale operations such as a fresh indoor garden at a restaurant or a container farm at a specialty market in Dallas. I’m curious about the uptake of LED lighting in smaller-scale operations, since we have reported on slowing sales across both finished luminaire and LED component sectors. It might be time to formulate a survey. I’d be interested in hearing from audience members: What questions do you have about the horticultural lighting market? Do you think it’s a market solely impacted by fluctuating economic strain, or is there something else holding it back?
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Carrie Meadows, [email protected]