Center Completes Lighting Testbed for Efficient Horticultural Lighting Fixtures

Achievement date: 

The NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA), headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), completed a lighting testbed for new approaches to increasing energy efficiency of horticultural lighting fixtures, developing optical sensors that optimize plant growth and examining tradeoffs between spectral power distributions and plant health, growth rate, and nutritional content.


LESA is bringing a new level of engineering sophistication to horticultural lighting solutions. LED lighting has a tremendous impact on crop growth and annual yield from each harvest, and the LESA’s recent development of low cost biofluorescence sensors that can monitor plant stress set the stage for new lighting control systems that can autonomously alter growth conditions to maximize growth operations and plant quality, setting the stage for future urban and peri-urban farming operations projected to be a critical part of future smart, sustainable urban design.


The testbed completion allows for the development of precisely tuned light algorithms and growth control systems for achieving the desired results in the plants.  The capabilities, solutions, and potential for high-tech horticultural lighting for plant growth optimization have positioned the Center as one of the best and broadest resources for horticulture lighting research and science.