Automated Lighting Companies Bring New Technology to Indoor FarmingJanuary 29, 2020 by Maddie Bradshaw
A look into lighting companies who are being awarded and recognized for their innovation efforts for indoor lighting.
As industries like vertical and indoor farming become more automated, there has been a large demand for new and efficient lighting systems. Artificial lighting technology such as LEDs and smart lights have developed significantly in the last several years and they're being recognized for it.
Sherpa Space Inc. is a start-up company that focuses on optical light wavelength technology for indoor farming. Sherpa Light is an adjustable artificial light source with the ability to replicate exact weather patterns including specific sunlight conditions. The lighting device aims to provide light through the entire growth process of the plant.
This week, Korean based company, Sherpa Space Inc., won the CES 202 Innovation Award for their new Sherpa Light product. These awards are given by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to acknowledge efforts in design and engineering consumer technology products.
Sherpa Light illuminating on the showroom floor. Image used courtesy of Sherpa Space Inc.
Sherpa is one of the many companies developing products like this. Let's take a look at some other companies in the industry that are bringing new lighting methods used for indoor farms.
Artificial Illumination Aims to Recreate Natural Weather Patterns
One practice that has become more common in this industry is artificial illumination. The goal of this practice is to recreate natural weather patterns indoors that can stimulate plant growth. Valoya OY, a company that provides a variety of LED grow lights, has been working to imitate dawn and dusk conditions to accomplish this.
Valoya and Microsoft teamed up to develop a LightDNA line, which imitates natural sunlight patterns for indoor farms as needed. They also developed a flickering feature that replicates the way lighting conditions can change, for example, on a forest floor if surrounded by trees.
As stated by Valoya, sunlight is rich in far-red wavelengths during dusk and dawn. It is also affected by passing clouds, making these weather patterns very unique. Artificial illumination in the past has been associated with having a hard on and off switch. This previous method has not been conducive to these unique natural weather patterns, which is why new technologies like LightDNA are working to mimic the natural outdoor lighting whenever possible.
Valoya LightDNA. Image used courtesy of Valoya OY
Lighting Flexibility Brings New Opportunities
Another company in the industry that has been working towards these efforts is PHILIPS. They have been working with vertical farming companies to maximize the automation process in a number of ways. According to the PHILIPS website, “At Signify’s GrowWise research facility, we have been experimenting with a color controllable luminaire, which provides a whole new level of lighting flexibility for indoor farming facilities.” The color controller allows engineers to have control over the color spectra and light levels to mirror the lighting of an outdoor farm.
These are a few of the companies in this industry who are creating technology that not only mimics weather patterns but also drives optimal plant growth and success.
Have you used any of these new technologies? Let us know in the comments.