Vertical Farming using LEDs
The inaugural William Wright Lightmongers Lecture took place on 27th June in the Christopher Ingold Auditorium of University College London. The subject was the rapid development of Vertical Farming (also known as indoor Farming or Plant Factories), using cutting edge LED technology.
Bill Wright was highly respected across the lighting and electrical industries for his electrical engineering knowledge and experience, which he was always generous in sharing with others. He was Master Lightmonger in 2013 and 2014 and his passing in 2016 was a big loss to everyone who knew him. Bill believed very strongly in the importance of encouraging education in the industry (he was Chairman of the Lightmongers Education Committee) and the Lightmongers have established the annual William Wright Lecture in his memory. We were privileged that Stephanie, his widow and his son William were able to attend this inaugural lecture.
The Lecture was given by one of the leading research scientists in this field, Dr. Celine Nicole of Signify. Celine gave a superb, stimulating presentation, showing how the technology has developed over recent years and how the speed of its future development is ramping up. The technology is based on research into the characteristics of plants combined with the development of LEDS where the wavelengths have been specifically tuned to stimulate growth, all in a controlled and energy/water efficient environment. She gave examples from various parts of the world where success is already being achieved e.g. salad crops, together with examples of future developments e.g. starting off young plants.
The Lecture was attended by a good number of Lightmongers plus guests from the industry, who asked a range of questions during a Q&A session after the presentation.
On behalf of all those present the Master, Stephen Thomas, thanked Celine for her Lecture and the interest in this business area that it will have stimulated.