LRC to Develop Education Program Focus on Horticulture Lighting Applications

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) announced that it is developing a new course curriculum on lighting for plant growth and health to meet the increasing demands following the rising trend of indoor and controlled farming.

Research from the Illumination for Plant Health (IPH) Alliance at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has shown that “Precision Light Dosing” can be used to combat the many pests and pathogens that reduce crop yields, and to increase plant health. At the same time, due to factors such as interest in local and sustainable food, along with maturing technologies which make it financially viable, crops are increasingly being grown indoors in controlled environments. Lighting professionals are being called upon to design and develop innovative lighting systems and applications for these indoor agricultural environments.

(Image: LRC)

As a result, the LRC plans to launch education program targeting the new challenges of horticulture lighting for industry professionals, who have to gain additional knowledge and skills to navigate and fully participate in this emerging market.

The course development team at LRC includes Professor Mark Rea, Plant Pathologist Jaimin Patel, Research Scientist Leora Radetsky, and Director of Education Dan Frering. Collaborators include Erik Runkle, a Professor of Horticulture at Michigan State University, and Plant Pathologists David Gadoury at Cornell University and Natalia Peres at the University of Florida, who are widely respected for their expertise in using UV to mitigate pathogens in fruit and vegetable crops.

The new course curriculum on lighting for plant growth and health will be modular and flexible to allow it to be adapted and taught at the undergraduate, graduate, or post-professional levels, and will become a permanent, regular LRC offering.

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