Sapphire Industry Watch – July 17

  • Photos: Clean energy innovations are lighting up Africa – Quartz: In 2013, President Barack Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative to bring 30,000 megawatts of clean electricity to sub-Saharan Africa, where 600 million people live without power. Supported by the US Agency for International Development, 4,100 megawatts of power have been delivered so far, a portion of which has come in the form of solar LED lamps.
  • University of Buffalo invention takes new approach to fighting insomnia – ABC 8 News: A University of Buffalo professor is spearheading research that aims to cure insomnia – something that more than 60 million Americans suffer from. Her invention called “Re-timers”, are LED light goggles that can reset the brain’s natural sleep cycle. Using green LED lighting, the goggles shut off Melatonin in the early morning in order to advance sleep rhythms come evening.
  • How smart lighting has the potential to reduce energy costs by 90% – First Post: Internet of Things (IoT) architectures are rapidly driving smart lighting technology, so much so, that the worldwide commercial space for smart lighting is expected to double in 2015. According to Gartner, smart lighting installations in office buildings and industrial areas have the potential to reduce energy costs by 90 percent, while LED installations alone result in energy savings of approximately 50 percent.
  • LED grow light market worth $1.9B by 2020 – Compound Semiconductor: A new MarketsandMarkets report forecasts that the LED grow light market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent over the next five years. As awareness of LED grow lights’ benefits increases, the market will experience a high growth phase in applications such as vertical farming, commercial greenhouse and indoor farming.

Urban Farming Goes Vertical with LEDs

Green Sense Farms vertical LED farm warehouse

Green Sense Farms vertical LED farm warehouse

We like to report on interesting applications using LEDs. This latest application we are focusing on takes LEDs and combines them with farming to leverage unique properties – temperature and wavelenghths —  of LEDs to grow more, better plants, indoors without the use of pesticides.

Chicago’s Green Sense Farms takes advantage of LEDs to make the largest indoor commercial vertical farm in the United States. According to a report in Gizmodo, Green Sense Farms recently announced two new huge climate-controlled grow rooms in its Chicago-area production warehouse. Green Sense Farms combines towering racks of vertical hydroponic systems with Philips “light recipe” LED grow lights.

Philips is building a database of ‘light recipes’ for different plant varieties since each plant has its own needs for light. A Philips Horticulture “light recipe” is an instruction based on knowledge of how to use light to grow a certain crop under certain conditions. Because LEDs produce less heat than traditional lighting, the light fixtures can be placed much closer to the crops without fear of burning them— reducing the vertical farm’s footprint and ensuring that each leaf gets the light it needs.

Using the system, Green Sense Farms is able to harvest its crops 26 times a year while using 85 percent less energy, 1/10th the amount of water, no pesticides or herbicides, and reducing the facility’s CO2 output by two tons a month. And, to make the Earth a better place, it even produces an average of 46 pounds of oxygen daily.

For Further Reading

Gizmodo, Chicago’s Huge Vertical Farm Glows Under Countless LED Suns,