Sapphire Industry Watch – July 31

  • Lamp runs for 8 hours on one glass of water and some salt – Treehugger: Aisa Mijeno, CEO of Sustainable Alternative Lighting (SALt Corp.), has developed an LED lamp capable of running for eight hours a day on one glass of water and two tablespoons of salt. The lamp was designed by Mijeno to be a practical lighting solution for people in undeveloped areas  that lack reliable access to light at night.
  • The Skysphere: New Zealander Jono Williams builds solar-powered retreat for $75,000 – Stuff.co: Construction novice Jono Williams has designed and built an app-controlled, solar-powered tower deemed the “Skysphere”. Complete with voice-controlled colored LED lighting, fingerprint locks, motorized doors and a wireless sound system, Williams said he plans to put his new expertise in green-energy design to good use by designing a fully off-grid house.
  • Seven technologies that will save the Earth – World Policy Blog: As renewable energy options become more accessible and affordable, populations around the globe are lessening their dependency on fossil fuels and turning their attention to more sustainable alternatives instead. LEDs, vertical farming and smart grids are just a few of the green technologies gaining momentum today.
  • Six ‘solar cities’ to be developed in the northeast – The Times of India: In an effort to improve India’s energy crisis and popularize the use of solar energy, the Tripura government is developing six cities in the northeast into solar cities. As part of the project, solar hot water systems and LEDs are being installed.

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, http://gizmodo.com/chicagos-huge-vertical-farm-farm-glows-under-countless-1575275486