Structures & Equipment
Lethbridge College receives over $350,000 for lighting research project
May 2, 2023 By Greenhouse Canada
May 2, 2023 – In Alberta, Lethbridge College will receive more than $350,000 for a greenhouse lighting research project, which will be the first major project in the college’s new 10,000 square foot on-campus research greenhouse.
The lighting project is one of 39 research projects across Canada selected to receive a share of $11.49 million in funding through the Agriculture Funding Consortium (AFC). The AFC represents 18 agricultural organizations that raise funds to support sustainability, diversification and growth for the agri-food industry in Western Canada. The grant of $353,598 will be used to support a the three-year industry-driven study that will start this fall.
“An abundance of natural sunlight in southern Alberta makes for excellent growing conditions, but growing in the region’s long, dark winters can pose challenges, so supplemental lights are often necessary to stay competitive year-round,” states a press releases from the college. “Only a small portion of commercial greenhouse operators in North America use supplemental lighting because of the prohibitive costs involved. The successful outcome of this project will remove the adoption roadblocks by the industry and provide more efficient and cost-effective LED lighting.”
The college project will investigate the performance of conventional High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights, horticultural LEDs, and common industrial lights, such as High Bay LEDs. Through this project, researchers hope to identify best practices for supplemental lighting for growing cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers – three of the most popular greenhouse-grown crops in Canada.
While the project will focus on measuring yield, quality and ROI, it will also measure the unique characteristic of plant stress, using a sophisticated crop electrophysiology system. This technology will allow the growers to detect even minor plant stress at earlier stages before they lose yield, playing a more proactive role in eliminating plant stress.
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