- Lighting Technologies
- Vertical Farming
- Indoor Farming
- Artificial Intelligence
Indoor Farming Industry Advances through LED Lighting Technology, AI, and Data Analytics
Within the lighting market, news about LED horticulture lighting projects, products, partnerships, and research has been plentiful. Announcements range from Canada-based Lufa Farms installing LEDs for its rooftop greenhouse to a horticulture lighting project at NASA to the release of a second draft by the DesignLights Consortium of horticulture lighting testing requirements for an upcoming horticulture qualified product list. LED lighting allows for specified light recipes that have been shown to help increase crop yields, speed growing time, and improve product quality, making LED lighting for horticulture applications an attractive alternative to incumbent lighting technologies.
Even with all the advancements in LED horticulture lighting, advancements in other areas are also transforming indoor farming. Cincinnati, Ohio-based 80 Acres Farms has plans to build the first fully automated indoor farm in the US. The vertical farm, which will be built in Hamilton, Ohio, will supply produce to Whole Foods, Dorothy Lane Markets, Jungle Jims, US Foods, and others. The new vertical farm will be automated from seeding through harvest with facility management from 80 Acres Farms staff.
What Does the New Indoor Farm Look Like?
The new indoor farm will include sensors, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics. Lighting incumbent Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, will provide LEDs through its horticulture lighting offerings and environmental control systems and process management software for indoor farming will be featured from technology firm, Priva. Additionally, the facility will use renewable energy and little water. Planned as a multi-phase project, the indoor farm will measure 150,000 SF upon completion.
Are automated vertical farms the future of indoor farming? Will there be mass adoption of these types of grow facilities and a shift in how produce is grown? There is no proof of scalability for this type of indoor farm, but the new 80 Acres Farms project could serve as a model for future automated indoor farms. This project highlights the growing trend of LED horticulture lighting and the significance of data analytics, AI, and robotics in a transforming society even if mass scale adoption of this type of project in the near-future is uncertain.