“The Future of Horticultural Lighting”
Erik Runkle, Professor, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University
As the world’s population soars, there are increasingly compelling reasons to produce high-value food crops in or near urban areas. From economic and horticultural perspectives, lighting is one of the most important components of controlled-environment horticulture, especially when plants are produced indoors in vertical farms. The light environment regulates crop yield and uniformity, as well as various quality attributes such as leaf size, color, texture, and taste. Lighting can also be used as a non-chemical method to control plant diseases or to increase the nutritional content of leafy crops. Dr. Runkle will provide an overview of the different horticultural lighting applications, then will discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the nascent vertical farming industry.