Michigan State University opened its Controlled-Environment Lighting Laboratory (CELL) in 2017. The 400-square-foot vertical farm research facility is being used to study the indoor production of high-value specialty crops, including edibles and ornamentals with LED grow lights.
“The two major crops that we are studying are leafy greens, including red and green leaf lettuce, and floriculture transplants, specifically seedlings,” said horticulture professor Erik Runkle. “We are fairly new to leafy greens. We started performing research with them about three years ago, whereas, we’ve been working with indoor lighting of floriculture plugs since 2011. What has been interesting is to compare and contrast responses among the different crops. Not surprisingly there are a lot more similarities than there are differences.”