Sep 14, 2018
Grant Helps Light the LAMP By Tim Hodson

Reducing energy costs is a goal for pretty much any grower — no matter what the crop that is being grown.

Thanks to a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative, a research team made up of university and government scientists is working to make that possible.

These researchers are looking to help growers decrease their energy costs of controlled agriculture crops by as much as 50 percent.

The project, LAMP: Lighting Approaches to Maximizing Profits, is headed up by Marc van Iersel along with his colleagues at the University of Georgia and collaborators from USDA Agricultural Research Service, Cornell University; Rutgers University; Utah State University; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute*.

The research team will use the grant to develop prototype lighting systems and techniques to improve crop quality and growth and lower production costs.

According to an article published by UGA’s College of Agricultural & Environment Sciences, van Iersel and his associates are using informatics, high efficiency LEDs and state of the art growing techniques to find ways to help CEA growers decrease their energy costs.

They are looking at how growers can schedule their lighting needs around peak usage times and how to take advantage of natural sunlight in conjunction with greenhouse lighting systems, as well as which lighting systems are best for the producer’s specific location and crops.

The diversity of the LAMP research team, van Iersel says, has been “critical to the success of the project.”

“Together, we will be able to do things that none of us can do by ourselves,” van Iersel said in the CAES News article.

You can learn more about LAMP on the team’s Facebook page at

You can read the entire UGA CAES news article at

— Tim

*Two of the LAMP researchers are alums of GPN’s 40 Under 40 – Jennifer Boldt at the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Neil Mattson at Cornell University


Tim Hodson

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