LED Lighting Offers Advances in Horticultural Applications

LED lighting has been popular among a variety of industries as a way to reduce energy consumption and in turn reduce energy costs as well. Researchers are now finding that LED lighting is not only inexpensive and extremely efficient, but it can also be used to boost productivity in various horticultural applications.

GE lighting has recently allowed an industrial lettuce farm in Japan able to produce 10,000 heads daily with the use of LED lighting. Scientists at McGill University in Canada have documented the use of LED lighting to boost tomato production and researchers at Purdue University have documented additional productivity boosts in bedding plants when using LED lighting. These multiple applications seem to prove that LED lighting may provide a much better environment for agricultural applications compared to using fluorescent lighting.

How Does LED Lighting Improve Plant Growth?

A narrow spectrum of LEDs in various colors has been known to enhance the photosynthesis process as well as offer energy cost savings compared to fluorescent lighting or broad spectrum HID lighting that is typically used in commercial farming.

Lettuce Farm in Tagajo, Japan

A partnership between the Mirai lettuce farm and GE Lighting show the huge benefits that can be seen when using LED lighting in urban agricultural applications. This farm uses around 17,500 LED lights and offers a 50% boost in plant production and a 40% drop in energy usage, compared to the previous lighting setup. This translates into a daily harvest of 10,000 heads of lettuce.

Boosts in Production of Tomatoes and Bedding Plants

As mentioned above, researchers have also seen boosts in tomato and bedding plant production with the use of LED lighting. The Purdue University study focused on bedding plants and found a particular boost in production of Penunia, Viola and Salvia plants while using LED lighting.

McGill University studied tomato production under LED light, HPS light and HPS light mixed with LED light.  All of the instances where LED lighting was used yielded increased production while the equal combination of LED lighting combined with HPS lighting yielded the best results.

Much Left to Learn in Regards to LED Lighting and Urban Agriculture

While these findings are extremely promising, scientists still need to study LED lighting in more detail before it becomes commonplace among commercial farms.


USPTO Sensitive Application Warning System Discontinued

According to LighTimes, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is discontuning a secret program that they had operated for twenty years that aimed to “alert leadership when a patent might issue on a sensitive matter.”  Read more here and how LED innovations might be affected here:




Real-time Spectral Unmixing Enhances Understanding of Cellular Biomarkers

Using various molecular biomarkers allows both location detail and clear identification of tissue abnormalities, but in theory can severely complicate analysis. Adding acousto-optic tunable filters along with spectral unmixing through multispectral imaging can simplify findings and offer significant benefits for a wide variety of applications such as cancer detection and even neuroscience. Gooch & Housego is excited about this new finding.

Simultaneous use of Multiple Biomarkers Needed

Microscopic imaging has been used to diagnose medical conditions for quite some time.  Recently, molecular biomarkers have been discovered for various diseases, but because these biomarkers lack the specificity to clearly identify a disease on their own, researchers are excited about the use of multiple biomarkers as well in combination to better identify diseases.

Combining several molecular biomarkers with microscopy allows biomarkers to be used for both locating abnormal areas on a microscope slide as well as clarifying these abnormalities.  The problem in the past was that comparing biomarkers to stains was very difficult because the colors were hard to recognize by eye.

With multispectral imaging, analyzing these microscope slides is much more manageable due to a detailed spectrum analysis of each pixel in an image.

Complications Arise When Using Fluorescent Labels

More complications arise with labeling when using fluorescent labels and traditional transmission morphology stains. Certain stains such as Hematoxylin and others make it difficult to obtain adequate signal from fluorescent biomarkers. This is why using multispectral imaging of biomarkers combined with morphology staining produces a more accurate result compared to fluorescent biomarker staining. While transmission stains often cannot be interpreted by the human eye, multispectral imaging can separate the different biomarkers from the morphology staining components even if there is significant overlap.

Multispectral Microscopy in Real Time

Separating multiple molecular biomarkers with traditional microscope imaging requires spectral imaging operating at up to 30 wavelengths, requiring a high-speed camera with a Acousto-optic tunable filter. This AOTF-based imaging system cannot only image but also unmix the necessary components and display them in real time. This level of results offers researchers profound data that can be used to much better identify specific cells which cause various diseases.

This use of AOTFs, in conjunction with spectral unmixing, was recently used to generate overlays to provide additional information pertinent for HPV imaging. HPV is a well-known precursor for cancer so researchers combined HPV imaging with Pap staining to show how abnormal DNA can be recognized on a Pap image based on the presence of HPV. Using a spectral unmixing system offers clarity in terms of the morphology of these cells. This spectral imaging system allows isolation of the most important hematoxylin stain to provide further information for researchers and medical personnel.

Benefit of Spectral Unmixing With Biomarker Imaging

By using AOTFs, images that are created by spectral unmixing can be used with biomarker images that produce overlays that are false-colored to give additional information to better identify potential abnormalities such as HPV, which can lead to more serious diseases such as cervical cancer. For more information about this technology, feel free to call Gooch & Housego at 1-800-899-3171.

Market Study Says UV-LED Market to Grow about $90 Million in 2014 to About $520 million in 2019

According to LighTimes, and Yole Development, the UV LED market has reportedly boomed since 2008 as UV LEDs have taken over the UV curing business from incumbent technologies including mercury lamps. From 2008 through 2014 the UV LED market exploded at a compound annual growth rate of 28.5 percent from about $20 Million to about $90 million, according to the latest UV LED market forecast report from Yole Development.

More here: http://www.solidstatelighting.net/news/?date=2015-02-10&id=124704#top

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Optical Antenna LEDs May Replace Lasers in Communications

According to LighTimes, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a nano-sized optical antenna. The optical antennae greatly improves the spontaneous emission of light from atoms, molecules and semiconductor quantum dots. They could someday be integrated with LEDs to replace lasers for short-range optical communications, including optical interconnects for microchips, plus numerous other potential applications.


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LighTimes: Graphene and LEDs Made with Super-Thin Crystals Pave the Way for Flexible Electronics

The University of Manchester and the University of Shiefield announced that they have successfully created extremely flat LEDs with graphene that are only an amazing 10 to 40 atom thickness which opens the potential for flexible LED lighting.

More here:



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Netherlands Health Council Concerned about Blue LED Hazard – Advises More Research into LED Lighting Health Effects

Concerns about blue light hazards from LEDs continue. From LightTimes and an article in NLTimes  the obsequiousness of LEDs and in particular blue LEDs brings in new considerations regarding potential health hazards:

“The Health Council released an investigatory and advisory report which stated that a person’s biological clock “controls numerous physiological and behavioral processes”. The report notes that this biological clock “…operates autonomously, but may be affected due to external factors. One of the most important factors is light.”

The researchers discovered that that people are interfering with their melatonin (sleep hormone) production and thus reversing their biological clocks through exposure to bluish LED light in the evenings. Other recent studies have had similar findings.



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LighTimes: Lighting For Tomorrow Launches 2015 Competition

January 15, 2015…At the Dallas Market, Lighting for Tomorrow launched its thirteenth consecutive annual competition. In 2015, Lighting for Tomorrow is seeking products that incorporate and enable superior integrated design, light quality, and efficiency. Similar to past years, Lighting for Tomorrow plans to reward lighting designed to satisfy the needs of the growing senior population and organic LED (OLED) luminaires as part of the SSL competition. In addition, the competition is highlighting LED fixtures that have replaceable components, the filament type, the decorative LED replacement lamps, as well as contractor lighting, which includes fixtures less than $50. The scope of the SSL competition includes LED luminaries for specific applications, replacement lamps, and retrofit kits.  The Lighting for Tomorrow will also focus on lighting control products, including stand alone, systems, and whole house devices.

The deadline for Intent to Submit forms for this year’s competition is April 24, 2015. The competition will announce the winners during an award ceremony at the ALA Conference in October 2015, in Huntington Beach, California. Award recipients will be eligible to be promoted by energy efficiency programs across the US and Canada during the following yea

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LighTimes: Automotive LED Lighting Market to Grow Rapidly, According to Research and Markets

January 15, 2015…Research and Markets forecasts that over the period of 2014-2019, the Automotive LED Lighting market in the Americas will have a compound annual growth rate of 25.26 percent. The firm notes that LED lighting technology for automobiles has improved significantly in terms of heat-light ratio. Also, the company says that LED lights consume less power and have a longer lifespan and greater shock resistance than alternative technologies. A drive towards greater energy efficiency, the falling price of raw materials, and exponential vehicle production are radically changing the Automotive LED lighting market in the Americas, according to Research and Markets.

The company points out that automakers are increasingly using LED-based headlamps. Research and Markets contends that LED headlamps increase occupant safety and offer powerful and constant high-quality light, which enables illumination at greater distances. Additionally, the company says that LED headlamps can reduce energy consumption and improve the esthetic appeal of vehicles. According to the company’s latest report about Automotive LED lighting in the Americas, one of the main drivers of the market is the high rate of adoption and the growing popularity of LED lighting. The company says that LEDs tend to produce a better quality and higher intensity of light and are more flexible.

Another feature of LED lighting driving its adoption in vehicles is the improvement in visual conditions it offers. Furthermore, LEDs reportedly enable the styling and customization of vehicles with lights. Research and Markets points out that Automakers and their suppliers have to overcome regulatory approval delays as they seek to introduce new lighting technology, such as high-intensity LED headlights and adaptive lighting systems, which are hindered because of the safety legislation in the Americas.