Highly Efficient Luminaires for Supplemental Greenhouse Lighting

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gambier, OH 43022
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Greenhouse farming is an absolute necessity to revive and create local agriculture businesses in northern "climatically challenged" regions with short growing seasons. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) has made significant strides in greenhouse farming technology. State of the art CEA farming utilizes direct control of lighting, temperature and carbon dioxide in a hydroponics environment.Providing adequate amounts of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) has been shown to increase greenhouse production capacity to a level capable of supporting large market demand. The challenge for northern markets is to implement such supplemental lighting systems at a cost that makes CEA greenhouse farming competitive with large out of state farm and ship sources. For this SBIR effort, Cycloptics proposes to combine energy efficient lamps with Cycloptics' patented optimized reflectors to create a luminaire that will produce significant lighting energy and cost savings. With Cycloptics' technology, light from such lamps can be precisely controlled to create a highly uniform distribution over large arbitrary target patterns. It is the combination of target efficiency and lamp energy efficiency that yields the energy and cost savings for the proposed luminaire. Initial estimates indicate the new luminaire technology could achieve energy efficiency gains of 25 to 40% relative to existing growth chamber lighting. With the proposed lighting technology, year-round greenhouse agriculture could become economically more viable even for rural northern climate zones. If cost and energy efficiency gains can be demonstrated, the benefits align with Specific USDA goals. These include enhancing the international competitiveness and sustainability of rural farm economies by reducing costs of locally grown greenhouse produce to or below the cost of imported produce; support increased economic opportunities and improved quality of life in rural America from jobs created and associated with the greenhouse vegetable production industry; and enhancing the protection and safety of the agriculture and food supply by increasing local production of food that is easily traceable and better regulated by government entities.