Lighting and the Future of Food, Cannabis, and Other Crops

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No electronic lighting technology was ever developed for plant growth, including LEDs. It was all developed for human lighting applications.  A just-released video of a panel discussion, Lighting and the Future of Food, Cannabis and Other Crops discusses the various sources for plant growth and it is now available for free viewing.  Watch and listen here.

Brentwood, TN, January 23, 2020 There is about 3 billion square feet lit for horticulture worldwide; Europe represents 70% and the US is only 10%.  HID is still about 90% to 95% with LED only 5% of the horticulture market.

Two experts comprised a panel that discussed these facts at the National Lighting Bureau’s Annual Lighting Forum. The Bureau has just released a video recording of the discussion, titled Lighting and the Future of Food, Cannabis and Other Cropswhich is now available for free viewing or download.

Randy Reid, the NLB Executive Director and Editor of the EdisonReport moderated the panel. The experts were Greg Barry of EYE Lighting and Neil Yorio, of BIOS Lighting.

The panel explained that the customer for horticulture lighting is really the plant.   Mr. Barry emphasized the importance of far red in the growing process and the full spectrum from 300 to over 800 nanometers since plants need UV when they start and far red when they finish.  Mr. Yorio discussed the importance of the McCree curve that represents the average photosynthetic response of plants to light energy. He calls out the incorrect perception that plants only need red and blue (purple) spectrum.  

The panel also discusses vertical farming and the ability for grocery stores to grow their own vegetables in containers behind their store.  

Watch and listen to the panel discussion here.

The National Lighting Bureau is an independent, IRS-recognized, not-for-profit, educational foundation that has served as a trusted lighting-information source since 1976. The NLB is focused on Promoting Lighting Excellence™ and helping the lighting industry solve its business problems.  The Bureau provides its services to the public free of charge, thanks to the generous funding of the organization’s members: professional societies, trade associations, labor unions, manufacturers, and agencies of the U.S. government, including:

interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
Bios Lighting
GE Current, a Daintree Company
Healthe by Lighting Science
Imperial Lighting Maintenance Company
Inspired LED
Lutron Electronics Company
New Star Lighting
Truly Green Solutions
Universal Lighting Technologies
ZLED Lighting

The first annual Tesla Awards will be presented at LightFair on Wednesday, May 6th, 2020.  

Obtain more information about the Bureau by visiting its website ( by contacting its staff at or 615.379.7707.


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