Good Thinking

Philips facility develops "light recipes" for city farming

The aim of the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center is to develop technology to "grow tasty, healthy and sustainable food virtually anywhere"
The aim of the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center is to develop technology to "grow tasty, healthy and sustainable food virtually anywhere"
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Research at the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center is focused in particular on leafy vegetables, strawberries and herbs
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Research at the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center is focused in particular on leafy vegetables, strawberries and herbs
Crops at the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center are planted in four-layered mechanized racks and there are eight rooms with set climactic conditions
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Crops at the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center are planted in four-layered mechanized racks and there are eight rooms with set climactic conditions
The Philips GrowWise City Farming research center will be used to study how light can be used to maximize the quality and yield of different crops
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The Philips GrowWise City Farming research center will be used to study how light can be used to maximize the quality and yield of different crops
The Philips GrowWise City Farming research center is a clean and sterile environment and is totally closed to natural light and air, making the growing conditions fully controllable
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The Philips GrowWise City Farming research center is a clean and sterile environment and is totally closed to natural light and air, making the growing conditions fully controllable
The aim of the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center is to develop technology to "grow tasty, healthy and sustainable food virtually anywhere"
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The aim of the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center is to develop technology to "grow tasty, healthy and sustainable food virtually anywhere"

Philips has opened a new facility for developing tailored LED "light recipes" for indoor farming. The GrowWise City Farming research center in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, will be used to study how light can maximize the quality and yield of different crops. The aim is to help producers grow tasty and healthy food indoors all year round.

"Our aim is to develop the technology that makes it possible to grow tasty, healthy and sustainable food virtually anywhere," explains global director of city farming at Philips Gus van der Feltz. "The research we are undertaking will enable local food production on a global scale, reducing waste, limiting food miles and using practically no land or water."

Inner city indoor farms, such as London's Growing Underground, are exactly the sort of places that could benefit from the research. The conditions at Growing Underground, for example, are closely matched by those at the new research center.

The 234 sq m (2,519 sq ft) facility, which is said to be one of the world's biggest, is a clean and sterile environment and is totally closed to natural light and air. This means that the growing conditions are fully controllable.

Crops at the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center are planted in four-layered mechanized racks and there are eight rooms with set climactic conditions
Crops at the Philips GrowWise City Farming research center are planted in four-layered mechanized racks and there are eight rooms with set climactic conditions

Philips GreenPower LED lighting is used, which the firm says is highly energy efficient and produces less heat than other LED lighting, meaning it can be be placed closer to plants for optimal positioning and uniform illumination. Crops are planted in four-layered mechanized racks and there are eight rooms with set climactic conditions.

Research is focused in particular on leafy vegetables, strawberries and herbs. Light conditions for growing carbohydrate-rich crops like wheat and potatoes indoors are also being studied.

Source: Philips

4 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is a neat idea. It means cities can have fresh 'organic' food grown right in the city. Since it is totally controlled - no outside air - they can grow things without pesticides.
svengali49
Wouldn't it be hilarious if factory farming like this made the selling off of all our Australian bush to foreign countries superfluous!!! You could use recycled water or filtered storm water, solar power from the factory roofs and produce high quality food that is not effected by bugs or need pesticides and herbicides as Tom mentioned and maybe less fertiliser too. And perhaps less need to genetically modify food as it can grow more naturally in this arena....
Bruce Miller
Cheaper than flying food into Canada's "Indian Reserve Gulags'? Give the folks there something to do too? perhaps Wind Powered?
John Banister
I read some more about this at the Phillips page, and I got the impression that they want you to go into partnership with them before you get information about what those recipes actually are. They will also be happy to assist their partners in filling out the paperwork to apply for government subsidies with which to purchase Philips lighting products. I found a little bit of actual information relating lighting spectrum to plant growth at http://www.ledgrowlightsdepot.com/pages/what-are-the-best-led-grow-lights similar information is available on some pages at http://homeguides.sfgate.com/