AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Illumitex and The Pennsylvania State University are pleased to announce an educational partnership that has resulted in more than 400 Illumitex Eclipse ES2 LED grow lights being put into service in multiple greenhouses operated by the storied university's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Penn State's College of Agriculture Sciences awarded its first degrees in 1876, and currently offers 17 undergraduate minors and graduate programs in 18 major areas. The college invests nearly $97 million in research and graduate study yearly.
Having access to Illumitex's advanced LED technology will benefit both the research and teaching missions of the university. Plant Science researchers will be able to conduct precise experiments under ideal light conditions year 'round, and students in courses with greenhouse culture components will be able to hone their horticultural skill set, growing under cutting-edge LED crop lighting.
"These lights will significantly expand opportunities for research and learning in our greenhouse facility," says Scott DiLoreto, greenhouse manager for the College of Agricultural Sciences, which has approximately 3600 enrollees. "We installed LED fixtures in several densities. In some greenhouses we are providing sufficient supplemental illumination to grow ornamentals and vegetables well through the dark winter months. In other houses we installed higher density fixtures to really push the growth of high-light research crops, such as beans, corn and rice."
Penn State had a single small installation of Illumitex LED lighting for a few years, which demonstrated the efficacy of LED technology in the college's greenhouses. When the time came for a major crop-lighting upgrade, DiLoreto knew he wanted to replace their HID lighting with LED technology.
"In addition to the energy savings associated with LED lighting, we needed a linear 'strip' style LED to provide uniform illumination over growing surfaces. Our greenhouses have relatively low gable heights, and it was very difficult to provide uniform illumination with HID lighting — there were hot spots and cold spots," says DiLoreto. "The ES2 strips provide the uniform illumination we are looking for."
Illumitex finds particular reward in working with universities.
"It's an honor for us to work with such a prestigious university," says Paul Gray, VP of Horticulture Lighting Solutions and Senior Horticulture Scientist. "It's truly gratifying to know our lights will help shape the minds of future horticulturists."