College of New Caledonia, British Columbia
Strong consumer demand for locally grown produce has created economic opportunities to develop lighting and heating technologies that allow vegetables to be grown year-round. The College of New Caledonia (CNC) is working with technology companies to develop lighting and heating solutions for local producers in central British Columbia.
In 2013, the college collaborated with QuantoTech Solutions Ltd., a lighting engineering company based in Vancouver, to research and develop a cost-effective LED lighting system that allows plant producers to customize light intensity and spectrum in their greenhouses to optimize lighting throughout the plant crop cycle.
“In our experience every grower has different lighting needs,” said Alycia van der Gracht, Manager of Operations and Supply Chain at QuantoTech. “Partnering with CNC allows us to evaluate a local grower’s facilities and crops so that we can make the best lighting recommendation. CNC is also involved with deployment and provides ongoing support and evaluation as our LED lights continuously improve.”
Since developing and testing the prototypes, the research team has been collaborating with a local community organization, Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community, to test the technology in an operational greenhouse growing a range of vegetables and herbs over the winter using supplemental LED lighting. More than 40 college students from Marketing, Trades, and Natural Resource programs have been involved in the research and development work, including prototype development and testing, market research, and recording plant responses to LED lighting.
Funding: Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grant, National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistant Program
Partners: QuantoTech Solutions Ltd.
The College of New Caledonia (CNC) has played an important role in training and educating residents in northern B.C. since 1969. Along with being one of the most affordable post-secondary institutions in B.C. and providing hands-on learning, CNC focuses on small class sizes, with a capacity of 37 seats or … Learn More