Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center Researcher to Deliver Keynote at DOE Meeting

Pocock,Tessa2014Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center Senior Research Scientist Tessa Pocock will give the keynote address at the 2015 U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting Technology Development Workshop on November 17, 2015 at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Portland, Oregon.  Dr. Pocock’s talk, entitled “Tuning the Spectrum for Plant Growth” discusses how the ability to tune the spectrum of LED light sources has opened up new possibilities for horticultural lighting – to improve indoor plant production and associated energy use as well as plant nutrient and pharmaceutical value.

This talk will share findings from the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center’s work to examine what we know about the effects of different portions of the spectrum on plant growth, and where future research will focus.   Efforts around Dr. Pocock’s research include the fine tuning of light for urban and vertical farming opportunities.

“Thanks to recent advances in LED technologies, it is now possible to better elucidate the effects and functions of different portions of the spectrum to manipulate plants with unprecedented control and accuracy,,” said Dr. Pocock.  “The fine-tuning of light spectra and controlled regulation of plant attributes is adding new sophistication to plant production.”

Light and plants expert Tessa Pocock, Ph.D., joined the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center (ERC) in 2013, leading the development of a new plant physiology lighting program. Her research focuses on plant photosynthesis, and plant development and regulation by light for traditional greenhouse crops and the emerging field of medicinal plants.

Prior to joining the Smart Lighting ERC, Dr. Pocock was director of research at Heliospectra, in Sweden, where she designed light-emitting diode (LED) regimes to reduce energy consumption, produce healthier plants, and improve the quality of greenhouse crops. For the last four years, she has been developing a biofeedback system in which the physiology of the plant regulates the spectrum and intensity of LED arrays, in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology, under a prestigious grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra).


About the Smart Lighting ERC

Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, the ERC is an interdisciplinary, multi-university center developing “Smart Lighting Systems that See and ThinkTM”The ERC is developing lighting systems that do everything from automatically maximizing light quality and minimizing energy use by sensing occupant needs to lights that carry data, complementing and enlarging the Wi-Fi network with Li-Fi (or visible light communications); and controlling LED lighting to enhance plant growth for farming and ‘pharming’ applications.

The Center engages faculty members, graduate students, research staff, and undergraduates to work on research leading to smart lighting systems with adaptive and controllable properties. It joins academia, industry, and government in partnership to produce transformational engineered systems, along with engineering graduates who are adept at innovation and primed for leadership in the global economy.  The Smart Lighting ERC is headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and partners with Boston University and The University of New Mexico to achieve its objectives.   Visit the ERC website at:


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