5 Apr 2013

Researcher gets funding for lighting systems for growers

11:56 am on 5 April 2013

A researcher who investigates the effect of different light levels on fruit and vegetable crops has received funding to help him develop lighting systems for growers.

Dr Jason Wargent is a scientist at Massey University's Institute of Agriculture and Environment.

His work looks at light recipes - where different parts of the UV light spectrum are used at different times to aid plants.

He has received financial backing to launch Biolumic Ltd which will develop commercial LED lighting systems for growers.

Dr Wargent says in time some of the applications may gain traction overseas where growers are keen or obliged to grow plants indoors for the whole of the crop's lifetime.

"We can imagine different light recipes for colour, for taste, for disease resistance, for pest tolerance and how if you apply the right light at the right time you have the ability to gain that control."

Dr Wargent says the funding he's received from Callaghan Innovation, the university and private investors will take his research off the shelf, and get it into farming systems.