Behind a vault-like door, the long, windowless room has the same purple glow as the cabin on a Virgin America flight. Instead of passengers, the space is filled with row after row of plants, each growing under a carefully calibrated series of red and blue lights. White-coated researchers walk by studying each leaf of lettuce or kale. Welcome to the GrowWise Center, one of the largest homes for urban farming research in the world.
The new Netherlands-based lab belongs to the lighting company Philips, which realized several years ago that its LED lights could help shape a new path for farming. “We took LED lights, a new technology, to see how we could apply it in agriculture,” says Gus van der Feltz, Philips global director of city farming. “Could we make a difference and improve the way plants are grown? As it turns out, we can.”Read more