Vertical Farming: Can Sunlight Be Sustainably Replaced?

by Natalie Knops

An emerging trend in agriculture, vertical farming, has been developing across the United States. Vertical farms, a new form of green urban architecture, are controlled, indoor environments that regulate lighting, nutrients and weather. These farms are typically set up in hydroponic towers that often inhabit urban buildings (Frazier, 2017). Many are optimistic about the benefits of this practice: fast production, minimization of land use, water conservation, minimization of fertilizer/agricultural run-off, and most significantly – the drastic reduction of transport emissions. Although the concept of vertical farming is increasing in popularity, some are skeptical about the drawbacks of this method due to the fact that retro-fitting buildings for indoor plant cultivation is capital-intensive and energy costs run high. Vertical farming requires specialized LED lights that generate photosynthesis. Continue reading

General Electric Dumps CFLs for LEDs

by Judy Li

With a heart-filled Valentine’s Day themed campaign, General Electric announced on February 1st that it will stop production of CFLs for the U.S. market and focus its consumer lighting efforts solely on LED lamps. A GE Reports article explains that it is strategic for the company to transition away from CFLs as LEDs become less cost prohibitive. Over the past few years, CFLs have become popular as an efficient alternative to the incandescent light bulb because they are cheaper than LEDs. However, LEDs are the most efficient and gives the best light. Since 2012, LED prices have fallen dramatically and sales have increased. GE notes that this move aligns with that of the U.S. government. In January, ENERGY STAR introduced new lighting specifications, which disqualify many CFL bulbs. Continue reading