Conference Schedule

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 (EDT)

Session Description


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Opening Keynote: From Cannabis to Cucumber:  Optimizing Light for Yield

Light is a key aspect of successful growing operations, for most any cultivar. Moreover, the spectra, intensity, and doses of light can impact specific outcomes such as cannabinoid production in cannabis or flavor and color in vegetables. Bugbee has studied crop yield in controlled environments extensively and will detail his latest research findings.


Bruce Bugbee, Director of the Crop Physiology Laboratory, Utah State University

12:30 - 1:30 PM

Session 1: Red Reigns Supreme: Maximizing System Photon Efficacy of Broad-Spectrum Horticulture Lighting

Broad spectrum LEDs for horticulture lighting are becoming increasingly popular due to cost and visual convenience, however these spectra generate large numbers of red photons via phosphor conversion, leading to a drastically lowered system photon efficacy as compared to direct emitting red LEDs. In order to overcome this, a solution is needed that is both low cost and highly efficient. In this presentation, we will explore a novel method to increase system photon efficacy of for use in broad spectrum recipes. This is done using a red-reduced full spectrum LED in combination with more efficient direct emitting red LEDs, providing a solution that is truly vital for plant development – photon efficacy.

Session Sponsored by Osram Opto Semiconductors

Renil Singh, Director, Product Management, Osram Opto Semiconductors

2:00 - 3:30 PM

Session 2: Characterizing Light for Plant Response

Ongoing research has clearly demonstrated the importance of spectral power distribution to plant growth and health, but lighting manufacturers have yet to provide this information to their customers. Ian Ashdown will review the advantages of providing dynamic red to far-red (R:FR) lighting, Leora Radetsky will discuss why the DesignLights Consortium needs SPDs for product qualification, and Eric Bretschneider will explain how SPDs can be measured and published.

Ian Ashdown, SunTracker Technologies, Senior Scientist

Leora C. Radetsky, DesignLights Consortium, Senior Lighting Scientist

Eric Bretschneider, CTO, EB Designs & Technology


4:00 - 5:30 PM

Session 3 Panel: Exploring the complete CEA AgTech Environment

This panel will focus on understanding the interactive effects of total environment control in CEA and the impact on cultivation. Plant response to light has been thought to be relatively well understood. But increasingly cultivators have learned that there are many variables beyond light that impact the performance and yield of any specific growing operation. In this panel presentation and discussion, experts from energy and resources, HVAC, architecture, and cultivation will discuss the evolving integrated approach to managing a growing operation.

Derek Smith, Executive Director, Resource Innovation Institute

Keith Coursin, President, Desert Aire

Brian Anderson, Architect, Anderson Porter Design

Mikhail Sagal, President, TSRgrow

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 (EDT)

Session Description


10:00 - 11:30 AM 

Session 4: Pushing the Boundaries of Cannabinoid Expressions with Research Based Spectra

The only way to understand how to push the cannabis plant beyond what we believe are maximum yields and cannabinoid expressions is through trial and error. For over 5 years, Valoya has been conducting cannabis research in collaboration with Dr. Gianpaolo Grassi, one of the world’s most renowned cannabis scientists. The result is the world’s first academic article on HPS vs. LED, as well as a finely balanced spectrum that encompasses UV-A to far red wavelengths and that is capable of creating industry leading cannabinoids expressions. Learn more in the upcoming session.

Session Sponsored by Valoya

Lars Aikala, Co-Founder and CEO, Valoya

Stina Kotiranta, Research Director, Valoya

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Session 5: Market transformation for CEA and AgTech

Spanning cannabis to tomatoes, technologies such as networked sensors and artificial intelligence are transforming growing operations. Meanwhile, growers face very real challenges in areas such as minimizing energy usage and meeting environmental policy. The session will include first hand looks at emerging AgTech examples while also delivering expert views of the hard energy and regulatory challenges faced by growers.

See below for additional information on the presentations during this session. 


Session 5a: Autonomous Horticulture Wins the WUR Tomato Challenge

Evripidis Papadopoulos, Researcher & Data Analyst, Let'


Session 5b: Lights, Cameras, and Action Spectra!  A Novel Concept for Distributed Intelligence and Spectral Control in Vertical Greenhouses

Perhaps the adoption rate of LED horticulture can be accelerated if we look at the bigger picture- from a grower’s perspective. There is general acceptance that LEDs can tease out desirable characteristics in many plants and offer TCO benefits for indoor greenhouses, but is that enough? What if we leveraged the control and analytics technologies we employ in other industries? In this session, I’ll review the process and pitfalls in developing a next-generation solution with dynamic spectral control, proximal sensing, distributed intelligence, and cloud computing. For a commercial grower, that means crop-specific lighting regimens which can vary over the course of a growth cycle or a day, along with forecasting and analytics, fault-tolerance, the option to manage facilities across geographies, and sending live imagery to remote plant pathologists for preliminary diagnoses. Some aspects were easier than anticipated, many were difficult, and there were a few surprises along the way.


Cary Eskow, Vice President, Avnet LightSpeed



Session 5c: From Back Bedroom to High Tech: Lessons Learned From a Maturing Cannabis Cultivation Market in Sacramento

Cannabis cultivators in Sacramento come in all sizes and sophistication. Since 2016, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District has been engaging with their customers to better understand this new segment and offer energy advice based on expertise of lighting systems. Learn how the legacy technology still has a tight hold on the industry, where adoption rates for horticulture LEDs are today and what it will take to move them forward, and drivers of efficient and effective businesses. 


Matt McGregor, Strategic Account Advisor Cannabis Operations, Sacramento Municipal Utility District



Session 5d: Status and potential for LED horticultural lighting technology

The performance of LED horticultural lighting products continues to improve and has the potential to save significant energy in horticultural applications.  This talk will discuss the horticultural efficacy limits of LED packages, how this performance is reduced when the LEDs are integrated into a fixture, and the resulting fixture system performance.  I will review and compare commercial product performance as well as price and price per output for different fixtures.   I will also review the latest DOE analysis of lighting energy consumption for controlled environment horticulture and animal production.

Morgan Pattison, Principal, Solid State Lighting Services

2:00 - 3:00 PM

Session 6: Maximizing Sunlight Into Greenhouse

LEDs are getting more popular in greenhouse lighting by replacing HPS due to LEDs’ higher efficiency, longer lifetime and easier control. Fixtures with LEDs can maximize the amount of sunlight into the greenhouse with its smaller size as supplemental lighting. We suggest a novel method how to reduce fixture size with highest efficacy, the highest reliability and small form factor of LED packages. Audiences will also learn about the roadmap of full spectrum based white LED and how LEDs has achieved the highest robustness.

Session sponsored by Samsung

Zafar Shahbaz, Field Applications Manager, Samsung

3:30 - 5:00 PM

Closing Plenary: Challenges and Opportunities from the Grower Perspective

It’s experienced growers that know first hand the challenges and opportunities of the horticultural sector. Our closing panel will feature deeply experienced vegetable growers who have an understanding of the complete lighting and AgTech landscape and that know what works. Moreover the experienced growers will discuss what they need going forward from the SSL and technology community, and what they expect next-generation grow facilities to look like.


Erico Mattos, Executive Director, GLASE

Paul Sellew ,CEO, Little Leaf Farms

Bob Hoffman, Chief Scientific Officer, Shenandoah Growers 

Alex Traven, Owner and Grower, Peace Tree Farms 

Pablo Costa, Operational Manager, Van Belle Nursery