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Water-cooled LED grow lights head to space

Intelligent horticultural lighting developer Heliospectra AB has developed a water-cooled, high-intensity version of the popular LX60 LED grow light, for use in future space exploration and commercial applications.

The system was developed as part of an EDEN Institute of Space Systems (ISS) project to develop a controlled environment agriculture (CEA) system for safe food production on board the International Space Station and for future human space exploration missions.

The LED will reflect much of the benefits of the standard LX60 Series, including wireless monitoring and spectral tuning control system, a wide, uniform light distribution pattern and low heat emissions, but comes in a more compact form factor as a result of the water-cooled heat dissipation solution. The first production deliveries of the new light for the EDEN ISS project are scheduled for August/September, Heliospectra said.

CTO Anthony Gilley said the collaboration will provide a creative work environment, and should yield valuable information on aspects of a controlled environment agriculture, enabling the company to develop technologies applicable to larger commercial markets.

"The market shows an increased demand for improved environmental control and optimized use of resources,” said Staffan Hillberg, Heliospectra’s CEO. “For areas lacking a proper water supply, like the Middle East, or areas with contaminated soil and water like in China, CEA could make a huge difference in utilizing resources. Water-cooled LED lights enable growers to grow crops in a more environmentally friendly way by reusing the heat from the light and reducing the HVAC demand on the system.”

EDEN ISS is an international consortium participating in the EDEN Initiative, a research program from Germany's DLR Institute of Space Systems. The project received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The overall goal of the initiative is the adaptation, integration and demonstration of food plant cultivation technologies and operation procedures for safe food production on board the International Space Station and for future human space exploration missions.

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