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  • Rafael, Ben, and Zuzana

Custom Blaze-of-Blue lettuce lights

Food poisoning from E. coli contaminated lettuce is in the news again, but these local restaurants will not need to be worried about it. By growing lettuce and herbs hydroponically in their own greenhouse, they are providing healthy, safe, and local fresh produce to diners.

Nutrient film hydroponic shelf unit with freshly installed blue LED grow lights.
Just waiting for the lettuce seedlings to be big enough for planting.

This nutrient film hydroponic system was a special challenge for lighting. The trays are 10 feet long with barely over a foot of clearance between the shelves. This means that mass-produced lights would not fit. We modified our usual blaze-of-blue lights design to fit into this system.

The restaurant needs the flexibility to turn on and adjust the lights individually, so we built a straightforward control panel with individual knobs for each shelf. We included a "harvest mode" switch to protect workers from bright light when planting and harvesting.

Installation was a key part of this custom lighting project. The lights were built in 5-foot sections and put together in the greenhouse, which took from morning until well after dark.

Soon, the seedlings will be big enough to plant in the nutrient film hydroponics system. With 24-hour blue-supplemented lights, the lettuce will grow large and full of healthy antioxidants without accumulating nitrates. And, most importantly, it will not be contaminated with E. coli

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