“amBX is well placed to offer the horticultural lighting sector precise, granular control and integration, something we have offered the commercial real estate market for many years,” says Jonathan Couch, Director of Product at amBX.
amBX is a UK-based software company that has been focused on lighting control software for the past ten years, mainly for offices and commercial buildings. While lighting control was the company’s primary focus, amBX has evolved to integrate with other systems and devices in buildings. And now, amBX is expanding its portfolio to include vertical farming.
“Since we’ve developed our interoperable solution for commercial spaces, vertical farming is a natural extension for us. By smart enabling grow lights, we could control light wavelengths and intensities while also incorporating sensor data about irrigation, carbon dioxide, temperature, and humidity,” explains Jon.
Further, Jon explains that amBX’s multi-protocol communication allows a vertical farm to aggregate data and display it in a user-friendly dashboard. From there, the grower can easily tweak their systems to achieve incremental gains.
amBX’s system for vertical farming is called the SmartCore Vertical Growing System. Jon explains that this system is 90% developed; the last 10% will come through working with vertical farms to perfect the solution.
“We don’t have a finished “off the shelf” product to introduce to the market; we have a product that can be tailored to a partner’s specific needs,” says Jon.
The amBX interface
Being brand-agnostic drives open-mindedness
In vertical farming, new hardware-based technologies are often developed in-house by operators, and they are proprietary. As a software company looking to integrate multiple protocols into the same system, amBX always keeps the bigger picture in mind, designing software solutions that are compatible with various hardware and systems.
“We need to consider everything in a vertical farm in order to create an ecosystem of the best technology vendors where everything connects, and data is transferred and aggregated to give the grower full insight. Whether that’s a thermostat, an irrigation valve, or a light switch, we can take x and make it work with y,” says Jon. “We do all of the messy integration and provide a great interoperable software solution that is future-proofed.”
While amBX will not be exhibiting at GreenTech Amsterdam, their team will be on-site and is eager to set meetings with growers and industry members to gain insights and identify gaps that could be addressed with amBX’s technology.