Dr. Shuyang Zhen, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University, is exploring a new area of research with the help of Alina luminaires from RAYN Growing Systems. With a Ph.D. in Horticulture from the University of Georgia and a rich background in environmental plant physiology, Dr. Zhen is currently studying how fluctuating light conditions affect plant growth.
Dr. Zhen's research focuses on controlled environment agriculture, specifically growing plants under LED lights using hydroponics. "With the Alina fixtures, I started to think about how fluctuating light affects plant growth. This is a new area of research that I never had the right fixture for before. Now, I'm able to easily program the light for my research needs," said Dr. Zhen.
Easy control of light intensity and spectral content has been a key factor in Dr. Zhen's research. Using the RAYN Touch controller alongside the Alina luminaires, Dr. Zhen is able to schedule light conditions to the minute.
Currently, Dr. Zhen is cultivating leafy greens, including lettuce, to understand how these plants tolerate fluctuating light levels. Her research delves into biomass production, morphology, pigmentation, and nutritional benefits. She stressed the importance of this research, "Maintaining consistent light for plants is often a challenge, and understanding how plants respond to fluctuations is crucial for controlled environment and field agriculture."
Dr. Zhen is currently working with 4 Alina fixtures, with an order of 16 more on the way. She noted that working with the RAYN sales team has been a great experience, and that the order for new fixtures was filled even faster than she anticipated.
"Alina's unique features have opened up possibilities for new research areas to explore," said Dr. Zhen. "That's why we're excited to expand our lighting system with Alina."