Light Polymers is revolutionizing the manufacturing processes for LED lighting fixtures with cutting edge lyotropic materials technology. Photonic films provide a critical improvement in efficiency when compared to traditional encapsulated LED technology. These efficiency gains can improve all types of lighting but are particularly important in the demanding environment of indoor farming. Today, we are meeting Sandor Schoichet, Vice President of Grow Products at Light Polymers.
“I’ve always been fascinated with how new technology evolves and interacts with society,” said Schoichet. “It’s exciting to be a part of a major trend like urban farming and controlled environment agriculture that will change the world we live in.”
After receiving BA degrees in both Information Science and Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Sandor attended MIT where he earned his Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering with a focus in Computer Science. Throughout his career, Sandor has been on the cutting edge of emerging technologies in a variety of industries. From the era of the first Intel microprocessors, Sandor was involved in computer hardware and software, participating in the spread of that technology from commercial applications to everyday use. He worked in the telecommunications industry with a focus on switching hardware and internet technology. From telecommunication, Sandor moved on to the healthcare industry as a computer systems architect for pharmaceutical companies, developing systems and software to enable better clinical drug trials. In recent years he’s become deeply involved with sustainability strategy for the biopharma industry.
These experiences were the perfect preparation for Sandor to segue into his current position at Light Polymers, where his work encompasses the full breadth of his experience, including hardware and software development, life sciences, and even design work. As VP of Grow Products, Sandor is driving the application of Light Polymers’ technology into specific markets where it adds the most value, such as urban, vertical, and indoor farming.
“Lighting is the second largest operating expense for indoor crop production, with most farms seeing a 50% reduction in energy costs for lighting moving to LED from fluorescent or other traditional lighting technologies,” said Schoichet. “The products our team has developed can boost those savings by an additional 10-15%. Our GrowBlade™ lights operate at lower temperatures, reducing climate control costs as well.”
Sandor’s role at Light Polymers requires “hands-on” work with emerging innovations. He’s worked with Light Polymers’ design engineering team in Taiwan on a number of prototype products and put alpha test units in the field for potential customer evaluation. Tests like these lead to a better understanding of the way crops react to our lights and provide grower feedback on product improvement.
Sandor’s experience in systems integration will push Light Polymers to grow products to go beyond conventional lighting fixtures to provide integrated lighting systems unique in the industry. For example, Light Polymers is developing power distribution and communication modules that turn our GrowBlade lights into an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for indoor farming.
“Cutting-edge lighting products must include IoT connectivity to be on the right side of the disruptive change happening in the indoor farming industry,” said Schoichet. “IoT sensors, communications and controls within a lighting platform will allow integration with local farm management systems, as well as a wide range of value-added cloud services like 3D environmental visualization and image-based crop diagnostics.”