LumiGrow Lights Important to Pittsburgh Job Corps Center's Quest for Self-Sustainability

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In an effort to be as sustainable as possible, the Pittsburgh Job Corps Center (PJCC) grows their own fresh produce. Recently installed (by students for students) LumiGrow horticultural LEDs play a big part in the PJCC's efforts to produce robust crops while keeping energy use and operating costs low.

LumiGrow lights installed in student-run greenhouse

“At LumiGrow we like to stress that LEDs aren’t just part of a sustainable future because the future is already here as the staff and students at the PJCC well know,” said Neil Coppinger, Vice President of Sales, LumiGrow.

LumiGrow, Inc., the leader in greenhouse spectrum control systems, has seen its LED lights adopted by many experienced professional growers and is now an integral part of a program training the next generation of prospective urban farmers. The Pittsburgh Job Corps Center (PJCC), administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, teaches young people the skills they need to be independent and employable with a special focus on green jobs training. As part of the green jobs programs, the PJCC operates its own greenhouse. LumiGrow won the bid for a supplemental lighting system and was awarded the contract.

Greenhouse operations are conducted by students with oversight by experienced PJCC staff. The installation of LumiGrow horticultural LEDs was no different. Once the greenhouse had been wired for electricity, students in the Electrical Helper technical training area were able to install the LumiGrow system in December 2014 with a minimum of fuss and no greater expense than any other kind of horticultural lighting. The system was ready to provide much needed supplemental lighting once beds were prepared and ready for planting in early 2015.

“At LumiGrow we like to stress that LEDs aren’t just part of a sustainable future because the future is already here as the staff and students at the PJCC well know,” said Neil Coppinger, Vice President of Sales, LumiGrow. “This has been borne out by the overwhelmingly positive responses we’ve seen to the adoption of spectrum control systems by experienced growers as well as those just beginning their training in the art of farming.”

While ease of installation was one factor in the PJCC choosing LumiGrow LEDs, the primary reason for using the lights is the very low amount of electricity needed as compared to other more energy-hogging systems. The center’s ultimate goal is to make the greenhouse operation completely self-sustaining from creating its own compost to collecting rainwater for the plants in a cistern to generating its own electricity through wind and solar power. LumiGrow is helping the PJCC achieve that goal while increasing the yearly growing season by about four months, and decreasing the time from planting to harvest.

According to Mark Lawecki, Career Technical Skills Training and Green Training Coordinator, the first harvest of crops grown under LumiGrow supplemental lighting began in mid-May. Food crops include tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, herbs, radishes and onions. All of these crops are used by PJCC culinary trainees in the culinary training kitchen.

About LumiGrow, Inc.
LumiGrow, Inc., the leader in spectrum control systems, empowers growers and scientists with the ability to create individual lighting solutions that improve plant growth, boost crop yields, and achieve cost-saving operational efficiencies. LumiGrow offers a range of proven solutions for use in greenhouses, controlled environment agriculture and research chambers. LumiGrow solutions are eligible for energy-efficiency subsidies from utilities across North America. The company’s more than 3,000 installations in 30 countries include top global agribusinesses, many of the world’s top 100 produce and flower growers, more than 200 universities and the USDA. Headquartered in Novato, California, LumiGrow is privately owned and operated. For more information, call (800) 514-0487 or visit

About Pittsburgh Job Corps Center
Job Corps is operated by the US department of Labor. With 125 centers around the country, each offer education and vocation programs which specifically support labor trends. Pittsburgh Job Corps has an enrollment capacity of 699 students, providing training in the Culinary Arts, Construction, Security and Health Occupation fields. In addition to college education opportunities through partnership with Community College of Allegheny County and Butler Community College. These programs Equip graduates with education, training and hands-on experiences to prepare them for an entry-level position in their field.

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Caroline Nordahl Wells
LumiGrow, Inc.
(800) 514-0487 Ext: 102
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Kevin Lewis
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