Ace Begonias, Inc. located in Woodbridge, CT., was founded in 1976 using a rented 3000 sq. ft. antique facility. In 1980, with assistance from USDA’s Farmer's Home Administration, they purchased nearly two dozen acres in Bethany and Woodbridge and added a 17,000 sq. ft. structure to meet their company’s growing needs. Over the years, that facility doubled in size and an additional ‘Venlo style’ greenhouse was constructed. Concerned with growing energy prices Ace Begonias decided to "green" their greenhouses.
In 2013, USDA Rural Development provided a $16,141 grant to help with the purchase and installation of new energy-efficient LED lights for the greenhouse operation. The LED lights require less energy and provide in gross terms more than double the light. This will directly result in a better quality product and lower cost of production. This shift to LED lights has three separate advantages: the LED lights use about 24% less energy per fixture; they produce about twice as much gross light and lastly the spectrum of the emitted light is controllable and has much higher output for growing purposes.
With these new agriculture-specific LED lights, the company which now employees 20 staff will save money and be able to grow more plants with less energy.