Team Henlight, three UC Davis employees who designed a solar-powered LED light to boost global egg production, won the $10,000 first prize on Saturday at the international Thought for Food Challenge Summit in Berlin.
The team bested four other finalist teams and some 115 entries overall.
The UCD trio designed a palm-sized light that stretches winter daylight hours. It’s a modified version of a design created by the UCD Program for International Energy Technologies now in use by large-scale poultry operations. The team’s version is intended to be affordable for small farms.
The team believes its light will increase access to food produced by sustainable, local, energy-efficient methods without disturbing the natural behavior of chickens.
Farmers should see an increase of 40 to 80 percent more eggs during periods of shorter daylight, said team member Emily Sin, or up to 40 more eggs per week for a flock of 10 birds.
Team members are Sin, of the Information Center for the Environment and Agricultural Sustainability Institute; Edward Silva, of the Graduate School of Management; and Lorena Galvan, of the the Internship and Career Center. Sin and Silva are also UCD graduates.