LEDs are making waves in horticulture lighting! Not just in the agricultural industry anymore, LEDs are used everywhere for horticultural lighting - from space to difficult climates to various types of indoor areas; the demand for LED grow lights is on the rise! Let’s take a look at this technology and see why it’s turning heads.
Historically, horticultural lights posed a bit of a problem. First, it’s not exactly economically viable to light huge spaces with conventional flood lights – it’s a waste of energy and revenue. Additionally, many types of traditional lighting are simply too hot for horticulture – the vast amount of wasted power produces heat that scorches crops. So, when LED lights came on the scene with another solution, it really turned the tables.
Artificial lighting becoming outdated:
Plants convert light to chemical energy by using chlorophyll present in the leaves. The Chlorophyll absorbs the incoming light and makes use of it. However, natural sunlight has got a broad spectrum offering various colors and light bandwidths. It turns out that only the blue and red wavelengths are absorbed and useful to the plant. Conventional lighting technologies have proved poor in horticultural lighting because their blue and red light outputs are strikingly low. LED technology is unique in that it can provide the necessary wavelengths of light without running the risk of scorching the plants.
LED light – A source of ideal spectrum illumination:
This feature has not gone unnoticed. Excess heat output was a hallmark of conventional lights and that intense heat was especially harmful to plants when used for horticultural lighting. Now, LEDs are coming into rapid use in this area and the technology continues to improve. Researchers are finding that LEDs promote healthy growth by maintaining the balance between light and temperature throughout the plant’s growth.
Less indoor growth cost:
One added benefit to horticulturists has been the lower operational costs this type of lighting provides. As LED lights use far less wattage than traditional lights, they take less power to operate. Predictably, the cost of LED lighting in horticulture is less than any other alternative source. LED lighting solutions are capable of producing more light than any other artificial light source, and most importantly, at a considerably lesser cost.
LED Lighting horticulture industry:
LED lighting in the horticulture industry has been a total game changer and the trend continues to expand. Currently, the industry revolves around approximately 50 major players. The hub of the industry is located in North America and, according to experts, the players involved are paying attention towards two main things: vegetable production and the production of medicinal plants.
Unlike other alternative artificial light sources, LED lighting is highly environmentally-friendly. LED bulbs that contain absolutely no mercury or any other harmful substance that is not permitted for indoor horticulturists. Since LED lights require relatively less electricity, the carbon footprint with this technology is drastically lower. Furthermore, light pollution is becoming less of a problem as the latest models enable the controlled production of light.
Growth in non-agricultural areas:
As LED grow lights have become more commonplace, it is now possible to product crops or other plants in areas considered incompatible with agriculture. We have now witnessed an increasing number of urban farms and indoor agricultural facilities worldwide. What once was though impossible is now becoming commonplace. With LED Lights, the worry of overheating an area is practically gone! There is no space limitation when it comes to the production of food when using this technology. People are putting their creativity to great use, especially in urban areas, with vertical farming among other methods. This is rather hopeful for the future as populations continue to increase and the need for food production will be in higher demand than ever before.
No need for pesticides:
One more added benefit to LED horticultural lighting is rather surprising: researches have indicated that the use of LED lighting for horticulture purposes significantly reduces the need for pesticides. Of course we all know that pesticides are harmful for crop production as well as posing a health hazard to farmers and consumers. This research is important as its findings could greatly reduce the negative impacts of our current farming practices.
For a multitude of reasons, the trend of LED lighting in horticulture is increasing very rapidly and the old, traditional methods of artificial lighting are being replaced. As people come to see the positive impacts of LED lighting technology, more and more are surely going to make the switch.