Precise LED wavelengths spur plant growth (MAGAZINE)

April 27, 2011
Light sources such as LEDs with emitted energy centered around specific wavelengths may offer optimal performance in horticulture, outperforming broad-spectrum sources such as HPS lamps that are widely used in greenhouses today, explains MAURY WRIGHT.
Research is rapidly advancing in the horticulture industry that indicates LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL) might boost productivity in greenhouse and plant-factory operations and reduce energy consumption. LED sources can produce light at the specific wavelengths that optimize plant growth, and a number of universities and commercial enterprises worldwide are pursuing further research on the topic. LED lighting can also afford other advantages in horticulture in terms of what’s called multilayer cultivation and interlighting, where light sources extend vertically between plants.

There are two primary scenarios in which SSL will be used in horticulture according to Shih-Chen (Powell) Shi, assistant chief in the professional lighting department at Everlight Electronics. Everlight makes both LEDs and luminaires for horticulture applications. In Japan, Shi says that growers are developing commercial plant factories that are indoors and receive no sunlight. The plant factories utilize layering (Fig. 1) to pack as many vegetables as possible into the available space – especially important in a region with limited traditional farm land.


This article was published in the April/May 2011 issue of LEDs Magazine. To read the full version of this article, please visit our magazine page, where you can download FREE electronic PDF versions of all issues of LEDs Magazine. you can also request a print copy of LEDs Magazine (available by paid subscription) and sign up for our free weekly email newsletter.