Can LED’s help grow fruit and veg?

We know that LED lighting can help light your homes and businesses for less but can LED’s help grow fruit and veg? by reducing the amount of energy consumed and produce enough light for the crops to photosynthesise.

Scientists believe that within 50 years there is going to be a big increase in food demand due to global population growth, which will make the adoption of more advanced farming methods a much needed necessity. Traditional lighting systems used for growing these crops are fluorescent, sodium or metal halide lighting, which none of these are a great way to produce these foods as they consume a large amount of energy and generally expensive to buy.

Plants need soil and water as well as sunlight in order for them to grow and store energy (a process called  photosynthesis). With recent scientific studies showing planets in fact only use a small part of the electromagnetic light spectrum to photosynthesise (this is mainly the red and blue light), farmers can now replicate those light wavelengths using LED technology. This gives farmers the option of growing fruits and vegetables in areas that would usually be unsuitable conditions like indoors for example, instead of having to rely on using areas with plenty of sunlight.

By using a computerised LED system farmers can synchronise the light output with the grow cycle of the plants, meaning they can maximise the planet growth within a small area. This gives farmers the ability to grow their crops in vertical buildings cutting down area needed for agriculture, which also means that the production of food could me moved closer to the consumer, which would reduce cost and pollution resulting from transportation.

So replacing traditional grow light technologies with LED technology using the red and blue lights, farmers will be able to produce food in greater quantities while consuming fewer resources. Famers also have the added benefit that LED’s are not only less prone to failure, and reducing the overall running costs, but LED’s are better at creating the wavelengths of light necessary for the plants photosynthesise.

Image from Flickr