LED Grow Lights Revolutionize Indoor/Greenhouse Horticulture
Greenhouse horticulture has become a necessity for growing populations to have access to crops that may not be local in nature, as popular fruits and vegetables can be grown year-round (when proper conditions are met). Light cycles often have to be extended with artificial lighting to encourage continued flowering. Many horticultural operations continue to use high-pressure sodium metal halide HID lighting that have been in use for over four decades. These broad spectrum light sources can only convert a small percentage of the energy inputted into light and offer only a fraction of the spectrum utilized by plant life.
Early NASA experiments with LED lighting for “Agriculture in space” identified which light wavelengths or spectrums most correlated with chlorophyll type A, type B and carotene production. The amazing ability of LED to emit precise light waves down to exact nano meters (nm) allows targeting specific wavelengths, while avoiding green, yellow and other spectrums that have limited or no effect on plant lifecycles. Since those early tests much scientific research has gone into color spectrum and its effects on plant life. This has allowed LED grow lights fixtures to more easily specifically target “growth or flower” conditions.
LED technology is poised to revolutionize the way we grow our food, herbs, flowers and more.
Early LED lighting systems primarily used 5 mm encapsulated LEDs and although the correct spectrums were achieved, limited luminance output usually meant giant arrays of red and blue LEDs that tended to be bulky and expensive. Newer 1 W and 3 W high brightness LEDs offered another leap for LED horticultural lighting, smaller arrays were able to provide substantial luminance outputs boasting efficiencies of 70 lm per watt or greater. Now 5 W, 7 W and even higher wattage LEDs are delivering brighter, even more efficient growing solutions. These new high luminance output LED chips are truly revolutionizing indoor and greenhouse horticulture.
“By tradition, horticulture deals with garden crops such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, beverage crops, and medicinals, as well as ornamental plants.) http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/horticulture.aspx
The LED Agricultural/Horticulture Revolution
As LED technology rapidly advances, it takes time to evaluate and begin to trust these new technologies. Large horticultural operations continue to use high-pressure sodium metal halide HID lighting that have been in use for over four decades. LED has long interested hobby farmers as well as gigantic horticultural and greenhouse conglomerates, mainly for its energy-saving potential but also for low operating temperatures, with heat buildup considered a common problem that requires additional energy use to regulate.