Researching the Effects of LED Lights on a Plant’s Growth Cycle

Cost and energy saving benefits have slowly made LED lighting a mainstay in homes and businesses over the last 30 years. The unique characteristics of LEDs allow for more applications than just lighting up a room, however. For example, LED technology has become an industry standard in satisfying the backlighting needs of everything from televisions to computer monitors and smartphones. Now, a research team at Purdue University has pushed the limits of LED capabilities even further.

By using blue and red LEDs, the team has found a way to grow seedlings successfully indoors without the aid of any other light source. The repercussions could be phenomenal for the world of horticulture.

What does it mean for Production?

Multi-layering, which is a process where plants and seedlings are stacked on top of one another (often in a warehouse setting) to grow, is already being used in countries like Japan for leafy vegetables. Since the buildings in which plants and seeds are housed often don’t have enough sunlight to allow for adequate growth, multi-layering has, until now, proven to be a limited option.

However, the team that is conducting ongoing research on LED-grown seedlings suggests that the process of multi-layering can now include additional types of plants, and will work without the benefit of any other additional light sources. The potential impact of what the research team has already discovered could have a significant impact on the horticulture industry.

So, what’s next? How else can LEDs advance and improve the growth of plants and seedlings? As it turns out, the team at Purdue is already working on the next phase of discovery.

Where Do They Go from Here?

The next phase in their research project focuses on expediting the growth cycle in the seedlings. Currently, it takes 3-4 weeks of red, far-red, white, and blue LED lighting in a greenhouse setting for the seeds to reach the desired stage of maturity. Since the speed wasn’t considered in their initial research, the team is trying to shave off a week from the production time so the plants can flower faster, and hit the market shelves even sooner.

For homes and businesses, the traditional use of LED lights offers a warm, welcoming glow, instead of the harsh, overwhelming light generated by traditional bulbs. However, there are other unique, beneficial applications for LED lights as well. As evidenced by the research team at Purdue University, LEDs can also play an important role in the production of plants and vegetables. To find out just how LED lighting can benefit and improve the look of your home or office, and save you money in the process, contact the team at DPG Plus LTD today.

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