White Paper – Horticulture lighting – seeded by LEDs by Infineon and OSRAM Opto Semiconductors
12.12.2016 | Competence & Visions: Regensburg
Today more than half of the world's population lives in cities; in 2050 two thirds of all people on earth will live in urbanized metropolitan areas. Traditional agriculture will not be able to provide such megacities with enough healthy nourishment. One possible solution: Urban farming. Growing tomatoes, melons and the like in the midst of the big city, and these plants will need to be fed as well, primarily with water and light. Compared to conventional agricultural lighting solutions, LEDs achieve significant increases in energy efficiency and can, thus, help vegetable and fruit cultivation in the metropolises of the world to finally become truly viable.
Arranged meticulously in long rows running down the large building, a sea of lettuce heads bathes in a pinkish light. What at first glance looks like a science fiction scenario already exists today in many metropolitan areas around the world. In so-called urban farms, people in Asia, the USA and Europe are cultivating vegetables, herbs and fruits in the middle of the cityscape. In modern versions of the urban garden plot agriculture has been relocated, for example, to old industrial buildings and warehouses.
For that new indoor horticulture farming you need special light: LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) can supply light with a distinct red or blue component based on wavelength; exactly the light that plants such as iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and basil need for photosynthesis and for optimal growth. The light colors emitted by the diodes combine and produces the pink aura. Another advantage: by using LED light, the modern farmer is no longer dependent on natural light sources. With the supplemental LED lighting grow light levels can be raised in order to enhance photosynthesis and thereby improve growth and quality of the plants. With artificial LED light the light period can be controlled by extending the natural day length to get more plant growth in a shorter time. There is also the possibility of cultivation without daylight: regardless of rain or the lack of sunlight, the constant light produced by the LEDs ensures consistent growth of healthy, fertile plants.