Research has shown the use of LEDs over traditional lighting solutions such as fluorescent and incandescent lights have positive effects on plant growth and development. At LED iBond, we believe being able to control your LEDs easily is just as important as having them. This is because having an easily customizable and controllable lighting system can help crops thrive while keeping operational costs down, a win-win for all farmers.
We all know that light is indispensable in farming, as it is one of the primary ingredients for healthy plant growth alongside sufficient water and warmth. But just how important is it in crop development?
Research published in the has stated that while light provides energy for photosynthesis for plant growth, it also does much more than that. Light intensity, spectra, and availability can all dictate specific signals that regulate plant development, shaping, and metabolism.
In the end, having the right lights and being able to control them can translate not only to higher and more regular harvests, but also more nutritious crops grown.
Vertical farming takes place indoors with plants layered on top of each other. In these setups, the source of lighting that crops receive depends on where the farm is located, but every farm ultimately relies greatly on artificial lighting to ensure crops thrive.
This is due to two reasons.
Firstly, there could simply be no sunlight for plants in vertical farms. With rapid global urbanization, many vertical farms have been set up in cities to shorten supply chains. Due to spatial constraints, many of these farms are set up in shipping containers, converted warehouses, and underground – places that have no access to natural sunlight.
Secondly, for farms that manage to receive sunlight, such as in greenhouses or rooms with windows, the amount of sunlight could also be insufficient. This could be due to poor weather, not enough windows, badly placed windows, or a low penetration rate of light through the vertical layers of crops.
Therefore, artificial light is indispensable in vertical farming.
Knowing the importance of artificial light, we have launched an LED grow light solution. Its main component is a durable and washable smart shelf designed by LED iBond. The shelf is embedded with LED grow lights, and it utilizes our patented ‘sandwich’ technology that places our compact LED between two super slim aluminum panels. This results in a lightweight yet strong panel that can be fitted nearly anywhere.
Farmers can also opt for our mobile vertical farming solution, which consists of our smart shelves installed on patented carrier trolleys for efficient vertical farming.
The trolleys can sustain both the growth and maintenance phases of crops, and they can be used in transportation and storage to ensure harvests remain fresh for as long as possible.
Our vertical farming solutions do not stop at providing high-quality lighting for crops. We ensure that plants will get the light they need in the ideal amount, spectra, and intensity that can ensure optimal growth for each species.
As each farm is unique and requires a customized solution, our LED grow lights and shelves are made to be able to fit into different setups with ease and flexibility.
Our grow light panels are equipped with compact and durable LEDs that are customizable in color combination. Individual LEDs are available in blue, red, and white separately, and growers can pick out the color ratio they want to integrate into each panel.
This means that farmers can create different sections within their farm to grow different types of crops. For those who prefer sticking to cultivating one type of plant, they can also use this opportunity to create different lighting environments within their farm to target plants in specific growth phases.
Light spectrum is the range of wavelengths produced by a light source, and they are measured along the electromagnetic spectrum that humans can see, in nanometers.
Having customizable light spectra matters to plants because plants respond best to different color lights as they go through different stages of growth.
Blue light wavelengths (400-500nm) have great effects on plant growth and flowering and can increase overall crop quality and vibrancy in many leafy greens. They also promote root development.
Red light wavelengths (600-700nm), on the other hand, stimulate photosynthesis and promote plant biomass growth.
Far-red light wavelengths (700-850nm) promotes flowering and leaf expansion in long-day crops. These are crops used to receiving more than 12 hours of light daily, such as lettuce, spinach, and potatoes.
By paying attention to the wavelengths that matter to plants, growers can cultivate bountiful harvests.
In a vertical farming structure, shelving plants in layers and installing lights on each level is a given. However, some crops may need more light or a higher intensity to thrive. There may also be cases in which crops with large leaves end up blocking out light from reaching to other leaves within the same farming layer.
Growers can also customize their light recipes by ensuring different plants receive the right amount of light and light intensity level. This can be done by strategic placement of LED grow lights.
At only 6mm thick and extremely lightweight, our LED panels can be installed horizontally or vertically. They can also be cut to exact lengths and diagonally to fit the setup of the farm.
Research has shown that both light exposure and intensity matter to plants, though not equally. Even in traditional farms and gardens, crops thrive when planted in different spots.
Tomatoes, peppers, peas, and cucumbers benefit from being grown in areas with good light exposure. Carrots, beets, and many root vegetables are most comfortable with half a day of light exposure. Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale can tolerate the most shade and naturally require the least light to thrive.
Light intensity can also influence how crops grow. A was conducted to demonstrate how light intensity affects the growth of soybeans. Researchers discovered that the soybean plants that were put under greater light intensity grew taller by 362% and their stems widened by 40% compared to those under lower light intensity.
The plants under more intense light also grew thicker leaves, had an improved chloroplast structure, and a greater photosynthetic capacity.
Being able to segment a vertical farm that produces different types of crops and supply brighter light to plants that need it can make a world of difference to the quality of harvests.
One of the most notable features of our grow light panels is that they are compatible with Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as motion sensors, cameras, and thermostats.
Growers can set up a whole lighting system to be monitored and controlled remotely from a smartphone or a tablet. They can also integrate our grow light panels with other vertical farming technology, such as within ventilation systems, to provide holistic care for crops.
Additionally, our LED lighting solutions can collect and store data for analysis. This can give farmers and researchers insight into the development of crops to continually improve the setup of their equipment.
Vertical farming takes place indoors and crops are not susceptible to bad weather conditions and extreme temperatures. However, they may still experience competition among other crops for light, space, and water, and they may experience attacks from pests or suffer from fungal or bacterial infection.
Monitoring the development of crop growth is an important aspect of horticulture. It enables growers to implement timely interventions to ensure optimal harvests at the end of each season.
With the ability to customize light spectra, exposure, and intensity in vertical farms and monitor them from afar, farmers can:
When growers can switch between different LED colors, intensity, and levels of exposure without having to switch out or replace farm equipment, they can emulate different climate conditions easily. This allows them to switch between growing different crops according to demand.
Certain plants, when exposed to more light, can become more nutritious when given the opportunity to maximize their development under the correct ratio of different color LEDs.
As vertical farms are not susceptible to poor weather conditions, farmers that can control the lighting equipment in their farm and perfect individual light recipes can yield consistent and nutritious harvests all year round.
While LEDs are more energy efficient than traditional lighting sources, at LED iBond we have managed to create LEDs with a lifespan of 100,000 hours, which is double that of other LEDs on the market.
Our LEDs can be used continuously for over a decade without replacement, and it is thanks to the superior thermal management capabilities in our ACP panels. This low replacement rate ultimately saves growers both time and money, lowering the operational cost of their farm in the long term.
Choosing the right lighting is crucial in vertical farming. Growers can also take extra steps to increase the quality and quantity of their harvests by investing in easily customizable and manageable lighting solutions for their farms.
For more information about our LED grow light system or other sustainable farming technology, please contact Henrik Fabricius, VP Sales, Vertical Farming, by calling (+45) 8161 7910 or email email@example.com.