The need for controlled environment agriculture is higher than ever. Food safety and sustainability are driving forces for CEAs, and as populations increase in urban areas, vertical farms and other indoor farming platforms are providing healthy fruits and vegetables for residents in metropolitan areas.

 

One of the key challenges that many growers face is providing adequate lighting in enclosed mini-farms without wasting space or energy. GrowFilm™ delivers the ideal LED-based grow lighting systems for controlled environment agriculture.

 

How Controlled Environment Agriculture Stimulates Improved Plant Growth

 

Traditional outdoor farming continues to become more challenging for several reasons. Among them is the inability to control environmental conditions that are changing rapidly on a global basis.

 

Unstable climates, pollution, lack of resources, and soil erosion all contribute to the lack of nutrients and abundance that fruits and vegetables once provided. To regain a foothold in the agricultural industry corporations such as Microsoft, Apple, General Electric, as well as farming mainstays such as Cargill, BRF SA, and Alltech, are now exploring a controlled environment agriculture solution to provide nutritious and delicious fruits and vegetables for the masses.

 

Why is controlled environment agriculture vital today?

 

●        It improves food safety which is becoming an alarming issue.

●        It is sustainable which solves a global farming problem.

●        It improves the nutritional value of the fruits and plants by shrinking the time between field to table to hours instead of days.

●        It reduces the environmental impact of farming by eliminating the use of chemicals in growing our food and carbon emissions in transporting food from distant markets.

 

How Does LED Lighting Play a Role in Controlled Environment Agriculture?

 

While the benefits of LED lighting for residential or commercial use are well documented, you may not realize how artificial light stimulates plant growth.

 

First, let’s take a look at the stated benefits for switching to LED lights:

 

●        They reduce energy consumption by up to 80% over standard CFL or incandescent bulbs.

●        They emit minimal heat in comparison to HPS or metal-halide lights.

●        They last longer. A single LED bulb will put out light for more than 50,000 hours. So if it burns twelve hours a day, it’s likely to last more than ten years.

●        Thus, they cost less in the long run. You’ll pay a little more for LED lights on the front end, but they pay for themselves in less than two years.

 

Taking all that into consideration, the most significant concern is whether LED lights are suitable for plants.

 

The answer is yes.

 

According to a recent study at the University of Purdue, common vegetables such as lettuce grow well under a combination of red, blue, and white lights.

 

"Everything on Earth is ultimately driven by sunlight and photosynthesis," explained Cary Mitchell, professor of horticulture at Purdue University. "The question is how we can replicate that in space. If you have to generate your own light with limited energy resources, targeted LED lighting is your best option. We're no longer stuck in the era of high-power lighting and large, hot, fragile lamps."

 

Commercial Grow Lights: A Key Element in the Success of Indoor Farming

 

GrowFilm is making a mark in the agricultural industry with the development of our custom LED grow lights as well as other advanced systems. To find out more about how our White Lighting and Patriot sheets and panels can benefit your indoor or vertical farm, contact us at partender@growfilm.ag.