Researchers from Purdue University previously experimented with LED lighting and discovered that red and blue LED lights aid indoor seedling growth. After their original findings, the researchers have now taken it upon themselves to study whether or not a wider spectrum of colours can help to cut production time significantly.
According to Hortweek, the research commenced by growing seedlings, all of which were different species of plant; these included marigold, petunia, and zonal geranium. During the study, some of these plants were exposed to LED light as a replacement for sunlight.
The researchers discovered that these seedlings grew in equal quality to those that were kept in a greenhouse with sodium lamps as a substitute for sunlight. In fact, in some cases, they even found that the quality of the LED plants was far better than the greenhouse plants.
Following this study, researchers decided to commence a second experiment to find out whether or not seedlings could grow under nothing but LED lighting.
Roberto Lopez, Associate Professor of Horticulture at the university, said: “It was quite surprising to see how uniform, compact and sturdy the seedlings were compared to seedlings produced in the greenhouse with sunlight and supplemental lighting from LEDs. I didn’t think we could produce such a nice, high-quality plant without the sun.”
He continued by saying that multilayer production (a technique involving stacks of plants) is possible with LED lighting. This isn’t a new process though, as quite a few companies, particularly in Japan, utilise this technique already.
Now researchers want to find out whether or not they can accelerate the growth of seedlings using blue, white, far-red and red LED lights.
Lopez commented: “We want to see if we can take a week or so off of production.” The ultimate goal behind his research is to aid the growth of flowers quicker in order to make them fit for sale sooner.
So, if successful, what could this mean for the horticulture industry? Well, if the growth rate of flowers can be sped up by LED lighting, it could prove to be a major development in the sector. Not only does it tackle the difficulties of seasonal weather and climate; it also means customers will have a wider variety to choose from, instead of waiting for flowers to be in bloom.
For now though, we should stick with the other benefits of LED lighting and continue to experiment with different ways to use these handy light bulbs. If you’re looking to purchase LED strip lighting for your home or business, click here and browse our site for other lighting options.