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Agriculture Flourishes With LED Technology

Image | Sean MacEntee | CC 4.0

Global food demand is rising year after year, and looks to be an industry with future unlimited growth. Humanity isn't going anywhere after all, and as result, higher yield and shorter growth times are the ideal of any farmer. An environment where vegetables can be produced bigger and better, far more quickly regardless of climate change, season, weather, act of God or nature is the ideal, and advances in LED strip lighting prove to light the way toward attaining it.

 This ideal has drawn controversy in the past in genetic modification - the farmer's first attempt to attain the fleeting ideal of gigantic produce in large quantity. The consumer was terrified.

Even in 2016 public opinion is massively against GMO produce, with a recent study showing that a gigantic 57% of adults surveyed believe GMO foods unsafe- even though there have been no recorded cases of any illness or fatality associated with consumption of GMO.

Right or wrong isn't the issue. What's important is that the consumer has spoken.

It’s fair to say that the public are mostly terrified of the concept of genetic modification, which has led to farmers floundering and having to rely on season, weather, and a small amount of luck in order to sell enough produce to break even. But no more. The groweries of the future don't rely on the act of saturating plants in growth hormones any longer, or splicing samples apart at a molecular level.

A revolution has been cited in LED technology for both crops and animals- and while the idea of controlling an environment's lighting, temperature, and water to boost yield is hardly anything new, LED applications such as LED light strips, rope lights and extrusions can be used to advance and improve what has already been found to work. LEDs have already proved to be a far more energy efficient way to provide conditions needed for a plant to yield the very most plausible in a natural manner, especially compared to the high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps of yesteryear.

LED technology is capable of surpassing 50% efficiency, converting more than half of their energy into plant-usable light. Compared to an abysmal 30% efficiency in pricier HPS lamps, the additional 20% means that energy savings converting will bring a farmer are certainly significant. In fact, doing the maths suggests that the cost of powering HPS lamps are around 400% more than the LED equivalent needed to produce the same amount of fruit.

Further study indicates that two of the largest indoor vertical farms in the US have started reaping the benefits of this revolution. While a decade ago, LED lighting's startup cost was quite discouraging to some crop farmers, advances in manufacturing technologies and rising application in retail, commercial, and home environments have meant that startup prices have been knocked down. Furthermore, time and research has provided additional knowledge of what we know about plants in themselves. Experimentation with bands of wavelengths with correspond to differing light colour has proved to optimize growing conditions for differing plants.

All of this has meant that LED lighting for agricultural purpose is booming, with many adopting this technology for themselves. A variety of stockists, including highly rated, Llandudno-based LED Illuminations have started to supply LED lighting solutions for agricultural purpose following this research. LED lighting technology isn't simply flash in the pan. There's a real trend emerging and flourishing in this new agriculture industry, and it’s looking more and more worthwhile to jump on board.

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