LED lighting technologies lend themselves to all kinds of new and nuanced applications. An interesting one to follow is the research on how plants respond to different wavelengths of light that can be produced by an LED. It turns out blue and red light are favorites of leafy vegetables.
Lighting companies are heavily involved in such research, and one of the more active is Philips Lighting. In a piece titled “LED bulbs could foster an urban farming revolution”, on the website Treehugger, Megan Treacy points to vertical farming as a promising option for feeding a growing and increasingly urbanized global population.
Treacy highlights a prototype warehouse farm outside Chicago where Philips has been working with an indoor farming company Green Sense Farms to test and refine techniques for growing food in urban centers. The 30,000 sq ft facility has 14 25-ft racks creating 1 million cu ft of space to grow food. Thus far, the vertical farm experiment concentrates on leafy greens and produces 4,000 cases a week.
Of course, there are other trends favoring new techniques in indoor agriculture as well.