Is light necessary to grow plants?

LEDs can help plants grow better

LEDs are currently the most powerful light source. They emit bright light with pinpoint accuracy in any color, are energy-saving and highly efficient. But the light-emitting diodes can do much more than just provide brightness. The light from LEDs also has a positive effect on the growth of plants. With LED lighting, indoor plants can grow better and more beautiful.

The growth and quality of vegetables, which otherwise thrive rather sparsely in greenhouses, can also be increased with LED light. Dutch scientists have now found that lighting with LEDs can double the vitamin C content of tomatoes. In the following article we will inform you about the research results of the Dutch scientists and explain how you can help your indoor plants to grow better with the help of LED lamps.

Suitable LED light increases the vitamin C content of plants

Tomatoes grown in greenhouses often don't get enough sunlight. As a result, they don't grow as well and a large portion of the crop has to be sorted out. Scientists from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have now investigated the effect of LED light on greenhouse plants. You have irradiated tomatoes in greenhouses with the light of LED lamps in addition to natural sunlight. Not only did this lead to better growth, the vitamin C content of the illuminated tomatoes doubled. The researchers used special LED lamps from Philips for the irradiation.

The tomatoes were given an extra dose of light equivalent to about a quarter of the light intensity on a sunny day. The additional lighting enabled fruits that otherwise had to thrive in the shade of leaves to grow better and ripen faster. In the future, the researchers' results could help reduce tomato rejects during harvest and, at the same time, improve the quality of the fruit.

Artificial lighting for indoor plants

Every plant needs light to grow. Plants usually do best in natural sunlight. However, this is often not available in sufficient quantities. Additional artificial lighting can then help to increase the growth and quality of plants. However, not every light brings the desired effects. Only certain spectral ranges of light, namely the violet-blue and the orange-red spectral range, can be used by plants for photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis, in turn, is crucial for the growth of the plant. The plant uses the light energy supplied to produce glucose and oxygen from water and carbon dioxide gas (CO2), which it in turn urgently needs for healthy growth and flower formation. The light requirement can be very different depending on the type of plant. However, many plants need a lot of light, namely around 16 hours of light exposure per day. The natural daylight is not enough, especially in winter.

How you can increase the growth of indoor plants with LEDs

Plants cannot thrive well in a lack of light. Many plants then develop long shoots, the leaves turn light green, later yellow or brown and finally fall off. With suitable LED lighting, you can give your indoor plants exactly the light they need for healthy growth. However, the differences in the light spectrum of different light-emitting diodes can be large. Special LEDs for plant growth offer exactly the light spectrum and the right illuminance required for photosynthesis.

Since LEDs generate little heat, they can be placed in close proximity to the plants without damaging them. LEDs are also very energy efficient: they can remain switched on for a long time and, thanks to their long service life, the lamps do not have to be replaced as often. For your plants, the additional LED light means healthier growth, faster flowering and better quality.

Summary

  • LED lighting increases plant growth and can double the vitamin C content of greenhouse tomatoes
  • Plants use the violet-blue and orange-red light spectrum for photosynthesis
  • LED lamps are characterized by high luminous efficacy, long service life and low heat generation
  • Plants thrive faster and more evenly with LED lighting