Red LEDs to Grow Lettuce

Apparently red LEDs are 60% more efficient than fluorescent light when growing vegetables hydroponically.

According to IEEE Spectrum Online: Of all the colors of the rainbow, red is lettuce’s favorite. Chlorophyll, the electrochemical engine of photosynthesis, runs on red photons. So if you are growing the vegetable indoors in a factory, why waste energy on colors you don’t need?

Using a red LED-based growth process developed by Cosmo Plant Co., in Fukuroi, Japan, instead of a fluorescent lighting based one, cuts a factory’s electric bill by 60 percent, the company told Agence France Press.

Cosmo’s customers uses the technology to produce 7000 heads of lettuce per day all year round in a 10-floor building on just 1000 square meters of space. The lettuce matures more than three times as fast under the LEDs than outdoors. While growing lettuce in an open field is still less costly, growing it inside under LEDs means you don’t have to worry about crop-decimating typhoons and other nasty weather.

13 thoughts on “Red LEDs to Grow Lettuce”

  1. In the life cycle of plants, most developmental processes are dependent on light. Significant biological processes such as germination, shade avoidance, circadian rhythms, and flower induction are all affected by light. Recent advancements in the use of LED lighting in plant and vegetable production systems has researchers looking for insights into the effects of these artificial lights on the growth and yield of crops.

  2. …Now imagine a world in revolt because all they have to eat is lettuce.
    …Joshua, you just made me LOL so hard I scared the cat. 🙂

  3. I hate lettuce, especially iceberg lettuce, which is as nutritional as cardboard — it’s an insult to the patrons of the resturants that serve it.

    Hopefully this technology works for tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and peppers, because I like those. And if we want to save the world, it has to work with potatoes, rice, soy and wheat, because that’s what most people eat. And corn-syrup for all us fattiest in the US.

  4. Now imagine a thousand story building growing lettuce in this way.

    Sure. Now, imagine the energy and water consumption of thousand story buildings growing lettuce underground. While this is certainly wonderful technology, until we have renewable, cheap, non-globally-polluting energy sources, solutions such as this are not viable for feeding the world.

  5. RED LED makes veggies grow more efficiently.

    Apparently red LEDs are 60% more efficient than fluorescent light when growing
    vegetables hydroponically…
    Entire story here []

  6. I would like to know what type of LED light was used and the basics of the application (i.e. 1 LED light stuck in a hole every 2 inches in a board). I have found very few companies offering Grow Lights for plants made with LED lights but they are very expensive. I would rather build my own with 1w LEDs if it is possible.

  7. Now imagine a thousand story building growing lettuce in this way. Let’s put it underground. Let’s do this around the world — under the deserts, under the oceans, under the mountains — everywhere! You could imagine feeding a whole lot of people — far more than the 9 billion estimated by 2050.

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