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Increasing efficiency of crop production with LEDs

1 Environmental Horticulture Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
2 Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Portici, Italy

Special Editions: The next generation of Precision Horticulture Technologies

Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is paving the way to increase crop production efficiency with electric lamps. Users can select specific wavelengths to elicit targeted photomorphogenic, biochemical, or physiological plants responses. In addition, LEDs can help control the seasonality of flowering plants to accurately schedule uniform flowering based on predetermined market dates. Research has shown that the monochromatic nature of LEDs can help prevent physiological disorders that are common in indoor environments, and help reduce incidence of pest and disease pressure in agriculture, which could ultimately increase crop production efficiency by preventing crop losses. Furthermore, a significant attribute of LED technology is the opportunity to reduce energy costs associated with electric lighting. Studies have shown that by increasing canopy photon capture efficiency and/or precisely controlling light output in response to the environment or to certain physiological parameters, energy efficiency and plant productivity can be optimized with LEDs. Future opportunities with LED lighting include the expansion of the vertical farming industry, applications for space-based plant growth systems, and potential solutions to support off-grid agriculture.
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