In order for plants to grow successfully, they require light to generate enough food to mature. This is especially important when cultivating produce, as too little light can cause plants to slow in growth or weaken and become unviable for harvest.
AquaGrow Farms is located indoors so we have to supplement what little amount of sunlight we get with artificial light sources to ensure a speedy harvest of our greens so we can distribute as much as we can to our community in need. There are many options for supplemental light ranging from the common fluorescent bulb to metal halide or high pressure sodium lamps. However, in our case, we’ve opted to provide our plants the best and most energy-efficient lighting possible by utilizing six LED units, which run for about 12 hours a day.
Energy Efficient Lighting
LEDs (light-emitting diode) are a great choice for indoor growing as they tend to be more energy efficient than other lighting options and often emit less heat. While fluorescent bulbs may have to be replaced every few months or so, LED units have excellent lifespans and high-quality units rarely require repair. The specific units we run on our farm give us the flexibility to alter the colour that’s shone on our plants. Because we currently grow primarily leafy green vegetables, our lighting units are adjusted to emit more blue light to promote sturdy, stocky heads of lettuce. We still make use of some red light from, though too much can cause the plant to stretch and potentially flower. This feature can be incredibly beneficial if we decide to grow fruiting plants (e.g., tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers) in the future because more flowers often lead to more fruits!