LEDs for enegery efficient greenhouse lighting
Light energy is an important factor for plant growth. In regions where the natural light source (solar radiation) is not sufficient for growth optimization, additional light sources are being used. Traditional light sources such as high pressure sodium lamps and other metal halide lamps are not very efficient and generate high radiant heat. Therefore, new sustainable solutions should be developed for energy efficient greenhouse lighting. Recent developments in the field of light source technologies have opened up new perspectives for sustainable and highly efficient light sources in the form of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) for greenhouse lighting. This review focuses on the potential of LEDs to replace traditional light sources in the greenhouse. In a comparative economic analysis of traditional vs. LED lighting, we show that the introduction of LEDs allows reduction of the production cost of vegetables in the long-run (several years), due to the LEDs׳ high energy efficiency, low maintenance cost and longevity. In order to evaluate LEDs as an alternative to current lighting sources, species specific plant response to different wavelengths is discussed in a comparative study. However, more detailed scientific studies are necessary to understand the effect of different spectra (using LEDs) on plants physiology. Technical innovations are required to design and realize an energy efficient light source with a spectrum tailored for optimal plant growth in specific plant species.
Singh D., Basu C., Meinhardt-Wollweber M. and Roth B. (2015) LEDs for energy efficient greenhouse lighting. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 49: 139 – 147. Link