Imagine adding a door to a shipping contain so you can hang some LED lighting inside and start growing vegetables. While this may paint a science-fiction scene in your head, this is something that 80 Acres Farms in Cincinnati is doing. You may think that these plants wouldn’t get enough sun, but honestly this radical agricultural shift is making it possible to grow plants commercially without a single sun beam. This is thanks to the many technological advances that have happened in recent years – chief among them being LED lighting.
How Diode Lights Work
Diode lights work by passing a current between semiconductors. They’ve come a long way since they were first introduced in the 1970s. Today they’re known to use much less energy while still being able to give off heat that farmers can manipulate to help with their plants’ growth. Many say this borders on alchemy (e.g. changing the way plants grow, when they flower, how they taste, how many vitamins and antioxidants they contain, prolonging shelf life) but the real impact of what’s happening here still has yet to be realized. For instance, 80 Acres Farms has created light recipes that allows them to grow two different types of basil from the same plant – one type that’s sweeter and can be sold in grocery stores and another type that has a sharper, more appetizing flavor that chefs appreciate. Many people believe that someday this will change the whole way food is produced, priced, and distributed throughout the United States.
The Advent of new Indoor Farms
Understanding how this diode lighting works, you can now take this a step further to use it with indoor farms. These are sprouting up around the United States and throughout the world today because entrepreneurs are jumping on board with this idea. They’re using many high-tech systems to set up indoor farming which will tackle the problems many farmers are facing today because of climate change.
While some people believe this will feed an entire urban population, this is unlikely. However, what it is likely to do is create fresh crops that don’t require pesticides because they can be consumed locally soon after being harvested. This requires only a fraction of the land, water, and fertilizer that commercial plants require because you don’t have to breed for things like disease resistance or genetically modify plants for stress.
Looking Toward the Future
As climate change continues making farming increasingly more difficult throughout the world, LED lighting is growing in popularity. With it you can have a quick, year-round crop cycle. In fact, 80 Acres Farms produces 200,000 pounds of leafy greens, vine crops, herbs and microgreens each year in a 12,000-square-foot warehouse – something that’d typically require 80 acres of traditional farmland. Of course, to make this work you’ll need sophisticated environmental systems that continually monitor and regulate temperature, air flow, humidity, carbon dioxide levels and the overall health of your crops.
It’s important to understand that this is a different type of farming – one in which crops are grown hydroponically, which means that their roots are bathed in nutrient-rich water. The nutrients and moisture the plants exhale are recycled too. However, the biggest difference is that LED lighting is used since traditional lighting consumes too much power for the amount of light that’s necessary.
Whether you’re interested in LED lighting for indoor farming or for some other purpose, America’s Best LED has you covered. They have all the various types of lights you could ever want for any purpose you could imagine. When you’re in the market for LED lighting, make sure you reach out to them.
Picture Credit: youtube