A grow light is an artificial light source designed to stimulate plant growth by emitting an electromagnetic spectrum appropriate for photosynthesis. Grow lights are usually used in applications where there is either no naturally occurring light, or where supplement light is required. For example, in the winter months when the available hours of daylight may be insufficient for desired plant growth, lights are used to extend the time they receive light.
Grow lights either attempt to provide a light spectrum similar to that of the sun, or to provide a spectrum that is more tailored to the needs of the plant being cultivated.
LED grow lights are composed of light-emitting diodes and they can be customised to emit only specific wavelengths of light. It is known from a study of photomorphogenesis that green, red, far-red and blue light spectra have an effect on root formation, plant growth and flowering. Though plants can grow manually under only red light, they often display unhealthy growth. It has been shown that many plants will grow normally if given both red and blue light, hence why LED grow lights are proving to be so beneficial. Not only have tests conducted proven that plants grow and develop better under LED grow lights with disease resistance, taste and nutritional levels also being affected but as LED’s are much more energy-efficient than traditional bulbs farmers are also seeing their electricity bills drastically reduce.
So why is indoor farming becoming so popular? Well the key drivers of the indoor farming market seem to be the farm-to-table and organic food trends and in particular vertical farming which is the fastest growing application in the LED grow light sector. This application is set to reach $402 million by 2020 which would be a growth of 30%. The space constraints in urban areas is one of the main reasons for vertical farming’s rapid growth which has in turn led to high growth in the LED grow light market.
The commercial greenhouse application holds the largest share in the LED grow light market. As LED grow lights increase food production so do farmers profits. Hence, many developed countries are now using LED grow lights in their commercial greenhouses. This application is set to continue to dominate the LED grow light market.
And it’s not just in the indoor farming market that grow lights are taking off in, many consumers are also using less industrial version at home in their greenhouses. There are a mix of LED grow lights available online currently in a wide variety of sizes, efficiencies and cost and we are excited that Toshiba will be launching our own range of LED grow lights this year for both consumer and industrial use.