LED lights are shining bright in the horticultural sector, where their low cost and high efficiency are making it possible to increase yields from indoor agriculture. As a result, farmers of tomatoes, leafy greens and a wide variety of other produce are relying on LEDs for their urban farms. An entire industry of indoor agriculture is starting to bloom.
Indoor farming has traditionally been most common in agricultural centers located in colder regions with shorter summers, extending the growing season through the use of artificial lighting. In the past, high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights were the best choice for indoor farming.
While replacing HPS lighting with LEDs has been attempted in the past, it was difficult to entirely change out the HPS lights due to higher cost and limited availability associated with LED fixtures.
However, solid-state lighting has improved significantly, with farmers learning that thanks to their reduced heat compared to HPS, LED fixtures can be placed closer to crops. Vertical farms have also demonstrated the advantages of LED use for growing plants in locations with limited physical space. In addition, LEDs offer the ability to fine-tune the color spectrum of the lights in order to produce the greatest yield for a given crop.