UV LED Technology for Emerging Applications in Agriculture

Source: https://www.led-professional.com/resources-1/articles/uv-led-technology-for-emerging-applications-in-agriculture?utm_source=LED+professional+-+FREE+Information+Service&utm_campaign=2679a6742c-LED+professional+Newsletter+%28LpN%29-Feb15%2C+2018_COPY&utm_me

Date: 04-12-2018

With the explosion occurring in indoor and urban farming, not only are the energy savings of LEDs appealing, but the advancements made in UV LEDs are making it possible to bring the additional benefits of ultraviolet light, particularly UV-A and UV-B, to indoor agriculture. UV light has been shown to drive increases in the plant production of active substances in medicinal plants, including antioxidant benefits of numerous plants or THC levels in cannabis. UV light can also help maintain a healthy growing environment by reducing mold, mildew, and certain plant pests - all of which need alternatives to chemicals due to increasing fungicidal resistance. While many of the leading fixtures used in indoor agriculture produce some level of UV spectrum (however small), their outer lens materials block most, if not all, of that UV light from actually reaching the plants. As the price of UV LEDs continues to decline, the ability to cost effectively incorporate targeted UV into the growing process with the right wavelengths, the right dosage, and at the right time in the life cycle of specific plant species will improve. However, UV LEDs will still need to be combined with the appropriate lens that enables transmission of the UV light without risking degradation or destruction of the lens and/or the LED itself.


History & wavelengths

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a key part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths ranging from 10 nm to 400 nm. This portion of the spectrum lies outside of the visible range for the human eye, though some portions of UV light are perceivable by insects and birds [1].

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