The SSL horticulture lighting industry has become one of the fastest growing branches of lighting worldwide. Much research has already been done in regards to horticultural SSL technology and continues to be rigorously explored. While most other inputs for plant growth are monitored and controlled based on plant needs, it is still common practice for light control to be rudimentary (on/off). Brandon Newkirk, Marketing Communications Manager at LumiGrow Inc., gives a short overview on the current state of dynamic LED lighting with a focus on USDA corn breeding trials and objectives.
It has become commonly understood that supplemental lighting is an efficient way to address the shorter days and longer nights that winter’s invasion brings. Seasonality carries with it diminished light intensity from the sun at various times of the year. Artificial lighting can be used to provide supplemental light in addition to sunlight to plants. Artificial light can also be the sole source of radiation for various indoor growing environments.
The main aspects to consider when providing light for plants indoors is the quality, intensity, and photoperiod. Quality refers to the actual wavelengths of light provided to plants. Total intensity of light at the plant canopy is crucial and is a function of light fixture intensity, beam angle, fixture arrangement, and daily light integral (DLI), which is the amount of PAR received each day as a function of light intensity. Photoperiod refers to the amount of time the plant receives light throughout a 24-hour timeline.