What impact does light have on CEA leafy greens?

What impact does light have on CEA leafy greens?

OptimIA researchers are studying the impact light and its interaction with other environmental parameters can have on indoor leafy greens production.

When members of the OptimIA project contacted controlled environment agriculture industry members about their concerns about the growing environment, light was at the top of the list. The OptimIA’s project objectives were based on feedback from indoor farm representatives, growers and lighting manufacturers related to the production of food crops.

“Lighting is one of the biggest costs not only for purchasing the fixtures, but also for operating them,” said Erik Runkle, horticulture professor at Michigan State University and director of the OptimIA project. “Operating lighting fixtures is a big sink of electricity and therefore a major operating cost. Another large operational cost for indoor farms is air conditioning, but typically it is not as big as lighting.

“Looking at some of the other environmental control issues that indoor farms have had in the past, excessively high humidity was caused by inadequate HVAC systems. Humidity and temperature are tightly linked because temperature influences how much moisture the air can hold. We thought if we study humidity we should also study temperature. Temperature dictates the rate of development of plants.”

Runkle said carbon dioxide gets added to the environmental mix when looking at light intensity.

Continue reading.

Photo: Researchers at Michigan State University have used the Controlled-Environment Lighting Laboratory to study the effects of different colors of light on the growth of leafy greens. Photo courtesy of Erik Runkle, Mich. St. Univ.

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