Vertical farming has grown at an accelerating rate in various parts of the globe over the last couple of years. People grow everything from vegetables for their own consumption to flowers and even crops for commercial purposes.
Because of the remarkable advancements in light-emitting diode (LED) technology, indoor farming, including vertical farming, a new entrant into the market, has become profitable and successful.
LEDs are now so cost-effective and dependable that they are essentially modifying the fundamentals of greenhouse production. A couple of years ago, they were prohibitively expensive, and only commercial growers could afford them.
Vertical farms can now produce an ever-increasing number of different types of crops with the help of vertical grow lights that ensure the crops get enough lighting through all their stages of growth.
Benefits of LED Vertical Grow Lights
Crops grown indoors require the same amount of light as those grown outdoors. On the other hand, most indoor growing environments, including vertical farming, do not have large enough windows to let in direct sunlight.
Even in the case of those that do, there is no certainty that the light will reach all areas of the growing space, which means that some crops may not receive enough light. LED vertical grow lights are the best option available for indoor vertical growers. Below are reasons why LED vertical grow lights are best suited for vertical farming.
Energy-efficient– LED lighting systems consume 40 percent to 70 percent less energy than high- HPS lights or MH lamps.
Longer lifespan: A standard LED bulb’s current average functional life is roughly 50,000 hours, equivalent to approximately six years of constant use.
Uniformity- Vertical farming involves growing crops in stacked trays or other mediums to maximize available space. It is challenging to provide all the crops with uniform distribution of lighting. However, vertical grow lights enable every plant to get enough lighting throughout the growth cycle.
Heat regulated- You can regulate the temperature of the LED grow lights. Moreover, they produce significantly less heat than traditional fluorescent lights, allowing their installation to be closer to the crops without causing any damage to them.
What to Look For When Choosing LED Vertical Grow Lights
Vertical farming requires a lot of planning for the appropriate lighting systems. Grow lights come at different sizes, styles, and prices. Consider the following factors before deciding on the one you want for your vertical farming.
1. Available space
The size of the indoor space will determine the number and type of vertical grow lights to buy. The distance between grow lights varies depending on the grow light used, which changes the amount of space required. A particular type of grow light might not work well without enough available space, while others might be too powerful for a small space.
2. Types of crops
The types of crops you are growing in your indoor space will also determine the vertical grow lights you need. Some crops do not require too much light, so you might need to scale down to smaller lights. Others require lots of light day and night. Therefore, you will need lights with much more illumination.
3. Heat output
Excessive heat can cause plants to burn and, as a result, reduce their yield. You will be able to determine what type (if any) of heat reduction tools you require once you ascertain the precise heat produced by your grow light system.
Insulation, the air temperature outdoors, and the ceiling height all affect the thermodynamics of any interior grow room. You might not know the key to dealing with excessive heat caused by grow lights until you conduct some testing.
You should also consider scalability if you want long-term expansion of your grow lights. Fortunately, today advanced LEDs are scalable, which makes them highly cost-effective. LEDs also have a long life span, which means you can use them for many years without worrying about light degradation or using other systems.
Consider the safety of the grow lights before purchasing them the things that should concern you include their fragility, construction materials, and brightness levels. Some lights are too bright that you need to ensure safety by wearing glasses around them. LEDs do not contain mercury or other toxic chemicals, so you do not have to worry about a contaminated environment if they break.
Before deciding on the type of grow light you need, you should first check its price and compare it with your budget. Fortunately, LEDs come at different prices, and you will not miss one that suits your budget.
You should also be clear about the operating costs of the grow light. If you are new to using LED grow lights, get a quote from a reliable company to get a figure for the installation cost.
Accidents may occur even with the best-designed lights. Because LED lights are more expensive upfront, it is imperative that you purchase lamps covered by a warranty. If there is damage to a lighting fixture due to circumstances beyond your control, you can reclaim your money or a replacement.
If damage to the lighting system occurs during shipping, you do not want to pay for something that you did not do. The manufacturer r seller must meet the costs or refund your money.
Finding a space in an indoor growing setup that provides adequate light is one of the most challenging aspects of vertical farming. Fortunately, LED lighting can assist you in producing better crops while saving you money in the end. LED technology enables growers to choose varying lights for different developmental stages, saving time and money.
Aside from that, many LED grow lights are full spectrum, implying that they generate white light, which is easy on the eye and closely reflects the spectrum of natural sunlight. LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular among businesses and private growers. While this is a prudent investment, it is complex and needs proper planning and budgeting.