Lighting Tech Best Suites Vertical Farming
Vertical farming is basically a method of inhouse agriculture. It includes crops being planted on panels that are stacked at an angle. This technique saves on space and allows the flora to breed on a vast number of panels.
Vertical farming began only as a technique for indoor usage, but it has defied the odds and is used outdoor as well. Today farmers employ vertical farming practices in open-air spaces.
Indoor vertical farming enables you to develop more vegetation in a small space in comparison to conventional farming practices. Also, by planting indoors, you are able to check on some factors that influence the manner in which crops develop.
Some of these variables majorly incorporate weather conditions such as extreme sunlight, humidity, precipitation, and in some areas, extreme snowy surroundings. In indoor farming, farmers tend to use vertical grow lights as a source of sunlight and nourishment for crops.
Therefore, this article will detail explain what grow lights are and the types of grow lights available for farmers in the market today. Besides, it will help you to select the best lights for your vertical farm. And some bonus tips are waiting for you at the end.
Table of Contents
What are Grow Lights?
As you go about developing crops indoors, you have significantly better control over the growth of the crop than when you are doing the cultivation outside. This is because when you are outside, you cannot control forces of nature, such as humidity and sunlight.
Nonetheless, when you grow crops indoors, you can use lighting, which you can control. As they are commonly referred to, grow lights replicate the effect that the sunlight would have on crops, making them very vital for indoor cultivation.
Grow lights are significant because, without the presence of ample heat and light indoors, the growth of the crops would be hampered entirely. With the presence of light, the process of photosynthesis will undoubtedly occur. Photosynthesis is when crops capture sunlight and use it to transform water and Carbon-dioxide into Oxygen and nutrients.
Which Kinds of Grow Lights Used for Indoor Farming?
Fluorescent Glow Lights
Fluorescent bulbs are some of the most common types of grow lights that are available in the market today. They come in two variants: compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and tubular fluorescent lights (TFLs). Fluorescent bulbs have the upper hand over convectional bulbs-luminous in that they are significantly more energy effective.
Fluorescent bulbs need a starter to control the current, and the tubes as well require a massive holder, which may cause them to occupy somewhat more space and make them a bit tricky to maintain. Despite all these, fluorescent bulbs are still some of the best bulbs for vertical farming needs.
High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) Grow Lights
HPS grow bulbs are high-energy bulbs that have been in the market for quite a while now. It is estimated that HPS bulbs have been used in indoor farming for over 75 years.
HPS bulbs emit more heat and light in comparison to luminous bulbs. HPS bulbs emit an amber hue which is ideal for crops during the blooming phase. The hue emitted by HPS bulbs is also vital for the second phase of the growth process in crops.
Metal Halide (MH) Grow Lights
Similar to HPS grow lights, Metal Halide bulbs are also considered to be high-energy lights. Metal Halide bulbs are basically the more relaxed range of bulbs that are ideal for crops during the initial half of their development, commonly known as the vegetative phase.
Lighting- Emitting Diode (LED) Grow Lights
LED bulbs are the most current trend of bulbs that are utilized in indoor cultivation. LEDs have been in use for more than a decade now, and their uptake and preference is on the rise. When you consider all aspects, LED bulbs are the best bulbs for vertical farming.
Which Grow Light is Best for Your Vertical Farm?
All of the lights explained above are good for vertical farming. You can select any of them. However, based on farming type and experience, you can narrow down the list. Going for any light just because it’s easily available to you might not be a good idea. You need to consider a lot of factors before you choose lights for your farm.
If you’re farming indoor for the first time, you should go for the Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). The bulb is widely available. Therefore, you should face no trouble getting started. Besides, CFLs generally don’t produce much heat, which is a good thing for your plants. Also, you won’t have to worry much about the maintenance.
On the other hand, if you have previous experience in maintaining lights for your vertical farm, then LEDs are a perfect choice, especially if you’re going for large-scale farming. LED bulbs are pretty energy efficient compared to others. The technology in LEDs is very advanced. Therefore, they can be maintained in different ways suiting plants in your vertical farm.
Bonus Tips for Farming with Lights
As you’ve come this far reading the article, here are some tips for using lights in your vertical farm:
- White surfaces reflect lights which help to generate more lights. So, design more white surfaces around the bulbs for a bright environment.
- It’s important to distribute the lights on your farm properly. Or else, some bulbs will be of no work. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) can be helpful in this situation. Use CAD technology to distribute the lights efficiently and get the best of your bulbs.
- Technology is updating every day. So, you should adopt the latest technology for the best output. Therefore, proceed with an approach that has room for accepting such changes.
With the help of these tips, you should be able to get better output from your vertical farm using lighting tech. It’s crucial that you know how to maintain the tech in the right way.
To sum it all up, you have numerous options to choose from when it comes to lighting tech for vertical farming purposes, as illustrated above. It boils down to the scale of farming that is involved and the budget set aside for lighting. Also, plan everything beforehand for the best results.
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