Summer is finally coming to a close, and we will soon feel the chill of autumn air. For some, this means the end of another season tending the garden, but who says we need to stop growing in the cooler months of the year? You can continue growing your garden inside, and with LEDs you can ensure a fuller harvest than in the spring and summer.
According to a recent article in LEDs Magazine, a Vermont greenhouse facility found an extra lettuce harvest per year that allowed the business to boost sales 25%, after retrofitting the facility with LED luminaries. Of course we already know LEDs boost quality of life, but apparently that isn’t just for humans! And beyond the extra produce yield, there are even more factors to consider when growing your garden under LEDs.
Incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent lights may get the job done when providing light for growing your plants, but for how long? These lights need to stay on consistently, so they may burn out faster than normal. In fact, incandescent and halogen lights only have a life expectancy of 6 to 12 months. This may be good for a season or two, but then you have to keep replacing the bulbs.
Fluorescents have a better life expectancy of up to 5 years, but this doesn’t compare to LEDs. The average life expectancy of LED lights is up to 10+ years. Even if the initial purchase cost of LEDs is a bit more than other conventional lights, you will save more in the long run by not having to continually purchase more bulbs. And if you are interested in growing on a larger scale, such as a greenhouse, this goes a long way to saving you more money.
Speaking of saving you more money, LEDs do just that! Not just because you have to purchase new bulbs less often, but due to the energy they use. In previous blogs we have discussed the savings you receive by switching to LED are nearly 75%-85% compared to traditional lighting solutions. Not bad for your bottom line!
Traditional lighting options give the same fixed spectrum of light, and sometimes vary in intensity due to the life of the bulb. But if every plant requires different nutrients to grow, shouldn’t the same be said for light?
LED lights provide different options of wavelength output that can benefit different types of plants more than others. The term PAR, or photosynthetically active radiation, is defined by “the range of wavelengths that scientist have determined are important for plants, and corresponds with the light wavelengths the human eye can see.” Within the PAR range, experiments have been done to determine certain wavelengths that hinder or benefit growth of vegetation. With these experiments, it has been found that red and blue light wavelengths are incredibly important to plant growth. Not only can LEDs provide these wavelengths effortlessly, but the intensity will remain the same over the course of the LED light’s lifespan. This means more plant growth for you!
Not only are LED lights a greener option compared to other bulbs, but provide for a greener grow environment and reduction of your carbon footprint.
When making a business of growing produce in a greenhouse, using LED fixtures reduce the need for additional hormones and pesticides. This benefits you and the workers you have employed, by not having to handle toxic substances. LEDs also produce less heat, which means your plants won’t dry out and you can use less water. In places of drought, this is incredibly useful.
Don’t let the off season stop you from growing your garden. With LED lights, not only is it possible to continue growing produce well into winter, but it’s cost efficient and great for the environment too. And if you are wondering more about LED fixtures and where to purchase them, look no further than Thayer Lighting!