dr phil talking about light

What Role Does Light Play in Plant Growth?

In the world of plants, light plays a fundamental role: it acts as the conductor of growth and life.

Photosynthesis: The Powerhouse of Plant Growth

Plants use light for both photosynthesis and development. During the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb light energy using pigments in their cells such as chlorophyll. This energy is then transformed and ultimately fuels the growth, reproduction, and overall vitality of the plant.

The Light Spectrum: How Colours Influence Plant Growth

Lighting can affect germination, the plant's stature, the transition to flowering and fruit ripening, amongst others. The ability to influence and control the amount and type of lighting a plant receives allows farmers to optimise plant growth and ensure sustained development long-term.

Why is the Specialist Lighting Key, Inside Oragen Group Farms?

As our Head of R&D discusses in the below video, the colour of the light used is important: “LEDs that are red and blue are the most energy efficient, so we get the most light for the least energy output.”

From the plant’s perspective, managing the lighting colour is all about maximising the plant’s response to initiate the best growth. “Photosynthesis is mostly driven by the red light, but the blue light allows the plants to breathe better, and it controls the morphology of the plants.”

It means that blue light gives a shorter, more compact plant, whereas red light initiates a faster-growing plant. Additionally, red light drives the flowering and fruiting processes.

Natural vs. Artificial Light

Plants have grown outside in natural lighting for years: they have evolved over time to harness the sun’s light, to aid in their growth.

However, the world of agriculture is changing, and many in the industry have taken the leap towards using artificial lighting – especially those within innovative methods such as vertical farming. The role of light is critical when using these techniques, as it must replace or replicate the sun’s natural spectrum.

Artificial lighting systems are meticulously designed to provide that perfect balance and blue and red light, ensuring plants receive the necessary light for optimal growth.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) enables farmers to manipulate the environment in a number of ways, one of which is lighting. They can ensure blue light is dominant during the vegetative phase to help produce sturdy plants, and then shift towards red lighting as plants are transitioning to the flowering stage.

Light is Important to Plants

Whether your plants are growing in a vast field, or within a controlled vertical farm environment, the influence light has on a plant’s growth is unquestionable.

Being able to precisely control this factor is where indoor environments see huge benefits, through high-quality and consistent produce.

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