How to create an ideal lighting environment for indoor plant planting
When designing an ideal light environment suitable for indoor plant planting, indoor growers should consider three characteristics: light quality, light quantity and light duration.
Once we understand how these characteristics work together, we can optimize the indoor plant planting lighting environment to plant healthy and uniform crops, benefit from annual production, increase unit yield and shorten harvest cycle.
Light quality is the wavelength of light reaching the crop. The light used for indoor plant planting mainly comes from the photosynthetic effective radiation (PAR) band of the spectrum. The wavelength of par is between 400 and 700 nm. These wavelengths drive photosynthesis, a chemical process that drives plant growth. LED technology allows you to provide the most useful light wavelengths for plants.
Although we currently focus on the wavelengths in par (400-700 nm) of photosynthesis, emerging evidence suggests that wavelengths outside this band can promote photosynthesis. With the continuous development of LED research, we may see the change of par regional boundary in the future.
Total effective light radiation (light quantity)
The amount of light is the total amount of light received by crops. Indoor plant planting usually uses PPFD value to measure the amount of light. PPFD is the amount of micromolar light hitting any given square meter of your crop per second.
Every crop has an ideal PPFD, which needs the best growth. This light demand reflects the natural habitat of plants. For example, plants growing on the forest floor (such as orchids) have lower demand for PPFD than tomatoes growing in open valleys.
The ideal lighting environment can achieve the target PPFD of crops without exceeding the target, and the light can be evenly distributed in the whole plant canopy. This ensures that your crops grow equally evenly.
Excessive illumination of crops can damage plants and waste energy. For example, too strong lettuce can cause cigarette burns, which makes damaged plants more difficult to sell.
Light duration is the number of light hours your crop receives. Light duration is also called photoperiod. Photoperiod controls the flowering, dormancy and other biological responses of many plants.