Next generation LED lighting now makes it possible to provide plants, fish and farm animals with specially designed spectra that are significant improvements over daylight and older fixed spectrum lights. Exciting research into varied light spectra and daylight cycles is exploring the range of impacts that lighting can have on living things. This new knowledge allows the design of LED lighting products tailored to produce specific outcomes with particular plants, fish and animals. Next generation LED technology enables key lighting elements of different natural environments to be recreated, such as shade forests, open terrain, underwater, different times of day, and different latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. Now LED Lighting can also far exceed sunlight in terms of spectrum control, light intensity, and consistency.
Proper lighting can enable increased productivity and efficiency by stimulating responses such as growth or reproduction. Many plant species alter their growth or trigger key lifecycle stages based in part on the spectrum of light they are receiving. Detecting variations in wavelength and daylight cycle allows plants to recognize the changing seasons, and provides a spectrum-based control mechanism for growers to use in controlling plant morphology and flowering cycles. Customized lighting programs for livestock, based on life stage or age, can also be valuable. As more of the livestock industry moves towards environmentally controlled facilities, dependence on artificial lighting to accurately evoke specific natural environments increases. Ongoing research and data collection into optimal lighting spectra allows lighting providers to fine-tune their products for many specific applications.
Aquarium lighting not only enables fish to see their food, other fish, and their surroundings, many species depend on coloration for signalling and courtship. The spectrum and quality of aquarium light affects the colours of fish, and so influences their behavior. Light also has a strong influence on the development and metabolism of fish, where an increase in light can produce a significant acceleration in egg development and production. In many species of fish, the maturity of the gonads depends on the duration and intensity of ambient light. The body cells in fish are especially sensitive to changing light conditions daily. And of course high quality aquarium lighting helps aquatic plants thrive and generate more oxygen through accelerated photosynthesis, which is also beneficial for fish.
Light propagates through water differently than through air. As depth increases, the available spectrum narrows considerably. Longer wavelengths, toward the red and orange end of the spectrum, are absorbed first, with 25% of red light being absorbed in the first meter. Fish that live in predominantly shallow waters are more sensitive to the longer wavelengths of light such as red and orange. Special aquarium lighting spectra are needed to reproduce the fish’s natural habitat and create a more natural ambiance.
Light Polymers’ recently announced GrowBlade™ and planned AquaBlade™ product families provide an elegant and cost-effective platform for delivering high-quality lighting in a very wide range of custom-formulated spectra. Our proprietary Crystallin® film can deliver precise, tailored spectra with very high power and thermal efficiency, emitting more usable light per watt and generating less waste heat. This reduces operating costs both directly, through lower electrical usage, and indirectly, by putting less strain on HVAC systems compared to competing lights. Crystallin film has very low intensity drop over time, and high color stability, contributing to a long service life. GrowBlade and AquaBlade product lines offer an even and well-diffused light source for sensitive plants and animals. The thin ½” form factor and wide-are lit surface of GrowBlade Edge models fits perfectly in multi-level growing environments like vertical farms, and space-constrained aquaculture and farm installations. Efficiency advantages are coupled with competitive pricing to make GrowBlade and AquaBlade lighting products a natural choice for horticulture, aquaculture, and indoor livestock operations of any size.
Light Polymers is seeking early adopters in all these areas to explore a wide range of applications. Check out the GrowBlade pages and signup form if you’re interested.