LED technology lights a path forward in smart farms' rise
Global Business

Water and sunlight are essential elements for plant growth. But as the popularity of indoor farming and smart farms rises, demand for dependable lighting sources is also on the increase. Much of the growth is being driven by horticultural LED light bulbs.

LED light sources are designed to mimic the sun's rays to grow vegetables in smart farms. A report from Navigant Research showed that the market for horticultural LEDs is gaining momentum and the global luminaire revenue for horticulture applications is expected to reach 3.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.

The type of light a plant is exposed to will determine how it grows. Different wavelengths will affect a plant's taste and nutritional content. So, it's a matter of finding a vegetable's optimized wavelength, or what is known as the ideal lighting recipe.

LED light bulbs applied in horticulture. /VCG Photo

LED light bulbs applied in horticulture. /VCG Photo

A leading South Korean agriculture cultivator called Farm8 is using LED technology to help plants grow. Senior manager Kim Sung-Un said that the company is trying to provide the optimal artificial lighting that a vegetable would need.

"If a plant would take 50 days to grow outdoors, we can grow in about 35 days," he added, thanks to light resources.

Horticultural LED lights are more cost-efficient than other artificial light sources. And as global demand increases for healthier alternative food ingredients, LED technology is attracting a large number of investors to join the party. Lighting manufacturers like Foxconn, LG Innotek and Phillips are expanding their business around the globe.

"We see future opportunities in smart lighting and converging solutions with AI. We're continuing to develop and invest in new lighting sources that focus on helping plants grow in a smarter way," said Will Chung, LED product manager at Samsung Electronics.