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Luxeon LEDs boost lettuce growth, says study

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute study demonstrates high yields and nutritional quality of leafy greens with SunPlus LEDs

Results of a horticulture lighting study conducted by the Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications (LESA) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI, Troy, NY), have show that Luxeon SunPlus Lime + Purple and Green + Purple LEDs provide beneficial growth spectra, resulting in high crop yield and high levels of antioxidants important to human health.

The study, using a variety of commercial LEDs, compared the effectiveness of different LEDs on the growth of red lettuce Rouxai. The best combined yield and antioxidant concentrations in the lettuce was observed using Luxeon SunPlus Series LEDs.

"Comparing the growth results using different combinations of LEDs shows that the spectra that performed best for yield (fresh weight), anthocyanin and chlorophyll concentrations were the Luxeon SunPlus Lime + Purple and Green + Purple LEDs from Lumileds," said LESA's Tessa Pocock, a global expert on light and plant physiology.

"Green light is necessary for crop growth and the specific wavelengths within the green region matters." This work is also part of the Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering (GLASE) Consortium operated by LESA and Cornell University and funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that is examining the most effective way to add green light to horticultural fixtures.

"Growers today are experimenting with various LEDs to arrive at the best colour combinations for their crops. The LESA study indicates that such experimentation is paying off because a common, nutrient-rich crop can be produced with excellent yield," said Jennifer Holland, product line director of the Luxeon SunPlus Series. The study demonstrated that a light spectrum like the combination of Luxeon SunPlus Lime and Purple, which contains a certain ratio of royal blue, green, deep red and far red components, is beneficial to growth optimisation.

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