Growing vegetables in a vertical farm without daylight using LEDs

01 May 2020
Riat vertical farming is using LEDs to grow vegetables the same as a greenhouse. Source: Signify

Signify and Riat have created a system using light emitting diode (LED) grow lights that allows a Russian vertical farm to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and 19 types of green crops without daylight, demonstrating results comparable to traditional greenhouses.

The indoor farm is in the center of the Ivanovo region of Russia. The vertical farm folds the long stems of the crops, enabling the farm to grow the 3.5 m high plants indoors. The farm can harvest 2.7 to 3.2 kg of cucumbers per square meter every week and 1.7 kg of tomatoes per square meter.

Signify’s Philips LED grow lights use the red spectrum in light, which helps stimulate the growth of plant cells and tissues while the blue spectrum influences the processes of cytodifferentiation. The combination of red and blue with the addition of white and other colors creates lighting conditions that are as close to natural daylight as possible, Signify said.

Riat uses bumblebees for pollination, the same as traditional greenhouses, but Signify said the bees do not experience difficulties due to the absence of natural light.

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