LEDs Increase Crop Production by Encouraging Bee Activity

Valoya, a LED grow lights manufacturer, yesterday announced its new research findings that growing tomatoes under artificial lighting can bring additional benefits to the crop.

This research was conducted at Plant Research in the Netherlands. The additional benefits were attributed to solid-state lighting (SSL) technology, which found that pollinator bumble bees are very active under this type of lighting. The bees are necessary for the growth of tomatoes.

This new study focused on LED light’s effects on bee activity. When the LED lighting was turned on, bees in the hive immediately became active despite the lack of natural light. When using HPS, the bees stayed in the hive until there was some natural light—four hours after the artificial light had been turned on. Furthermore, the HPS lights produce heat, which can kill bees when they accidentally run into the fixtures. Researchers have repeatedly demonstrated the advantages of LED over HPS. They matched LED light color to the peaks in plant photosynthesis activity, which increased crop production.

The CEO of Valoya, Lars Aikala, explained that the company is exploring the impact of its lights on both invited and uninvited insects. From other research, the company knows that a lower rate of production occurs among aphids under LED lights compared to red-blue LEDs and HPS.

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