In order to grow indoors we need to supply lots and lots of light for our plants. Traditional grow lights are energy hungry and produce light over a broad spectrum. We’re doing things differently, we’re using high efficiency LED lighting:
LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are a new form of highly efficient solid state lights that are just starting to replace traditional lights in our homes and offices. Most LED lamps are white, but you may have noticed from the above picture that we use purple lights and there’s a good reason for this.
Plants are green when white light shines on them because the chlorophyll in their leaves selectively absorb red and blue light, reflecting the green light back to the viewer. So if plants reflect green light, why waste energy shining green light on them?
It turns out that the two absorption peaks for chlorophyll are around 440-450nm (Royal Blue) and 640-650nm (Deep Red). We use LEDS that emit all their light in these very narrow bands, meaning as little wasted light as possible and even greater efficiency.
It has also been shown that the ratio of red to blue light can affect how the plants grow. We use a ratio of 3:2, so more red light than blue light, as this keeps the plants quite stocky, meaning we get more leaves in the same volume, wasting less space.
Despite their efficiency, even LED lights produce some heat. It’s the heat from these lights that keeps the plants toasty and warm even in the harshest weather outdoors.
Our lights are custom built for us and have been designed to stay as cool as possible to prolong their life (less waste!), while taking up as little space as possible. They really are at the heart of what we’re doing here at Local Leaves.