Monday, 6 July 2015

Scientists Are Perfecting The LED Lighting For Our Future Space Gardens

Gardens may be an unruly mess on Earth, but in space, we'll need our vegetable patches to run like well-oiled machines. That's why researchers at Purdue University are working out the scientifically perfect cocktail of LED light to grow bumper crops in total confinement.

As weed growers and future space farmers alike are discovering, we can do a lot better with LEDs, which can be programmed to only emit the choicest parts of the visible spectrum. Plants throw away a large portion of the sun's energy, preferring for evolutionary reasons to use red and blue light above all other colors. After some tinkering in the lab, the researchers discovered that feeding lettuce a red-heavy diet with a dash of blue led to the highest yields, while slashing energy consumption by a factor of ten.

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