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Researchers focus on targeted wavelength grow lights

November 20, 2012  By Brandi Cowen

A new light source could be used to create the specific wavelengths of light plants require for photosynthesis indoors. (Courtesy of

Researchers have published new findings on a nanophosphor-based light source developed as an energy saving agricultural grow light.

According to the team of researchers from the University of South Florida’s (USF) department of physics and the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator’s EngenNano Technology, the device could be used to create the specific wavelengths of light that plants require in order to perform photosynthesis indoors.



Writing in the journal Technology & Innovation (vol. 14), the research team, headed by USF’s Sarath Witanachchi, noted:


“Increasingly greenhouse farming and urban agriculture are being looked at as more efficient and cost-effective ways to grow produce. Both in greenhouse and urbane agriculture artificial lighting for photosynthesis is an essential component. Only light at wavelengths around 460 nm (blue) and 670 nm (red) are absorbed by most of the plants for photosynthesis.”


Noting that plants only absorb 30 per cent of the total light available from discharge lamps, the authors state: “Solid-state lighting sources that cater to the exact wavelengths required by plants that are synchronized with the local CO2 concentration will be the most efficient grow light for agriculture.”


To read the study’s abstract, click here.

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