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The Use of LED Lighting to Cultivate Potatoes, Oilseed Rape, and Soybeans

 Potatoes grown under LED lights have a higher biomass and grow more quickly than those grown using fluorescent lighting.
 Potatoes grown under LED lights have a higher biomass and grow more quickly than those grown using fluorescent lighting.

A recent study added to the body of evidence that LED grow lights provide distinct advantages in terms of plant growth and disease resistance when compared to cultivars grown under florescent lighting.

As the number of indoor growers who adopt LED grow lighting increases, industry researchers are investigating the effects of this illumination source on specific plant species. For example, a recent study published in the journal Plant Methods compared the growth and disease resistance of five different plants grown using continuous full spectrum LED grow lights with those grown using fluorescent lighting. This research not only provides information about the effects of different lighting on individual cultivars but also further substantiates the advantages of LED grow lights when compared to other forms of lighting.

The Differences Between LED and Fluorescent Lighting

The distinct differences in the qualities of LED and fluorescent lighting suggest they may affect plants in different ways. For example, fluorescent lights generate a significant amount of heat that may cause stress and/or damage to plants if not carefully monitored, whereas this is an issue with LED grow lights.  The table below provides a comparison of LED and fluorescent lighting:

LED Lighting Table

Comparing LED and Florescent Lighting on Different Plants

Since light fuels energy production in plants, the quality of light, as well as the quantity of light, has a broad range of effects on plants. The task of choosing lighting for indoor grow operations is made even more complex by the fact that the different pigments in plants that capture the light absorb specific wavelengths of light. If a light source does not produce a sufficient amount of particular wavelength, the health and growth of the plant will suffer. The table below summarizes the effects of LED and fluorescent lighting on different plant species.

LED Lighting Table 2

While LED lights affect different plants in a variety of ways, all the effects are positive. In addition, by switching to LED lighting, growers decrease the overhead of their operations while improving the quality of their produce. Isn’t time you made the switch to LED grow lights?


Janda, M., Navartil, O., Haisel, D., Jindřichová, B., Fousek, J., Burketová, L., Čeřovská, N., and Moravec, T. (2015). Growth and stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana benthamiana, Glycine max, Solanum tuberosum and Brassica napus cultivated under polychromatic LEDs. Plant Methods 11:31.


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