Lighting solutions for agricultural enterprises and animal farms

Lighting solutions for agricultural enterprises and animal farms

Lighting plays a significant role in agriculture. It is common knowledge that plants rely on photosynthesis to grow. However, photosynthesis is dependent on sunlight, which is only available for limited hours in a day. Moreover, the availability of sunlight is highly dependent on the weather as well as seasonal conditions.

This is where lighting solutions come into play. The good news is that specially manufactured LED lights have proved to be extremely beneficial in boosting plant growth. Artificial LED illuminations, available in the market, are increasingly being used by fruit and vegetable farmers across the world. Taking a queue from agriculture, lighting solutions are increasingly being used by animal husbandry firms as well.

Agricultural farm and lighting

Enhancing artificial lighting can help plants photosynthesize even when sunlight is not available, resulting in crop growth. To be honest, this is not a radically new idea. Traditionally, farmers have used fluorescent lamps, metal halide lamps and high voltage sodium lamps to achieve artificial photosynthesis. However, the results were not satisfactory. While a massive amount of power is required to get plants to photosynthesize artificially, excess radiation can also be harmful to plants.

LED technology has come to the rescue of farmers facing such issues. Not only are they more energy efficient, but also help decrease the waste of energy. Different plants require a different spectrum of lighting at different stages of their growth. LED lighting can help in this by regulating different colours, spectra and flexibility. This, in turn, accelerates plant growth by utilizing the energy more efficiently.

The benefits of using LED lights in agricultural facilities include:

  • Activating plant growth.
  • Improving the colour, shape and taste of crops.
  • Reduction of energy costs.
  • Achieving year-round production.
  • Controlling crop production, especially during poor weather conditions.
  • Achieving maximum efficiency of a greenhouse.

A detailed understanding of the mechanism

So, let us get an even deeper understanding of how LED helps agricultural and animal husbandry enterprises.

Varying energy ratios of different types of colour spectrum attract different responses from plants. This affects plants’ shape, nutritional value and taste. It also affects plant growth and the flowering process. In addition to this, appropriate humidity, temperature, carbon dioxide in the air and irrigation have major effects on the overall health of plants.

Lighting is of crucial importance when it comes to the health of crops. Lighting controls various growth phases and their intensity as well as fruit formation, fruit ripening and flowering. The quality of light also affects plant shape. The light-air ratios combined with the appropriate light spectrum have an immense impact on crop production and growing season.

Elucidated below are the effects of different spectrum of light on different aspects of a plant’s health:

Red: Red light accelerates stem growth as well as is used by plants for photosynthesis. The lack of red spectrum causes stems to be elongated and stretchy. As per evidence, a higher amount of red light stimulated the production of tomatoes.

Blue: Plants use this spectrum for phototropism. It helps plants redistribute growth hormones and adapt their shape as per the light intensity and direction. It enables plants to use light as efficiently as possible.

Green: Well, this is virtually useless since most of the energy in the green light is bounced back by a plant’s green leaves.

Lighting solutions for livestock farming

Like ventilation, heating and cooling, proper lighting is one of the most important things in a livestock farm. It can have a direct impact on the animals’ well being, comfort and physiological response.

One of the key features of any livestock farm such as cow barns, pig farms, poultry farms, stables and others, is the presence of high levels of ammonia and other chemicals in the air. Hence, the lighting solutions used in these kinds of facilities need to have exceptional ammonia and chemical resistance.

How does lighting affect animals?

Lighting has a far-reaching effect on the behaviour of animals. For example, improper illumination in a poultry farm affects the behaviour of hens adversely, resulting in aggression, stress and even cannibalism. Needless to say, this can have a major impact on the profitability of the farms.

Blue light is of immense importance to a poultry firm. It can stimulate the growth of hens. It can also assist in sexual development by increasing the levels of plasma androgens. When hens are exposed to blue light, they consider the room to be dark. This makes them calm and reduces their stress considerably.

For livestock, on the other hand, white light is more important because it boosts their circadian rhythms. This, in turn, ensures proper working of all their organs as well as regulates their body temperature, blood pressure, energy consumption, and digestive and immune system. Hence, choosing light fixtures with white light can enable a livestock farm to rear healthy animals.

When it comes to lighting an agriculture and animal husbandry enterprise, paying attention to detail is crucial. The right choice can have far-reaching effects on production and sustainability.