From Stage Lighting to Better Greenhouse Growing

A research project is finding that the lighting used to create dramatic effects on stage, could possibly also have a dramatic effect on plant growing.

In a rare case of technological research impacting on fields as diverse as stage lighting, horticulture, entomology, energy management, and potentially, space colonization, Penn State researchers  in the USA have collaborated with the Office of Physical Plant (OPP) to fine-tune lighting for improved plant growth and energy conservation in greenhouses.

As an undergraduate majoring in theatre production, Daniel Frechen noticed how easy it was to create realistic sunrises and sunsets using the extreme control flexibility of LEDs. Frechen has an agricultural background, and while finishing a minor in horticulture, he began to wonder if blue- and red-wavelength LEDs could benefit greenhouses and plant growth chambers.

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Author: Robert Smith