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Light use efficiency for vegetables production in protected and indoor environments

  • Giacomo Cocetta
  • Daria Casciani
  • Roberta Bulgari
  • Fulvio Musante
  • Anna Kołton
  • Maurizio Rossi
  • Antonio FerranteEmail author
Review
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Focus Point on Plants for food, energy and sustainability

Abstract.

In recent years, there is a growing interest for vegetables production in indoor or disadvantaged climatic zones by using greenhouses. The main problem of crop growing indoor or in environment with limited light availability is the correct choice of light source and the quality of lighting spectrum. In greenhouse and indoor cultivations, plant density is higher than in the open field and plants have to compete for light and nutrients. Nowadays, advanced systems for indoor horticulture use light emitting diodes (LED) for improving crop growth, enhancing the plant productivity and favouring the best nutritional quality formation. In closed environments, as indoor growing modules, the lighting system represents the only source of light and its features are fundamental for obtaining the best lighting performances for plant and the most efficient solution. LED lighting engines are more efficient compared to the lighting sources used traditionally in horticulture and allow light spectrum and intensity modulations to enhance the light use efficiency for plants. The lighting distribution and the digital controls are fundamental for tailoring the spectral distribution on each plant in specific moments of its growth and play an important role for optimizing growth and produce high-quality vegetables. LED lights can increase plant growth and yield, but also nutraceutical quality, since some light intensities increase pigments biosynthesis and enhance the antioxidants content of leaves or fruits: in this regards the selection of LED primary light sources in relation to the peaks of the absorbance curve of the plants is important.

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© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. Agricultural and Environmental SciencesUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di DesignLaboratorio Luce, Politecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biotechnology and HorticultureUniversity of Agriculture in KrakowKrakówPoland

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