Light-Emitting Diodes for Horticulture

  • Dongxian He
  • Toyoki Kozai
  • Genhua Niu
  • Xin Zhang
Part of the Solid State Lighting Technology and Application Series book series (SSLTA, volume 4)


This chapter firstly describes the fundamental concepts of photosynthesis of plants and LEDs for applications in the plant factory with artificial lighting (PFAL). The complexity of light environment control to maximize the cost performance of the PFAL is discussed for getting an idea of smart LED lighting system related to phenotyping, information and communication technology, and artificial intelligence. Secondly, influences of LED lighting environment at seedling stage on lettuce transplant growth and its subsequent growth and nutritional values were discussed as a case study for supporting a good system impact. Therefrom, effects of light intensity, photoperiod and LED quality on growth and quality of hydroponic lettuce were introduced for suitable light environment control in the PFAL.


Continuous measurement of photosynthesis Daily light integral Indoor farming LED lighting Lettuce production Nitrate content Phenotyping Photosynthetic characteristics Plant factory R:B ratio Quality control 



The research was supported by NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) project of Preliminary Study on Plant Phonemics and its Application by Artificial Intelligence, Japan (2017–2019), National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2013AA103005), and National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFB0403901), respectively.


  1. 1.
    C.A. Mitchell, M.P. Dzakovich, C. Gomez, R. Lopez, J.F. Burr, R. Hernandez, C. Kubota, C.J. Currey, Q. Meng, E.S. Runkle, C.M. Bourget, R.C. Morrow, A.J. Both, Light-emitting diodes in horticulture. Hortic. Rev. 42, 1–87 (2015)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    T. Kozai, K. Fujiwara, E. S. Runkle (eds.), LED Lighting for Urban Agriculture (Springer, Singapore, 2016), pp. 3–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    T. Kozai, G. H. Niu, M. Takagaki (eds.), Plant Factory: An Indoor Vertical Farming System for Efficient Quality Food Production (Academic, Amsterdam, 2015), pp. 3–399Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    T. Kozai (ed.), Smart Plant Factory: Next-Generation Indoor Vertical Farms (Springer, Singapore, 2018)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    S.M.A. Zobayed, F. Afreen, T. Kozai, Temperature stress can alter the photosynthetic efficiency and secondary metabolites concentrations in St. John’s wort. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 43, 977–984 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    A.J. Both, B. Bugbee, C. Kubota, R.G. Lopez, C. Mitchell, E.S. Runkle, C. Wallace, Proposed product label for electric lumps used in the plant sciences. HortTechnology 27(4), 544–549 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goto E (2016) Measurement of photonmetric and radiometric characteristics of LEDs for plant cultivation. In: Kozai T, Fujiwara K, Runkle ES. LED Lighting for Urban Agriculture. Springer, Singapore, pp 395-402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    G. Zhang, S. Shen, M. Takagaki, T. Kozai, W. Yamamoto, Supplemental upward lighting from underneath to obtain higher marketable lettuce (Lactuca sativa) leaf fresh weight by retarding senescence of outer leaves. Front. Plant Sci. 6, 1–9 (2015)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lu N, Mitchell CA (2016) Supplemental lighting for greenhouse grown fruiting vegetables. In: Kozai T, Fujiwara K, Runkle ES. LED Lighting for Urban Agriculture. Springer, Singapore, pp 219-232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    M.E. Ghanem, H. Marrou, T.R. Sinclair, Physiological phenotyping of plants for crop improvement. Trends Plant Sci. 20(3), 139–144 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Johkan, K. Shoji, F. Goto, Blue light-emitting diode light irradiation of seedlings improves seedling quality and growth after transplanting in red leaf lettuce. HortScience 45(12), 414–415 (2010)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    X.Y. Liu, T.T. Chang, S.R. Guo, Z.G. Xu, J. Li, Effect of different light quality of LED on growth and photosynthetic character in cherry tomato seedling. Acta Hortic. (907), 325–330 (2011).
  13. 13.
    R. Hernández, C. Kubota, Physiological responses of cucumber seedlings under different blue and red photon flux ratios using LEDs. Environ. Exp. Bot. 121(1), 66–74 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    J. Song, Q. Meng, W. Du, D. He, Effects of light quality on growth and development of cucumber seedlings in controlled environment. Int. J. Agric. Biol. Eng. 10(3), 312–318 (2017)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    X.L. Chen, Q.C. Yang, W.P. Song, Growth and nutritional properties of lettuce affected by different alternating intervals of red and blue LED irradiation. Sci. Hortic. 223, 44–52 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    J. Wang, W. Lu, Y.X. Tong, Q.C. Yang, Leaf morphology, photosynthetic performance, chlorophyll fluorescence, stomatal development of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) exposed to different ratios of red light to blue light. Front. Plant Sci. 7, 250 (2016)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    K. Okamoto, T. Yanagi, S. Kondo, Growth and morphogenesis of lettuce seedlings raised under different combinations of red and blue light. Acta Hortic. (435), 149–158 (1997).
  18. 18.
    M.E. Hoenecke, R.J. Bula, T.W. Tibbitts, Importance of ‘blue’ photon levels for lettuce seedlings grown under red-light-emitting diodes. HortScience 127(5), 427 (1992)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Y.X. Miao, Physiological response mechanism of cucumber seedlings to red and blue light, Ph.D. Thesis of China Agriculture University, 2015, pp. 17–25Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    K.H. Son, M.M. Oh, Leaf shape, growth, and antioxidant phenolic compounds of two lettuce cultivars grown under various combinations of blue and red light-emitting diodes. HortScience 48(8), 988–995 (2013)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    W.H. Kang, J.S. Park, K.S. Park, Leaf photosynthetic rate, growth, and morphology of lettuce under different fractions of red, blue, and green light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Hortic. Environ. Biotechnol. 57(6), 573–579 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    K.H. Lin, M.Y. Huang, W.D. Huang, The effects of red, blue, and white light-emitting diodes on the growth, development, and edible quality of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata). Sci. Hortic. 150(2), 86–91 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    M. Johkan, K. Shoji, F. Goto, Effect of green light wavelength and intensity on photomorphogenesis and photosynthesis in Lactuca sativa. Environ. Exp. Bot. 75, 128–133 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    H. Zhai, Effect of lighting environment at seedling stage on growth of hydroponic lettuce transplant and its late harvest, Master Thesis of China Agricultural University, 2017, pp. 10–43Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    X. Zhang, Technical foundation of environmental feedback control of hydroponic lettuce based on photosynthesis simulation, Ph.D Thesis of China Agricultural University, 2017, pp. 12–28, 58–82Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    H.S. Li, Experimental Principle and Technology of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (High Education Press, Beijing, 2000), pp. 122–123, 190–192, 202–204, 267–268Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Y. Kitaya, G.H. Niu, T. Kozai, M. Ohashi, Photosynthetic photon flux, photoperiod, and CO2 concentration affect growth and morphology of lettuce plug transplants. HortScience 33(6), 988–991 (1998)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    L. Gaudreau, J. Charbonneau, L.P. Vézina, Photoperiod and photosynthetic photon flux influence growth and quality of greenhouse-grown lettuce. HortScience 29(11), 1285–1289 (1994)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    J.A. Zavala, D.A. Ravetta, Allocation of photoassimilates to biomass, resin and carbohydrates in Grindelia chiloensis as affected by light intensity. Field Crop Res. 69(2), 143–149 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    H.K. Lichtenthaler, A. Alexander, M.V. Marek, Differences in pigment composition, photosynthetic rates and chlorophyll fluorescence images of sun and shade leaves of four tree species. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 45(8), 577–588 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    X.X. Fan, Z.G. Xu, X.Y. Liu, Effects of light intensity on the growth and leaf development of young tomato plants grown under a combination of red and blue light. Sci. Hortic. 153, 50–55 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    T. Steinger, B.A. Roy, M.L. Stanton, Evolution in stressful environments II: adaptive value and costs of plasticity in response to low light in Sinapis arvensis. J. Evol. Biol. 16(2), 313–323 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    W. Oh, E.S. Runkle, R.M. Warner, Timing and duration of supplemental lighting during the seedling stage influence quality and flowering in petunia and pansy. HortScience 45(9), 1332–1337 (2010)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    T.W. McNellis, X.W. Deng, Light control of seedling morphogenetic pattern. Plant Cell 7(11), 1749 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    W. Fu, P.P. Li, Y. Wu, J. Tang, Effects of different light intensities on anti-oxidative enzyme activity, quality and biomass in lettuce. Hortic. Sci. 39, 129–134 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Z. Yang, W. He, S. Mou, X. Wang, D. Chen, X. Hu, L. Chen, J. Bai, Plant growth and development of pepper seedlings under different photoperiods and photon flux ratios of red and blue LEDs. Trans. Chin. Soc. Agric. Eng. 33(17), 173–180 (2017)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    R. Wojciechowska, O. Długosz-Grochowska, A. Kołton, M. Zupnik, Effects of LED supplemental lighting on field and some quality parameters of lamb’s lettuce grown in two winter cycles. Sci. Hortic. 187, 80–86 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    C.T. Della Valle, C.R. Daniel, B. Aschebrook-Kilfoy, A.R. Hollenbeck, A.J. Cross, R. Sinha, M.H. Ward, Dietary intake of nitrate and nitrite and risk of renal cell carcinoma in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Br. J. Cancer 108, 205–212 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    C.L. Chang, K.P. Chang, The growth response of leaf lettuce at different stages to multiple wavelength-band light-emitting diode lighting. Sci. Hortic. 179, 78–84 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    R. Breessani, J.E. Braham, L.G. Elias, All vegetable protein mixtures for human feeding. Can. J. Biochem. 42(4), 631 (1964)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    L.W. Zhang, S.Q. Liu, Z.K. Zhang, Dynamic effects of different light qualities on pea sprouts quality. North. Hortic. 8, 4–7 (2010)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    S. Nobile, J. M. Woodhill (eds.), Vitamin C in the Human Body (Springer, Dordrecht, 1981), pp. 57–75Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    P. Pinho, K. Jokinen, L. Halonen, The influence of the LED light spectrum on the growth and nutrient uptake of hydroponically grown lettuce. Light. Res. Technol. 49(7), 866–881 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    H.M. Qian, T.Y. Liu, M.D. Deng, Effects of light quality on main health-promoting compounds and antioxidant capacity of Chinese kale sprouts. Food Chem. 196, 1232–1238 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    K. Ohashi, M. Takase, N. Kon, Effect of light quality on growth and vegetable quality in leaf lettuce, spinach and komatsuna. Environ. Control. Biol. 45(3), 189–198 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    J. K. Cao, W. B. Jiang, Y. M. Zhao (eds.), Physiological and Biochemical Experimental Guidance of Fruits and Vegetables (China Light Industry Press, Beijing, 2007), pp. 49–50Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Z.J. Zhang, D.X. He, G.H. Niu, R.F. Gao, Concomitant CAM and C3 photosynthetic pathways in Dendrobium officinale plants. J. Am. Soc. Hortic. Sci. 139(3), 290–298 (2014)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    T. Kozai, Resource use efficiency of closed plant production system with artificial light: concept, estimation and application to plant factory. Proc. Jpn. Acad. Ser. B Phys. Biol. Sci. 89(10), 447–461 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    N.N. Cometti, M.Q. Martins, C.A. Bremen Kamp, J.A. Nunes, Nitrate concentration in lettuce leaves depending on photosynthetic photon flux and nitrate concentration in the nutrient solution. Hortic. Bras. 29, 548–553 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    J.Z. Mao, Q. Qiu, F. Zhang, N. Li, Y.G. Hu, X.Z. Xue, Impact of different photoperiods on the morphological index, quality and absorptive amount to ions of lettuce in fluorescent light source. North. Hortic. 15, 24–28 (2013). in ChineseGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    H.K. Jeong, K.K. Sugumaran, L.S.A. Sarah, B.R. Jeong, J.H. Seung, Light intensity and photoperiod Influence the growth and development of hydroponically grown leaf lettuce in a closed-type plant factory system. Hortic. Environ. Biotechnol. 54(6), 501–509 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    L.D. Albright, A.J. Both, A. Chiu, Controlling greenhouse light to a constant daily integral. Trans. ASAE 43(2), 421–431 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    A.J. Both, Ten years of hydroponic lettuce research. Knowledgecenter,, 2001, pp. 1–14
  54. 54.
    A. Scaife, S. Schloemer, The diurnal pattern of nitrate uptake and reduction by spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Ann. Bot. 73(3), 337–343 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    N. Gruda, Impact of environmental variables on product quality of greenhouse vegetables for fresh consumption. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 24, 227–247 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    D. McCall, J. Willumsen, Effects of nitrogen availability and supplementary light on the nitrate content of soil-grown lettuce. J. Hortic. Sci. Biotechnol. 174(4), 458–463 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    G. Aparna, M.D. Kleinhenz, J.C. Scheerens, P.P. Ling, Anthocyanin levels in nine lettuce (Lactuca sativa) cultivars: influence of planting data and relations among analytic, instrumented, and visual assessments of color. HortScience 42(2), 232–238 (2007)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    J. Zhong, T. Seki, S. Kinoshita, T. Yoshida, Effect of light irradiation on anthocyanin production by suspended culture of Perilla frutecens. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 38, 653–658 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    J.E. Park, Y.G. Park, B.R. Jeong, S.J. Hwang, Growth and anthocyanin content of lettuce as affected by artificial light source and photoperiod in a closed-type plant production system. Korean J. Hortic. Sci. Technol. 30(6), 673–679 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    X.L. Chen, W.Z. Guo, X.Z. Xue, L.C. Wang, Growth and quality response of ‘Green Oak Leaf’ lettuce as affected by monochromic or mixed radiation provided by fluorescent lamp (FL) and light-emitting diode (LED). Sci. Hortic. 172, 168–175 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    W. Zhou, W. Liu, Q. Yang, Reducing nitrate concentration in lettuce by elongated lighting delivered by red and blue LEDs before harvest. J. Plant Nutr. 36, 481–490 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Z.P. Ye, J.D. Suggett, P. Robakowski, A mechanistic model for the photosynthesis-light response based on the photosynthetic electron transport of PS II in C3 and C4 species. New Phytol. 152, 1251–1262 (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongxian He
    • 1
  • Toyoki Kozai
    • 2
  • Genhua Niu
    • 3
  • Xin Zhang
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agricultural Engineering in Structure and Environment of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural AffairsChina Agricultural UniversityHaidian, BeijingChina
  2. 2.Japan Plant Factory Associationc∕o FC Center of Chiba UniversityKashiwaJapan
  3. 3.Texas A&M AgriLife Research at El Paso, Texas A&M University SystemEl PasoUSA
  4. 4.Beijing Research Center for Information Technology in AgricultureHaidian, BeijingChina

Personalised recommendations