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The LED light switch: how indoor farmers can save energy

If you are a farmer or grower struggling with the recent rising energy costs that show no signs of abating, now is the time to consider the switch to LED lighting as a more cost-efficient solution.

While high-voltage sodium (HPS) grow lights have been traditionally favored by growers in the past, LED grow lights are also increasingly taking center stage for other reasons, such as their sustainability, increased durability, and longer lifespan.

True, LED grow lights are more expensive when it comes to their initial upfront purchasing price, and this can often be seen as a limiting factor for growers. However, LED grow lights deliver a measurable return on this initial investment because they are more cost-effective to run and far more energy-efficient. 

Light Science Technology's nurturGro LEDs

While HPS grow lights are significantly more energy-efficient and cost-effective than other forms of lighting such as metal halide grow lights, incandescent grow lights or fluorescent grow lights, they are still hungry for power. HPS grow lights convert only 30% of the energy they use into usable light, while LED grow lights convert about 50% of electricity into light. This is where LED grow lights really do shine. Research that unpacked the use of LEDs across different climates and applications found that LED grow lights can potentially save 10-25% of total greenhouse energy demand. These lights are also far better for the environment in the long term, as they can be managed and disposed of safely compared to HPS grow lights.  

Understandably, financial outlay is perhaps at the forefront of a farmer’s mind when considering LED grow lights. It makes sense – optimized yields, grow spaces, and lighting systems are all about getting more for less. As mentioned, it is a factor that does give some growers pause when considering investment into LED grow lights. They are more expensive to set up initially, and this cost cannot be bypassed if you want a solution that delivers the right results. That said, LED grow lights do consume less power, deliver better long-term value, and cost less to maintain than HPS grow lights. They also last longer. 

The longevity of LED grow lights makes them a sustainable and strategic move. LED lighting system manufacturers found that the average LED grow light lifespan – variable depending on location, use case, and other factors – was around 50,000-70,000 hours, while HPS grow lights were only expected to last for up to 20,000 hours. Light Science Technology's nurturGROW range features LED lighting technology which is backed by a 25-year product lifecycle, ensuring indoor farmers maximize the use of every element over a longer lifespan to generate maximum yields and save them a third on future costs. It benefits from a sustainable, future-proof design, as 90% of its components are recyclable and 85% is also reusable, therefore drastically cutting down on landfill waste and offering a circular solution.

LED lighting offers growers a more customizable and capable lighting solution for three very simple reasons: a) The grower can control heat and light more effectively, b) the costs can be measurably managed and reduced over the long term, and c) they can be customized into bespoke solutions that perfectly match the needs of the farmer, crop type, climate, and available grow space.

To get the most value out of your LED grow light installation, work with a trusted partner who can provide a bespoke service, not just to ensure the right light spectrum and overall lighting efficiency, but a specialist who can create the right recipe for your environment with the latest technology and science at their fingertips, ready to help you shift your yield forwards.

Craig Price

Craig Price, Operations Director of Light Science Technologies, comments: “Not only can energy savings be made by switching to LED - up to 40% when compared to the standard HPS lamps - but further savings can also be achieved if the lighting solution is applied correctly within the growing environment. However, a poor understanding and application of any lighting solution can lead to anticipated savings being eroded.

“Collaborating with an experienced LED grow light expert, one that is customer-focused by design, means it understands every variable and can help you to design a sustainable solution that fits your unique growing parameters to help you achieve the best possible results while reducing both your CAPEX and OPEX costs.”

For more information:
Light Science Technologies
[email protected]