Effects of intermittent light on photomixotrophic growth of potato plantlets in vitro and the electrical savings that could be realized by adjusting the frequency and duty ratio of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were investigated and compared to the use of conventional tubular fluorescent lamps (TFLs). TFLs provide continuous fluctuating light at 60 Hz and LEDs provide continuous nonfluctuating or intermittent/pulse light depend on the preset frequency and duty ratio. In total, eight treatments were investigated with varying light source, frequency, duty ratio and photoperiod. Results indicated that if growth rate is the only concern, LEDs at 720 Hz [1.4 milliseconds (ms)] and 50% duty ratio with 16-h light/8-h dark photoperiod stimulated plant growth the most. However, if energy consumption is the major concern, using LEDs at 180 Hz (5.5 ms) and 50% duty ratio with 16-h light/8-h dark photoperiod would be the best choice for illuminating potato plantlets without significantly sacrificing plant growth, especially when energy for heat removal is also considered.
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