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  • Author or Editor: María del Mar Gea x
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Light-emitting diode (LED) lamps signify one of the most important advances in artificial lighting for horticulture over the last few decades. The objective of this study was to compare the cultivation of four horticultural plants using a conventional white LED tube (T0) light against one with a good spectral fit to the maximum photosynthetic response (T1) at two intensities. The experiment was carried out with two types of young lettuce, tomato, and bell pepper plants. In a controlled environment chamber, six and four lamps per square meter were used to achieve high (H) and low (L) intensity, respectively. We measured the lighting parameters illuminance (lux) and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) intensity (µmol·m−2·s−1). The dry and fresh weight, leaf area (LA), and specific index were measured to gauge plant growth. The photosynthetic activity and energy efficiency (EE) were recorded for each species over 60 days of cultivation. The results clearly demonstrate that, compared with conventional LED lamps, the specific horticultural LED lamps with an improved light spectrum increased the EE of the evaluated vegetables by 26%. At both the studied light intensities, plant growth was clearly more closely linked to the spectral fit of the light to the maximum photosynthetic response recorded by McCree (1972) than to PPF or illuminance (lux). We therefore suggest that a specific, detailed spectral distribution study be conducted to predict the effect of the specific quantity and quality of light used in this study on a single parameter of plant growth.

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