Nov 16, 2016: Vegetables grown under LED lighting is disrupting agricultural industry, says Kaila Colbin, the New Zealand ambassador of Singularity University. The California-based University aims to address worldwide challenges by empowering leaders to employ new technologies.
90% drop in LED prices
Further, Colbin said that a 90% drop in LED prices has made it cheaper for the agriculture industry to employ this ever-increasing technology. Previously, LED lighting was used only for high value but prohibited indoor crops such as marijuana. However, at present LEDs are being extensively used in multi-storeyed vegetable crops across the globe, added Colbin.
Cheap LED lighting disrupts agriculture
Further she said that at present indoor farms in disused nightclubs in New Jersey supply vegetables to New York at price par with organic vegetables out of California.
The world’s biggest indoor farm is located in Japan, which is 100 times more productive as compared to a conventional farm. The indoor farm utilizes 40% less energy, and generates 80% less food waste and utilizes 99% less water.
Australia has plenty of natural sunlight, and LED investment is not extensively used as there is not yet a return on investment, according to indoor vegetable industry sources.