LED lights for growing food crops in space

Philips Lighting with The University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) is testing energy efficient ways to grow food that will help feed astronauts on missions to the moon, Mars and beyond.

A recent research shows lettuce grown under Philips LED modules achieved up to 54 grams/kWh of fresh weight edible lettuce compared to lettuce grown under a high pressure sodium system which achieved only 24 grams/kWh of fresh weight, edible lettuce. This represents an energy savings of 56%.

"NASA has been working with universities for over 25 years to discover how the use of LEDs can support plant growth in closed environments. Over that time we have used patented LED technology as part of the Astroculture plant growth chambers for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS), NASA’s ground based Habitat Demonstration Unit, as well as NASA’s VEGGIE plant unit on the ISS," said Ray Wheeler, a NASA plant physiologist. "It is fascinating to see how LED plant lighting has expanded so rapidly around the world and continues to further develop as we have seen most recently with the Mars-Lunar Greenhouse Project at the University of Arizona."

Source: Philips.com
Editing for Eindhoven News: Chuan Nie

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