Sunlight is a free, natural source of energy that is essential for agriculture and crop growth. Sunlight provides the energy necessary for plants to photosynthesize and produce their own food. In addition, sunlight is a source of heat that helps plants grow and maintain a suitable temperature.
Although sunlight is the best option for growing plants, it is often not enough or available in adequate amounts. In these cases, it is necessary to resort to artificial light, such as LED grow lights, to provide the plants with the quantity and quality of light they need. Thanks to new technologies, it is possible to grow plants intensively in different parts of the world using artificial light. This has made it possible to develop crops in reduced spaces, such as greenhouses or cultivation centers, and in places with unfavorable climates, such as polar or desert regions.
1. When it is advisable to practice agriculture with artificial light
Farming indoors with artificial light is a good option under the following conditions:
- When there is not enough sunlight: If the place where you want to grow the plants does not have access to enough sunlight, artificial light can be an excellent option to provide the plants with the amount and quality of light they need.
When there is little space available: Indoor farming with artificial light is ideal for growing plants in small spaces, such as balconies, terraces or even at home. This is especially useful in urban areas where space is limited.
When there are unfavorable climates: Farming indoors with artificial light is a good option for growing plants in places with unfavorable climates, such as polar or desert regions. Artificial light allows you to control weather conditions and provide plants with the quantity and quality of light they need to grow healthily.
When you want to grow specific plants: Indoor farming with artificial light is a good option for growing plants that need a specific type of light to grow optimally, such as orchids or azaleas. Artificial light allows you to control the quantity and quality of light that plants receive and optimize growth and flowering.
It is important to take into account that agriculture in closed spaces with artificial light requires more knowledge and effort, since it is necessary to control the climatic conditions and provide the plants with the adequate quantity and quality of light. In addition, it is also necessary to take into account the energy cost and environmental impact of artificial light.
2. Advantages and disadvantages of the use of artificial light in agricultura
There are several advantages of using artificial light to practice agriculture. Some of the most important are:
- Greater control over crop growth and yield: Artificial lighting allows you to control the amount and quality of light your plants receive, which can increase crop growth and yield. This is especially useful for crops that need a specific type of light to grow optimally.
- Increased productivity: Artificial light allows you to grow plants throughout the year, regardless of the weather or the availability of sunlight. This can increase the productivity and diversity of crops.
- Greater flexibility: Artificial light allows you to grow plants in different spaces and places, even in urban areas or with unfavorable climates. This increases the flexibility and adaptability of agricultura.
Although artificial light has many advantages for agriculture, it also has some disadvantages:
- Higher cost: one of the main problems is that they require higher energy consumption, which can increase the cost of crop production. Although with new technologies such as LED light, consumption is less and less.
- Greater environmental impact: The use of artificial light can contribute to climate change and increased pollution, since most of the energy sources used to generate artificial light are non-renewable and polluting sources.
- Greater effort: it requires more knowledge and effort, since it is necessary to control the climatic conditions and provide the plants with the adequate quantity and quality of light.
- Higher initial investment: a higher initial investment is needed, since it is necessary to acquire and maintain the lamps and other equipment necessary to provide artificial light to the crops.
It is important to note that although artificial light does have some drawbacks, it can also be a great option for growing plants in special conditions or for increasing productivity and flexibility in agriculture.
3. Other aspects to take into account in indoor agriculture
In addition to artificial light, there are several aspects that are important to take into account when doing agriculture in closed spaces:
- Temperature: It is important to maintain a suitable temperature for the cultivation of plants. This can be achieved through the use of heating or air conditioning systems, depending on the needs of each crop.
- Humidity: It is important to maintain an adequate level of humidity for the cultivation of plants. This can be achieved through the use of irrigation systems or humidifiers, depending on the needs of each crop.
- Soil: It is important to use a suitable soil for growing plants. It is necessary to choose a soil that has the appropriate characteristics for the type of plant that you want to grow and that is free of pests and diseases.
- Nutrients: It is important to provide plants with the nutrients they need to grow healthily. This can be achieved through the use of fertilizers or through the use of substrates prepared for each type of plant.