LED grow lights for tomatoes are a great choice for farmers looking for ways to reduce energy costs in their indoor gardens.
The efficiency and ability of LED lamps to produce different types of lights are some of the characteristics that make them more appealing than their counterpart HPS, fluorescent and other traditional lights. In addition, they are long-lasting, rugged and environmentally friendly. This means that they provide both financial and environmental benefits.
Benefits of growing tomatoes in indoor farms
There several advantages of growing tomatoes and other plants in greenhouses or other indoor facilities. This is because the conditions inside the facility are controlled and usually protected from the harsh outdoor environment. The major benefits are:
- Controlling the environment in the greenhouse produces the ideal conditions that a plant requires. This reduces the crop failure while increasing the yields.
- Improving the health of the plants and consequently the quality of the tomatoes.
- Gives farmers the potential to grow the tomatoes all the year round.
- Potential to add other layers and implement vertical farming to maximize floor space and increase productivity.
- Maximise use of water, avoid the effects of flood and drought.
- Does not require much space.
- Minimize use of pesticides.
With such a system, the farmers can even grow the tomatoes near markets, hence reducing the transport times and costs as well as the supply uncertainties due to poor weather. The produce will also reach the market in a shorter time when it is still fresh and have the best taste and nutritional value.
Using LED grow lights for tomatoes in the indoor farms
The indoor gardens enable the farmers to grow tomatoes during the out-of-season periods, as well as in areas where the weather is not favorable for the plants. But the farmers have to provide the conditions similar to what the tomatoes require in the natural outdoor environment. This includes the nutrients, water, humidity, sunlight and more.
However, it is usually a challenge getting adequate sunlight onto the indoor tomatoes. This is especially so when the windows are small, during winter and other times when the days are shorter.
Farmers can overcome this with the artificial lights such the LED grow lights, fluorescents, and other traditional lamps. Of all these sources, the LED lamps are the most cost-effective and have the potential to produce better quality if optimized well.
One of the benefits of the LED grow lights for tomatoes is the ability to deliver the same output as other lamps but using much less energy. In addition, it is longer lasting and requires less cooling. As such, they have low maintenance costs compared to other lamps hence more savings in the operational costs for the farmers.
In addition to the useful light, the traditional lights produce much more energy that goes into waste as heat. Unless it is a cold month, the farmer must remove this excess heat from the facility – to prevent damage to the plants. This is in itself an additional equipment cost since it requires installing cooling systems, which will also consume more electricity to run.
Benefits of LED grow lights for tomatoes
Below are some benefits of using LED grow lights in the indoor tomato gardens.
Low energy consumption and costs
They have low consumption and hence lower production costs. Unlike the traditional bulbs which produce a general light containing both useful and unnecessary wavelengths, the LEDs are highly customizable such that they only produce what the plant needs.
One of the major benefits of the LED lights is to produce specific light colors that the tomatoes require. This means that they convert almost all the electricity they consume into useful light energy for the plants, hence less energy use compared to the traditional lamps.
No cooling requirements
LED lamps do not release a lot of heat to the environment, hence no need to cool the indoor garden. On the other hand, the difference between the energy a traditional light consumes and what is useful to the plant is much larger. The additional energy is released as heat, which farmer must remove using additional air conditioning equipment and electricity.
Easy to adjust and control
Since the tomatoes require different lights at various growing stages, the highly customizable LED grow lights are the best suited for the purpose. The farmer has the options to choose what type of light color to release from the LED grow lights for tomatoes depending on the phase.
In addition, the farmer can easily adjust the number of hours to keep the lights. Although the other type of lights has similar controls, it is much cheaper and reliable when working with LED lamps.
Helps farmers to produce tomatoes throughout the year
LED grow lights for tomatoes enable the farmers to produce tomatoes in the indoor facilities all the year round regardless of the weather. This includes extending the light during the short days.
Due to the more favorable environment that LEDs provide, the yield may also be more positive than with the other lights. For example, it is possible to produce the ideal light spectrum for the tomatoes from seedling to the production stage.
Also, LEDs introduces lesser challenges such as less heat while the other lamps will release heat into the indoor space; hence requiring cooling that can affect other conditions such as the humidity.
Better light penetration and yields
Since they usually run cooler and do not emit a lot of heat, the lights can be placed closer to the tomatoes. This increases the surface area of the tomato leaves that receives the light, including the lower parts such as the leaves and branches in the understory.
Since the LED grow lights are much cooler, the farmer can place them closer to the tomatoes. This increases the light penetration and coverage of the entire plant. The light can reach a larger surface area of the tomato including the leaves and branches at the top, middle and lower parts near the ground. This increases the fruiting areas on the tomato, hence more yields.
In addition, the light will reach the shorter plants and farmers can even grow densely populated tomato plants.
Easy to install
LED lights are lightweight, thinner and, require less space. In addition, they are long lasting, easy to easy to install and maintain.
Useful tips when using LED grow lights for tomatoes
Among the precautions to take when using the LED grow lights for tomatoes are:
- Ensure that lamps emit the correct wavelength for the tomatoes
- Ensure that the height or distance between the LED fixtures and the tomatoes plants is correct. This prevents poor growth due to insufficient light or heat damage to the seedlings due to a short distance. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Protect the LED lights for tomatoes from unstable power and surges. The LED lamps, drivers, and the controls are sensitive and can suffer damage from bad electrical power such as power surges. As such, it is important to protect the equipment using a suitable power stripe, stabilizers or backup systems.
The LED grow lights for tomatoes provide a more cost-effective lighting than traditional lamps. For instance, they use less energy and do not require cooling since they do not release a lot of heat inside the facility.
Further, the LEDs can provide the ideal combination of light for the tomatoes.Placing them in the correct position improves the light penetration and potential for better quantity and quality of the tomatoes.