Light technology for vegetable crops

Over the last few years, horticulture has succeeded in producing vegetable crops all year round thanks to the use of lighting. This means that tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are grown in the dark winter months as well. By combining the unlit summer crop with the winter lit crop, growers can supply their customers throughout the twelve months of the year.

If the optimum crop yield is to be achieved, the right combination of fixture and reflector is required for each crop. In tomato cultivation, the light level is more important than an even light distribution. Conventional wisdom indicates that the light should reach not just the top of the crop, but also the leaves lower down in the crop. These lower leaves can then participate in the photosynthesis process.

In pepper cultivation, the use of supplemental lighting makes it possible to produce during the darker periods of the year. In the case of peppers too, it is not so much the evenness of the light distribution that matters, but more importantly, it is that the light also reaches the bottom leaves so that the whole plant contributes to the photosynthesis process.

In cucumber cultivation, the growing light plays a different role. Cucumber crops are very sensitive to diseases and pests. The using of lighting boosts the health of the plant. During the dark months of the year, the crop can be kept in a healthier condition.

What light levels for what crop?

Tomato:
Light level between 170 and 200 µmol/m²

Pepper:
Light level between 70 and 130 µmol/m²

Cucumber:
Light level between 100 and 200 µmol/m²