Department of Plant Science and Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University1
Plant factories with artificial lights require a large amount of electrical energy for lighting; therefore, enhancement of light use efficiency will decrease the cost of plant production. The objective of this study was to enhance the light use efficiency by using filters to diffuse the light from LED sources in plant factory conditions. The two treatments used diffuse glasses with haze factors of 40% and 80%, and a control without the filter. For each treatment, canopy light distribution was evaluated by a 3-D ray tracing method and canopy photosynthesis was measured with a sealed acrylic chamber. Sixteen lettuces for each treatment were cultivated hydroponically in a plant factory for 28 days after transplanting and their growth was compared. Simulation results showed that the light absorption was concentrated on the upper part of the lettuce canopy in treatments and control. The control showed particularly poor canopy light distribution with hotspots of light intensity; thus the light use efficiency decreased compared to the treatments. Total light absorption was the highest in the control; however, the amount of effective light absorption was higher in treatments than the control, and was highest in treatment using filters with a haze factor of 80%. Canopy photosynthesis and plant growth were significantly higher in all the treatments. In conclusion, application of the diffuse glass filters enhanced the canopy light distribution, photosynthesis, and growth of the plants under LED lighting, resulting in enhanced the light use efficiency in plant factory conditions.
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