Extensive testing with the Philips GreenPower LED production module dynamic has concluded that white light is unnecessary for grow lights’ LED installations. Compared to red and blue light, white light does not add value to the crop and only increases energy consumption. Recent results from basil cultivation confirm previous experiences with lettuce, tomato, and spinach crops. While white light may be more comfortable for assessing the color of crops, it does not contribute to plant growth and only increases costs.
Trials were conducted on basil crops grown consecutively under different light recipes, with varying amounts of white at the expense of red and blue light. The trials showed that while the input of white resulted in higher energy consumption, it did not yield more fresh weight. The fresh weight decreased as the proportion of white light increased. Research on lettuce and spinach has shown that white does not yield growth gains but only increases costs.
The results of these trials suggest that white does not have a significant role to play in LED crop lighting installations. A dynamic LED installation is recommended for efficient lighting for plants and people in daylight-free cultivation. Such installations would allow the brightness and spectrum to be tailored to the crop’s needs at any given time, optimizing the relationship between crop yield and energy consumption while respecting labor conditions. While white may be more comfortable to work with and helpful in assessing color, it does not add value to the plant and only increases costs.
Read more on those trials here.