Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

PLoS ONE

Publisher

Public Library of Science

Publication Date

6-6-2014

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0099010

Abstract

Lighting technologies for plant growth are improving rapidly, providing numerous options for supplemental lighting in greenhouses. Here we report the photosynthetic (400-700 nm) photon efficiency and photon distribution pattern of two double-ended HPS fixtures, five mogul-base HPS fixtures, ten LED fixtures, three ceramic metal halide fixtures, and two fluorescent fixtures. The two most efficient LED and the two most efficient double-ended HPS fixtures had nearly identical efficiencies at 1.66 to 1.70 micromoles per joule. These four fixtures represent a dramatic improvement over the 1.02 micromoles per joule efficiency of the mogul-base HPS fixtures that are in common use. The best ceramic metal halide and fluorescent fixtures had efficiencies of 1.46 and 0.95 micromoles per joule, respectively. We also calculated the initial capital cost of fixtures per photon delivered and determined that LED fixtures cost five to ten times more than HPS fixtures. The five-year electric plus fixture cost per mole of photons is thus 2.3 times higher for LED fixtures. If widely spaced benches are a necessary part of a production system, the unique ability of LED fixtures to efficiently focus photons on specific areas can be used to improve the photon capture by plant canopies. Our analysis demonstrates, however, that the cost per photon delivered is higher in these systems, regardless of fixture category. The lowest lighting system costs are realized when an efficient fixture is coupled with effective canopy photon capture.