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There is a plant factory in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, which has been in operation since 2014. The large facility covers an area of about 5,000 square meters and uses LED grow lights to produce four salad vegetables.
Katashi Kai, general manager of the operations department, described the advantages of LED artificial lighting solutions: “The biggest advantage is that they can guarantee stable production and supply throughout the year, independent of climate and environment. The cultivation method completely eliminates dust, insect pests, and foreign matter pollution, and can produce high quality and safe vegetables without using pesticides."
In the early days of its establishment, the factory used traditional fluorescent lamps as the light sources. According to Kai, the introduction of LED plant grow light was too expensive, and there were some concerns about its reliability. However, the first three years of the operation plan also covers a contrast experiment of fluorescent lamps and LED grow lights.
The study found that fluorescent lamps have various problems. For example, the heat generated by fluorescent lamps will burn plant leaves, and the short decay period.
Kai said: "LED lamps do not have such problems. Therefore, we decided to replace the fluorescent lamps with LED grow lights, in the long term, the use of LED light sources can greatly reduce costs."
The LED lamps were fully adopted in the second plant factory that was completed in 2017. Compared to the previous, the electricity cost was reduced by about 40%, and the growth rate of vegetables was increased by 20% to 30%. Higher growth rates mean higher yields in the facility, lower production costs.
Mr. Kai looks to the future: “Because climate change makes it more and more difficult to grow vegetables in the field, we expect that the production of vegetables in large plant factories will become the focus of future agriculture. Within 10 years, the vegetables produced by plant factories may become the standard ingredients in the world. ”
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