Artificial Lighting System for Plant Growth and Development: Chronological Advancement, Working Principles, and Comparative Assessment

  • S. Dutta Gupta
  • A. Agarwal


The presence of favorable light environment is pivotal for optimal plant growth and development. Spatiotemporal deficits of natural light limit the plant productivity which results in poor quantitative and qualitative yield. In order to mitigate the situation, electrical lamps have been chosen as a reliable source of light for indoor cultivation. Over the years, various conventional light sources including incandescent lamps (ILs), fluorescent lamps (FLs), high-pressure mercury lamps (HPMLs), high-pressure sodium lamps (HPSLs), and metal-halide lamps (MHLs) have been employed for plant lighting in greenhouses and controlled environment cultivation facilities. However, these light sources suffer from certain drawbacks such as fixed spectral output, high-power requirement, emission of heat, and short life span. Invention of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has changed the scenario for artificial lighting in all fields of application due to the numerous advanced features as compared to the conventional light sources. Emission spectrum and light intensity of LED panels can be tuned to match the light requirement of the plant species being grown. Low power consumption and long life span make LED lamps the ideal choice for plant lighting in small- and large-scale operations. Low heat emission, small size, and ease of handling add to the merits of LEDs.


Light-emitting diodes Photoreceptor Spectral quality Luminous efficacy Plant morphogenesis 


  1. Agarwal A, Dutta Gupta S (2016) Impact of light emitting-diodes (LEDs) and its potential on plant growth and development in controlled-environment plant production system. Curr Biotechnol 5:28–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson JM, Chow WS, Park YI (1995) The grand design of photosynthesis: acclimation of the photosynthetic apparatus to environmental cues. Photosynth Res 46:129–139CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bourget CM (2008) An introduction to light-emitting diodes. HortScience 43(7):1944–1946Google Scholar
  4. Boyle G (2004) Renewable energy: power for a sustainable future, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, UKGoogle Scholar
  5. Briggs WR, Christie JM (2002) Phototropins 1 and 2: versatile plant blue light receptors. Trends Plant Sci 7(5):204–210CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bula RJ, Morrow RC, Tibbitts TW, Barta DJ, Ignatius RW, Martin TS (1991) Light-emitting diodes as a radiation source for plants. HortScience 26(2):203–205Google Scholar
  7. Bula RJ, Tibbitts TW, Morrow RC, Dinauer WR (1992) Commercial involvement in the development of space-based plant growing technology. Adv Space Res 12(5):5–10CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Cashmore AR, Jarillo JA, Wu YJ, Liu D (1999) Cryptochromes: blue light receptors for plants and animals. Science 284(5415):760–765CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen J, Zhang N, Guo C, Pan F, Zhou X, Suo H, Zhao X, Goldys EM (2016) Site-dependent luminescence and thermal stability of Eu2+ doped fluorophosphate toward white LEDs for plant growth. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8:20856–20864CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dutta Gupta S, Jatothu B (2013) Fundamentals and applications of light emitting-diodes (LEDs) in vitro plant growth and morphogenesis. Plant Biotechnol Rep 7:211–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harvey RB (1922) Growth of plants in artificial light. Bot Gaz 74:447–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. He G, Zheng L (2010) Color temperature tunable white-light light-emitting diode clusters with high color rendering index. Appl Opt 49(24):4670–4676CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Kim HH, Wheeler RM, Sager JC, Yorio NC, Goins GD (2005) Light-emitting diodes as an illumination source for plants: a review of research at Kennedy Space Center. Habitat (Elmsford) 10:71–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kitsinelis S (2011) Light sources: technologies and applications. CRC Press, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  15. Lei Z, Xia G, Ting L, Xiaoling G, Ming LQ, Guangdi S (2007) Color rendering and luminous efficacy of trichromatic and tetrachromatic LED-based white LEDs. Microelectron J 38:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Massa G, Kim H, Wheeler RM, Mitchell CA (2008) Plant productivity in response to LED lighting. HortScience 43:1951–1956Google Scholar
  17. Mitchell CA, Both AJ, Bourget CM, Burr JF, Kubota C, Lopez RG, Morrow RC, Runkle ES (2012) LEDs: the future of greenhouse lighting! Chron Hortic 52:6–10Google Scholar
  18. Mpelkas CC (1980) Light sources for horticultural lighting. Inst Electr Electron Eng Trans Ind Appl IA-16(4):557–565Google Scholar
  19. Nakamura S, Fasol G (1997) The blue laser diode: GaN based light emitters and lasers. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nakamura S, Senoh M, Nagahama SI, Iwasa N, Matsushita T, Mukai T (2000) Blue InGaN-based laser diodes with an emission wavelength of 450 nm. Appl Phys Lett 76(1):22–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pattison PM, Tsao JY, Krames MR (2016) Light-emitting diode technology status and directions: opportunities for horticultural lighting. Acta Hortic 1134:413–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pfeiffer NE (1926) Microchemical and morphological studies of effect of light on plants. Bot Gaz 81:173–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pinho P, Halonen L (2014) Agricultural and horticultural lighting. In: Karlicek R, Sun CC, Zissis G, Ma R (eds) Handbook of advanced lighting technology. Springer, Switzerland, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  24. Round HJ (1907) Discovery of electroluminescence—blue light emission from silicon carbide (SiC). Electron World 19:309Google Scholar
  25. Sancar A (2003) Structure and function of DNA photolyase and cryptochrome blue-light photoreceptors. Chem Rev 103(6):2203–2238CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Schubert EF (2003) Light-emitting diodes. Cambridge University Press, UKGoogle Scholar
  27. Shinomura T, Uchida K, Furuya M (2000) Elementary processes of photoperception by phytochrome A for high-irradiance response of hypocotyl elongation in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol 122(1):147–156CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Shur MS, Žukauskas A (2005) Solid-state lighting: toward superior illumination. Proc Inst Electr Electron Eng 93(10):1691–1703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Siemens CW (1880) On the influence of electric light upon vegetation, and on certain physical principles involved. Proc R Soc Lond 30:210–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Simpson RS (2003) Lighting control—technology and applications. Focal Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  31. Smith H (1995) Physiological and ecological function within the phytochrome family. Annu Rev Plant Biol 46:289–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Spalding EP, Folta KM (2005) Illuminating topics in plant photobiology. Plant, Cell Environ 28:39–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tamulaitis G, Duchovskis P, Bliznikas Z, Breive K, Ulinskaite R, Brazaityte A, Novickovas A, Zukauskas A (2005) High-power light-emitting diode based facility for plant cultivation. J Phys D Appl Phys 38:3182–3187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. US Department of Energy (2016) Solid-state lighting: R & D plan. Accessed 11 Sept 2016
  35. Zheludev N (2007) The life and times of the LED—a 100-year history. Nat Photonics 1:189–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zissis G, Kitsinelis S (2009) State of art on the science and technology of electrical light sources: from the past to the future. J Phys D Appl Phys 42:173001CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural and Food Engineering DepartmentIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

Personalised recommendations