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Imagine OLEDs for Grow Lights…
Indoor farming has experienced a major evolution with the introduction of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology. The first generation of SSL, LED grow lights, provided numerous advantages for horticulture, including increased efficiency and profitability. The next generation of SSL, Organic LED (OLED) technology, has the potential to further revolutionize the future of indoor farming.
As surface emitters on glass sheets, OLED lighting panels are inherently thin (less than 1mm thick) and cool to the touch. Low heat production and space savings from razor-thin OLED lighting allow indoor farms to decrease air conditioning expenses, increase vertical density, and maximize crop yields, creating unprecedented efficiency and profitability.
In addition to better space utilization and lower heat dissipation, OLED lighting technology has an intrinsic advantage regarding light quality. With a spectral range of approximately 420nm – 800nm, OLED panels produce light in the full PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) spectrum that closely resembles natural daylight. Studies have shown that full-spectrum white light containing green wavelengths stimulates photosynthesis more than white light containing just red and blue.
Indoor growers continue to investigate innovative lighting technologies that could further efficiency and improve plant growth. One such technology currently under development is transparent OLED lighting panels. Transparent OLEDs will allow growers to use natural and “free” sunlight when possible but provide the option of artificial lighting when required. In a greenhouse, transparent OLEDs could provide supplementary illumination during times of the growing season when daytime lighting is too short or insufficient for optimal plant growth.
OLED lighting panels offer many advantages over traditional and LED grow lights for horticulture. OLED lighting produces the lowest heat output and the highest quality of full spectrum light, with the thinnest profile available. With these features, OLED lighting is poised to reshape the growing capabilities of the indoor farming industry.