Usage and Control of Solid-state Lighting for Plant Growth

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


The work begins with an introductory part in which the basic aspects related to the photosynthetic radiation, the photobiology of plants and the technology of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are overviewed. It is followed by a review of related research works that have been conducted during the last two decades, and by the main design issues of LED luminaires for plant growth. The following part of the work reports the experimental growth tests performed. The effects of the radiation emitted by spectrally tailored LED luminaires on plant growth have been investigated. A total of four growth tests using lettuce and radish cultivars were performed. Two basic approaches were used to investigate the effects and the future possibilities of the usage of solid-state lighting (SSL) in plant growth. The first approach evaluates the growth development of lettuce plants in real greenhouse conditions using LEDs as supplementary light sources to natural daylight. In the second approach the evaluation was carried out with a total absence of natural daylight by growing lettuce and radish plants in phytotron-chamber conditions. The effects of SSL treatments on the growth development and quality of crops were compared with reference lighting systems composed of conventional and well-established light-source technologies, such as fluorescent and high-pressure sodium lamps. During the process of the investigation, the need to coherently quantify and evaluate the spectral quality of the radiation in terms of its photosynthetic appetence arose. Different metrics are still been used indiscriminately to quantify radiation used by plants to perform photosynthesis. Therefore, the existing metrics are discussed and a new proposal for coherent systematization is presented. The proposed system is referred to phyllophotometric and it is developed using the average photosynthetic spectral quantum yield response curve of plants. The results of the growth tests showed that the usage of SSL in plant growth offers an unprecedented possibility to optimise the morphogenesis, the photosynthesis and the nutritional quality of crops. This can be done by controlling the quantity and the spectral composition of the radiation provided, areas where LED-based luminaires excel. These possibilities can contribute to respond to the increasing demand for high-quality horticultural products by the consumers and to the conservation of global natural environment and resources.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Helsinki University of Technology
Print ISBNs978-951-22-9501-2
Electronic ISBNs978-951-22-9502-9
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • Light emitting diode
  • plant growth
  • control of light spectrum
  • solid-state lighting
  • phyllophotometry


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