The global horticulture lighting industry is growing. According to a study by MarketDigits released at the beginning of the year, horticulture lighting is expected to grow 21.4% by 2026. This growth is in large part due to permanent changes we will be seeing in standard agricultural practices in the coming years. How we grow food is poised to undergo a dramatic shift.
Indoor and vertical farming are on the rise worldwide. In fact – over the course of the next 10 years – they may become the preferred methods of growing food. There will be an increase in demand for all types of indoor grow lights, but LED lighting specifically is uniquely positioned to meet changing needs.
We have talked many times about the benefits of LED lighting in terms of lower long-term costs, better yields, and the ability to customize your crops. At California Lightworks, we are excited to see how the LED market will grow in the coming years – and how LED lights can help us adapt to a changing world and secure a better future.
Growing Demands For Lighting Solutions
COVID-19 impacted the operations of several light manufacturers due to factory shut-downs. It also affected supplies and distributors, leading to a fall in shipments domestically and internationally.
However, this slump was only for the first half of 2020. The market is now expected to bounce back – and quickly.
There is more demand than ever before for horticulture lighting as the world changes. The combined effects of population growth, urbanization, and diminishing water supplies means less arable land is available. At the same time, the population is growing quickly, increasing the worldwide demand for food.
The solution to this predicament lies in indoor farming, vertical farming, and greenhouses. Such facilities come with many advantages, including the ability to grow food year-round and in any weather conditions. Supplemental lighting is now key to the future of the agriculture industry.
Why LED Lighting?
Year-Round Crop Production
According to CropsReview.com, a single high-rise farm can produce as much produce as 480 traditional horizontal farms and a single indoor acre is equivalent to multiple outdoor acres. Supplemental lighting allows you to both create ideal conditions for your crops and grow them year-round. This means companies can continue producing food throughout the winter months.
LED lights are one of the best options for indoor growing. They allow growers to tune their light spectrums year-round to meet the plant’s needs. Plus, they do not produce excessive amounts of heat like HPS lights tend to, allowing you to more easily maintain an ideal temperature.
Reduce Your Operating Costs
While upfront costs are generally higher, growers save money in the long run as they’re much more energy efficient. LED lights are roughly 2.5-times cheaper to operate than bulb-based lighting. Over the years, the added installation cost quickly pays for itself as large scale growers will end up saving thousands of dollars per year on operating costs.
As many horticulture companies are going to be operating indoors year-round, energy-efficient lighting is vital. You have to think about the long-term costs of your entire system, and one easy way to save is to opt for LEDs.
Built For Retrofitting
MarketDigits predicts that retrofit installations are expected to rise in the coming years. Retrofitting lighting in existing buildings helps save energy, lowers maintenance and labor costs, and provides the supplemental lighting necessary to improve the overall quality of the plants. LED lighting systems are perfect for retrofitting.
Recently, California Lightworks introduced our MegaDrive Lighting Technology. The MegaDrive power unit provides 10 kilowatts of power, enough to power 30 MDF-400 fixtures. Individual fixtures no longer require individual LED drivers. Instead of designing an infrastructure to provide a separate drop for each light, you simply install a single drop per 30 fixtures.
Because this greatly simplifies installation, you usually do not need to hire electrical professionals to hang and connect your fixtures. This cuts down on installation costs for any setup, but is especially convenient when retrofitting existing structures.
Looking To The Future
The horticulture lighting industry is expected to grow across the world in coming years. The European market is especially poised to take off as the Netherlands, Spain, France, and Italy already have large areas of greenhouse cultivation. These countries are also exporting fruits and vegetables to Asian and African countries.
LED lighting is no longer only supplemental lighting. It is a primary light source for many growers making the permanent switch to indoor growing. The COVID-19 pandemic has setback distribution and manufacturing of LED lighting across the country and world, but we believe that this setback will only be temporary.
As the demand for LED lighting grows worldwide, the LED industry will as well. We need to find new and innovative solutions to meet the demands of a changing world. California Lightworks is more excited than ever to be in the LED lighting industry. We will continue to adapt our product to keep up with the changing times.