Improving the Flavor of Food with Variable LED Grow Cycles
Recent university studies have demonstrated that different wavelengths of light have a direct effect on the production of the volatile compounds that control the taste and aroma characteristics of food plants. LED lighting engineers and botanists are now teaming up to use the results of these studies to create new methods of manipulating food flavors with LED grow cycles. SpecGrade LED has incorporated our new OpticPARTM Technology into a family of indoor LED grow light systems to give all indoor cultivation facilities an opportunity to use LED grow cycles for flavor improvements in their own crops.
The Science of Food Flavor
The science behind this flavor improvement is readily explained. Botanists have long understood how the flowering of different plant varietals can be modified by exposing those plants to greater or lesser amounts of light on a periodic, daily cycle. Some varietals flower better with more light exposure, and others show improved flowering with less light. The key to controlling flowering, flavor, and many other plant characteristics is therefore to understand the lighting needs of each specific plant species.
Both light intensity as well as cycles of light and dark will have an impact on plant flavor. Changing light and dark cycles, for example, will alter a plant’s hormone composition. Understanding which compositions and concentrations have the greatest effect on flavor for each plant species would allow cultivators to adjust light cycles to improve flavor characteristics of those species. Further, researchers know that shifting light wavelength intensity into the red and far-red side of the visible light spectrum can improve concentrations of the compound that lends flavor to strawberries, tomatoes, and blueberries.
Flavor consistency can also be better controlled and standardized with LED grow cycles and color corrections throughout a plant’s lifespan. With more traditional lighting sources, for example, fruits that are grown in indoor facilities during winter months have noticeably less flavor than fruits that are harvested at the end of their natural outdoor season. LED grow cycles can be used to adjust and standardize fruit flavor characteristics throughout the year with no modification to the genetic makeup of the plants. Those cycles effectively trick the plants into developing as if they were growing outdoors with natural light and according to regular seasonal growth patterns.
Advanced LED Grow Lights for Flavor Tweaking
SpecGrade LED’s OpticPARTM Technology gives indoor growers the greatest flexibility to adjust plant flavors with LED grow cycles, spectral accuracy, and long term efficiency. As with all LED lighting systems, SpecGrade LED’s systems turn on and off almost immediately upon being powered up and down. With no lag time, an indoor growing facility manager can turn lights on and off with near-pinpoint accuracy and full control over light and dark cycles.
OpticPARTM grow lights also give growers unprecedented control over light colors and wavelengths that can be generated with our custom grow light systems. These finely-tuned LED grow lighting systems can be designed for large growing facilities, linear greenhouses, and vertical operations. OpticPARTM LED grow lights feature a unique blend of Osram LEDs which allow the fixtures to produce white light with the full spectral quality of daylight or a proprietary purple spectrum that improves the overall efficiency of PAR production for food and flower plants.
These systems give growers the maximum flexibility to change LED grow cycles to match the specific plant varietals that will be raised in an indoor facility. Moreover, like all of SpecGrade LED’s commercial and industrial lighting systems, our grow light systems will continue to generate high-quality light for more than 100,000 hours.