Maximum Yield USA April 2018 | Page 48

featur LED lighting and vertical farming Bright Lights Big City LED LIGHTING AND VERTICAL FARMING Vertical farming is all about efficiency, so it’s not a big surprise that LEDs are leading the horticultural lighting pack in this new ag industry. Kent Gruetzmacher takes a closer look at the technology and why urban indoor farmers are shelling out the big bucks for it. by Kent Gruetzmacher U rban agriculture is gaining acceptance as a viable source for fresh produce in the city. A primary cause for this has to do with the spatial constraints of agriculture. Traditional American agriculture utilizes vast amounts of farmland that is generally only usable for part of the year. Conversely, urban farmers utilize areas previously deemed unusable for food production. Vertical farming, one of the most 48 feature promising sectors of urban agriculture, is perhaps the most efficient form of crop production in history when it comes to the efficient use of space. Unlike other forms of urban agriculture, such as community and greenhouse gardens, vertical farming utilizes indoor gardening equipment to produce crops without the use of sunlight. As such, vertical farmers can grow crops year-round inside abandoned buildings and shipping containers.