Sometimes life on Earth gets to be a bit much. The weather gets us down (ick heat wave!), our loud and nosy neighbors annoy us, the price of gasoline is too high to justify driving around town. And so we turn our thoughts to colonizing other planets. Planets such as Mars, or if you are like me, you might want to live on one of the Moons of Jupiter. But in order for this to happen, we need certain things. Because of the adventures of Col. Chris Hadfield, we know that we can’t live without a guitar and the David Bowie Songbook (among other valuable information he has taught us).
Being earthlings, we are used to certain things – fresh water, vegetables, sunlight, and oxygen. We are going to have to make some concessions on these semi-necessities, when we jet off to foreign planets. But thanks to LED and Researchers at Purdue University, vegetation on Mars (or a moon) will not be a problem.
Here, Cary Mitchell, Professor of Horticulture at Purdue University explains the good news:
Everything on Earth is ultimately driven by sunlight and photosynthesis. The question is how can we replicate that in space. If you have to generate your own light with limited energy resources, targeted LED lighting is your best option.”
HPS lamps and traditional lamp and energy sources are just not going to cut it out there. Its way too expensive, not to mention the fact that it could ruin the plants with dehydration. So really the only solution, at least immediately, is LED. Growers, farmers, and horticulturalists already know that that LED’s can focus on only the necessary parts of the colour spectrum. Plants only use a small portion of the sun’s energy, using red and blue light over the other colours. Researchers have discovered that giving lettuce a red-heavy diet with a dash of blue led to the highest yields, while slashing energy consumption by a factor of 10. This is the kind of work is what is going to get us into space. For more readable information on these developments, please read the article found on Gizmodo.
Lots of work ahead, but once we get the light source and vegetation straightened out, it should be a smooth rocket trip to our new homes, wherever they may be. But in the meantime, we can still use this technology on Earth, while we are waiting for it to be perfected.
There are lots of LED products available on our line card. The manufacturers that we rep are doing tremendous things in the world of LED technology.
**Photo Source – John Flannery via Flickr