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Article

Optimization of LED Lighting and Quality Evaluation of Romaine Lettuce Grown in An Innovative Indoor Cultivation System

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Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences—Production, Landscape, Agroenergy, Università degli Studi Milano, via Celoria, 2, 20133 Milano, Italy
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MEG S.r.l., via Aleardo Aleardi 12, 20154 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030841
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 27 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Sustainability is the most critical point in micro-scale indoor crop systems. It can be improved through the optimization of all of the production factors, such as water, nutrients, and energy. The use of light-emitting diodes (LED) allows the fine regulation of the light intensity and light spectrum to be obtained, with a significant reduction in energy consumption. The objective of this study was the optimization of a LED-based protocol of light management for Romaine lettuce cultivation in a micro-growing environment specifically designed for home cultivation. Four different growing cycles were tested. In each one, the light spectrum was modified by increasing the percentage of red light and decreasing the blue light. This resulted in a change in the light intensity which ranged from 63.2 to 194.54 µmol m−2 s−1. Moreover, the photoperiod was shortened to reduce the energy consumption and, in the last cycle, the effect of the daily alternation of dark and light was tested. The fresh and dry biomass produced were measured and the energy consumed in each cycle was monitored. The quality of lettuce was evaluated by measuring several physiological indexes, including chlorophyll a fluorescence, chlorophyll, sugars, nitrate, lipid peroxidation, carotenoids, and phenolic index. The results obtained showed that the productivity and the quality of lettuce can be positively affected by modulating the light quality and intensity, as well as other cultural practices. At the same time, the estimation of the electrical energy consumption indicated that little changes in the lighting recipe can significantly affect the energetic, environmental, and economic impact of home productions. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroponic; Lactuca sativa L.; leafy vegetables; light-emitting diodes; micro-growing; solid-state lighting hydroponic; Lactuca sativa L.; leafy vegetables; light-emitting diodes; micro-growing; solid-state lighting
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MDPI and ACS Style

Loconsole, D.; Cocetta, G.; Santoro, P.; Ferrante, A. Optimization of LED Lighting and Quality Evaluation of Romaine Lettuce Grown in An Innovative Indoor Cultivation System. Sustainability 2019, 11, 841. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030841

AMA Style

Loconsole D, Cocetta G, Santoro P, Ferrante A. Optimization of LED Lighting and Quality Evaluation of Romaine Lettuce Grown in An Innovative Indoor Cultivation System. Sustainability. 2019; 11(3):841. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030841

Chicago/Turabian Style

Loconsole, Danilo, Giacomo Cocetta, Piero Santoro, and Antonio Ferrante. 2019. "Optimization of LED Lighting and Quality Evaluation of Romaine Lettuce Grown in An Innovative Indoor Cultivation System" Sustainability 11, no. 3: 841. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030841

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