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Does The Color Of Light Affect Growth Of Plants

How Does The Color Of Light Affect Growth Of Plants


Plants cannot thrive without light—the primary energy source. They conserve and utilize this energy to self-sustain and nourish themselves in a process called photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, chlorophyll in plants converts available carbon dioxide into energy. The process relies on visible light.
Interestingly, visible light comes in different colors, including blue, red, white, and more. Each of these light colors has a unique wavelength. Plants absorb and utilize these colors and their wavelengths in various ways. But does this affect the growth of plants? This blog provides answers.

Visible Light and Wavelengths

Every wave, including light wave, are characterized by wavelengths. The wavelength of light can be described as the horizontal distance between the two peaks of the light wave. Furthermore, light is measured by its wavelength (in nanometers). Visible light or visible spectrum is the visible region of the electromagnetic wave that we can see with our eyes, and it extends from about 400 nm (violet) to 700 nm (red).
Humans rely on their eyes to sense and interpret light waves. Plants do not have eyes but instead rely on their chlorophyll—a group of specialized cells that detect and respond to light energy. Therefore, they can only detect wavelengths that fall within the ultraviolet radiation (260-380nm) and the visible portion of the light spectrum (380-740 nm).

Color Of Light Visible Light and Wavelengths

What Color Of Light Is Best For Plant Growth?

The visible part of the light spectrum or the visible light spectrum comprises photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). In a process called photosynthesis, plants absorb this radiation to produce sugars required to grow major parts, including roots, stems, and leaves. However, various wavelength ranges or bands within the visible light spectrum affect plants differently.
For instance, the fruiting, growth rate, flower color, yield, root development, and other plant changes result from the color of light the plant’s photoreceptors can detect. Below are the five major wavebands in the full-spectrum light and their individual and collective effects on plant growth.

1. Blue Light (450 nm – 495 nm)

The photons of blue light have a wavelength range of 400 nm and 500 nm. In terms of effects on plants, blue light is most prominent in flowering and growth changes, improving the overall quality of most leafy and ornamental plants. Most plants will grow optimally even with a minimal amount of blue light. However, when present alongside other colors, blue light can boost the production of secondary metabolites, improve plant compactness, and speed up root development. As an indoor grower, you can enhance the flowering rate of your daylength-sensitive crops by increasing the intensity of blue light to more than 30 μmol·m-2·s-1. Other notable effects of blue light on plant growth include the increase in the accumulation of chlorophyll and more efficient stomatal opening and closing.

2. Green Light (495 nm – 570 nm)

The green light photons have a wavelength range of 500 nm and 600 nm. A widespread but inaccurate assumption about green light is that it does not affect plant growth. In reality, green light is crucial to plants’ proper growth and development, despite having a lower chlorophyll absorption rate. When it comes to photosynthesis, green light ensures leaves on the lower parts of the plant access and absorbs quality light. The color green in the full-spectrum light also aesthetically improves the work environment. Growers can combine green, red, and blue light in the correct proportions to achieve white light. White light can contribute to desirable canopy position and light absorption.

3. Red Light (620 nm – 750 nm)

Red light has a wavelength range of 600nm and 700nm. It contributes significantly to plant growth by increasing the rate of biomass accumulation and photosynthesis. Increasing the amount of red light in plants triggers an increase in length and a decrease in width. However, balancing red light with blue light will produce more compact plants with thicker leaves. The combination also helps to ensure an overall stable growth pattern. Again, this establishes our earlier submission that combining two or more lights of different wavelengths is possible. When correctly done, it can bring about more desirable plant growth and developments for growers.

blue green red lights

4. Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation (380 nm – 450 nm)

Ultraviolet light falls within the 280 nm and 400 nm wavelength range. While it has no direct effect on plant growth, it can damage the internal parts of a plant when present in very high amounts. To avoid this, plants produce certain protective compounds, often evident in their darker colors. Some studies suggest that UV light may help plants develop their defense mechanism. Plants exposed to UV light respond by producing certain proteins to protect themselves, but these proteins also make them poisonous to pests and resistant to diseases and environmental stress. UV light is predicted to increase leaf coloration and thickness in some plants.

5. Infrared (IR) Radiation (700 nm to 1000 nm)

While infrared radiation falls outside the visible light spectrum wavelength, it contributes positively to the process of photosynthesis. Infrared light provides heat radiation that facilitates plant development. For example, it improves blooming, alters the shape of plants, and boosts plant growth. Introducing infrared light in your grow room will depend on your indoor plants’ needs and your desired shape.

uv and ir light

Full Spectrum Grow Lights Offers All Colors of Light

Considering how beneficial each light spectrum color is to the plants, a grower must find a way to ensure their plants can access them all. This is where full-spectrum grow lights come in. Full-spectrum LED grow lights are more advanced than regular LED grow lights. The improved technology ensures your plants can get all the light spectrums and colors required for full and optimal growth.
If you are in the market for full spectrum LED grow lights, you should check out the efficient models at Spider Farmer. As a reputable grow light manufacturer, Spider Farmer offers a wide range of multi-faceted full-spectrum LED grow lights. They are powered by powerful LED chips that deliver full spectrum light, removing the need for many single spectrum LED grow lights. Getting one is a cost-effective and convenient solution to your grow light needs.
Check out the Spider Farmer catalog of full spectrum LED grow lights to get started.

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One thought on “Does The Color Of Light Affect Growth Of Plants

  1. Anthony Sylvester says:

    This one is a good post and loving the information information shared 🙌🏽

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