Growing plants with LEDs

The Life Sciences Building used low energy, low heat LED lighting to grow plants in the rooftop GroDome.

The LED lighting replaced 77 high pressure sodium lamps and significantly cut energy use, as well as saving thousands in costs.

Students use the GroDome's plants for research and learning under strictly controlled conditions, and now have the most up to date facilities to support this.

Chris Jones, Sustainability Manager (Energy) and Tom Pitman, Greenhouse Manager, investigated the potential energy save of LED lighting compared to traditional plant growth lights through a trial.

Results showed that LED lighting induced an excellent plant response, with an average energy saving per lamp of 1100kWhrs compared to traditional lighting.

The predicted energy save per year of changing to LED lighting is 70%, with predicted carbon saving is 44 tonnes per year.

LED lighting requires minimal maintenance and has a low heat output, meaning additional savings on maintenance costs and air-conditioning. The cost saving on lamp replacement is expected to be over £3k per year.

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