A Bright Birthday Present For NASCAR’s Oldest Circuit!

As the oldest track in NASCAR turned 70, fans and drivers alike were treated to a completely new LED lighting system for the first time in September 2017! Image taken by Mike Paris, courtesy of martinsvillebulletin.com. The Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia flicked the switch on its new lights for the first time, shedding a whole new light on the sport, being the first permanent LED installation at any track on the NASCAR calendar. For Martinsville though, it will open up a whole new world of night-time racing, given that the oval, nicknamed “The Paperclip”, had no floodlights installed before! The new $5m setup will save hundreds of thousands in bills although, as is the case for most sports venues, the LEDs have been fitted with quality in mind rather than savings. Keith Guzy from Graybar, the company that designed, supplied and installed the LEDs said “Fan experience is going to be top notch, and the other thing is the 4K broadcasting ability. We think the overall fan experience and being able to do the 4K broadcasting is going to be second-to-none.” The race started at 9:15pm ET, giving fans the chance to see the cars under the lights for the first time. Ultimately, car number 12 belonging to Timothy Peters was the victor, taking 1st place by 1.075 seconds. Although the following races are scheduled for day time, fans and race sponsors needn’t worry about delays thanks to the new installation. All they need to do is flick the switch, and enjoy the LED lights!

Posted on: 16 October 2017 | 5:09 am

Another Great Result At The Energy Efficiency Awards!

We’ve scooped up another accolade for our trophy cabinet, this time in the National Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Awards for 2017! Here at Mirrorstone, we’ve always been totally committed to providing our customers with the very highest quality energy-efficient products, and now we’ve been recognised as one of the top suppliers in the whole of the UK! Mirrorstone is the multi award-winning company behind Wholesale LED Lights and, as such, we were awarded a Special Commendation in the much coveted Supplier of the Year category at a gala award dinner. The star-spangled ceremony was held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole NEC Birmingham on Friday the 29th of September 2017. Energy efficiency in all its forms was celebrated and a glittering array of talent was in attendance, including Sir Lenny Henry who compèred the prestigious event while comedians Sean Collins and Felicity Ward kept the laughter coming in waves. After the awards were presented, the attendees partied into the early hours with DJ A-Roxx and the RPJ Band. This award comes hot on the heels of those held earlier this year by the Leicester Mercury, in which Mirrorstone/Wholesale LED Lights achieved the top spot in one category and were runners-up in another. It’s fantastic to receive high praise like this, but we won’t let it go to our head, because we just want to get on with the business at hand – delivering the best, most energy-efficient products to our customers!

Posted on: 5 October 2017 | 9:27 am

Our Amazing Amber Range of LED Filament Bulbs

Streamlined and modern, LED light bulbs come in all shapes and sizes, but their incredible energy-efficiency and longevity is common to all types. The way they look is also a big selling point for consumers, but when it comes to traditionally designed light fittings, there’s nothing to beat an old-fashioned light bulb and that’s where our incredible Amber LED Filament Light Bulbs from Mirrorstone Lighting come in. These Amber Bulbs differ from the LED bulbs you’ve become accustomed to in that their glass outer casing has an amber-coloured coating which evokes a feeling of great age and authenticity. The E27 4W LED Amber Filament Radio Valve Bulb This makes the pictured E27 4W LED Filament Radio Valve Bulbs perfect for use in fittings from our Steampunk Range like the Otto 5-Way Cartwheel LED Over Table Light. The Otto 5-Way Cartwheel LED Over Table Light However, they’ll also fit an enormous selection of our other Indoor LED Light Fittings too, so be sure to check the product descriptions for compatibility. Great Financial Advantages! One of the truly great things about these Amber LED light bulbs is that you’ll achieve the same energy savings of up to 90% as you would with a regular LED light bulb! Yes, these traditionally designed LEDs consume just 10% of the electricity of conventional incandescent light bulbs yet are capable of generating the same number of lumens. It’s also fitting for a light bulb with an aged appearance to last a long time, and these LED Amber Filament Bulbs don’t disappoint in that department either. Indeed, thanks to their 25,000 hour lifespan you can realistically expect them to still be working at optimum capacity in around 8 years’ time and that’s if they’re lit for eight hours every day! Aside from the rapidly increasing number of varieties of LED bulb that are available, their continuing ability to reduce costs is a reason why so many people are choosing to switch to them from more conventional forms of artificial lighting. So Many Choices! This stunning range of authentically designed Filament LEDs is spread across two of the most popular fitting or “base” types, with both the E27 and B22 varieties being given the Amber treatment. The Dimmable E27 4W LED Filament Pear Shaped Bulb Both bases come in the aforementioned old-style Radio Valve shape. There’s also a Pear Shaped variety which are available as both Dimmable and Non-Dimmable options in the E27 base, whereas the B22 has only a Non-Dimmable option. The Giant Globe Amber LEDs are truly unique and suitable for retrofitting into existing light fittings to replace conventional incandescent bulbs. The B22 6W LED Filament Giant Globe Bulb In both the B22 and the E27 base, they’d be ideally suited not only to domestic use, but also commercially in bars and restaurants where they’d enhance the look and ambience of the space no end with their convivial warm white colour temperature that’s one of the distinctive features of this range. Should you wish to find out more about the range of LED Amber Filament Light Bulbs, please don’t think twice about contacting us to ask the advice of a member of our customer service department on 0116 321 4120. Alternatively, you’re welcome to send us an e-mail enquiry to cs@wled.co.uk We’d also be very happy for you to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page, both of which are frequently updated with the latest news from the exciting world of LED lighting.

Posted on: 2 October 2017 | 2:50 am

Wholesale LED Lights Up The Leicester Mercury Business Awards

We’re overjoyed to announce that Wholesale LED Lights won the much-coveted Leicester Mercury Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2017, and boss, Amit Soni is as pleased as punch! We were also narrowly pipped to the post in the Company of the Year category. The gala ceremony took place on the 27th of April at the Leicester Sports Arena, home of the Leicester Riders Basketball Team. ITV weather presenter Emma Jesson and comedian Mark Dolan were on hand to ensure that the dazzling black-tie dinner event went with a swing, as well as presiding over a blind auction, the entire proceeds of which were donated to a local children’s charity. Then, following the sumptuous three course meal, the magic of TV’s Jamie Raven and lots of champagne, we were more than ready to get down to the serious business of the awards themselves. A hush that was almost tangible descended over the whole arena as, one-by-one, companies received their accolades. Time slowed to a snail’s pace while we waited anxiously for the categories in which we’d reached the finals until, finally, we learned of our success. Unlike many of the other winners, Amit caused quite a stir by literally dancing up to accept his award for Entrepreneur of the Year – a true champion! Wholesale LED Lights Directors, Amit and Prashant Soni at the awards. Obviously, we were disappointed not to achieve the double by securing the Company of the Year award, but we have a massive year ahead of us and we’re already planning to storm the event again in 2018!

Posted on: 28 April 2017 | 8:28 am

Spotlight On Our Success!

Following on from our success at last year’s British Indian Awards, we’ve managed to fend off around 100 other hopefuls to reach the finals of the Leicester Mercury Business Awards in not one, but two categories! Yes, having attained the Family Business of the Year award for 2016, we now find ourselves one of four contenders vying for the prestigious Company of the Year award, a title that just six years ago, we could only dream of achieving. Our Company Director and co-founder, Amit Soni, firmly believes we’ve got what it takes to go all the way, both in the forthcoming awards and in the highly competitive marketplace. He says: “We’re absolutely delighted to be chosen as one of the four finalists. We really never expected this to happen!” Of our success, he goes on to add: “From an initial investment of just £2000 in 2011, we’ve built this little Leicester firm into the largest independent online LED lighting retailer in the UK.” Indeed, who would’ve thought that energy-efficient, eco-friendly LED lighting products, including light bulbs, LED strip lighting and LED-friendly light fittings would catch on in such a massive way? Amit attributes this to a new, “greener” way of thinking: “People are becoming more aware of the effect their lifestyles have on the world around us. LED lighting is incredibly efficient, both in terms of its power consumption and longevity, so it seems natural that people would want to adopt it for their homes and businesses.” Of course, he doesn’t mention the foresight necessary to predict this enormous seed-change in public opinion and purchasing habits years before they occurred, so it’s hardly surprising that the founder of the company that’s leading the charge toward next year’s halogen lighting ban is, himself, one of the finalists in the Business Entrepreneur of the Year category. “We’re just hoping our success story inspires another generation of young entrepreneurs to follow in our footsteps,” he says, modestly. The winners will be announced at a glittering award ceremony that’s to be held at Leicester Arena, home of Leicester Riders basketball team, on the 27th of April 2017. Fingers crossed for Wholesale LED Lights!

Posted on: 30 March 2017 | 10:19 am

The UK's First LED Lighting Market Survey Report

Wholesale LED Lights, one of the country’s leading LED lighting companies, recently went where no-one has gone before and undertook an in-depth survey of its customers and their orders. Between the 15th of April and the 15th of September 2016, we collected and collated data from 2,824 respondents and from 8,200 customer orders, to produce a report with wide-ranging and far-reaching implications for the UK lighting market as a whole. We gathered the data in three main ways. The first took the form of an online survey, in which customers posted responses to questions we asked them on our website. Secondly, people calling us on the phone were invited to indicate their light-buying preferences at the end of the conversation. Lastly, customers who came into our showroom were asked to indicate their preferences and provide information about their buying habits. As you’ll see, the survey’s results were fascinating, and now the document’s available for you to read in its entirety.

Posted on: 19 October 2016 | 11:19 am

5 Mistakes To Avoid When You’re Ordering LED Light Fittings

With massive improvements to the technology, combined with a rapid reduction in cost, it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing to switch to LED lighting as their main source of illumination. As with any relatively new innovation, LED lighting brings with it a whole new set of challenges, especially if you’re going to be buying it for the very first time. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 5 mistakes you don’t want to make when you’re ordering your first LED-compatible light fittings.  1. Don’t Order The Wrong LED Light Fitting For Your Room This is an easy mistake that a lot of people make. After all, there’s such an enormous variety of LED light fittings to choose from that people can become bewildered and just go for the first one they see. An important consideration is the style of decor you have in your room. For example, there has been a recent upsurge in the popularity of modern, minimalistic interiors, with many people casting out the old and welcoming in the new. If this is the case in your home, you’ll definitely want to go for a light fitting that’s both modern and functional, such as the Eyeball Single GU10 Spotlight Fitting. Its up-to-the-minute design is available in white, black and chrome finishes, so it’ll complement any modern interior perfectly. Conversely, despite its gorgeous aesthetics, the much more traditionally designed Fisherman’s Wall Light probably wouldn’t fit so well into a contemporary setting. Another type of LED light fitting that’s great for modern interiors, especially those in which there’s a suspended or “drop” ceiling installed is the Fitted LED Downlight. Again, these all-in-one enclosures are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, however, the massive number of options will ensure that you’ll find exactly the right one to complement your installation. 2. Don’t Under Or Overestimate The Size Of Your Room Whether you’re planning to illuminate a bedroom or a ballroom, there’ll be a type of LED-compatible light fitting that’ll suit you down to the ground. One thing you don’t want to happen, however, is to install your fitting only to realise that the light it provides is too bright or too dim for the space. Light intensity (brightness) is measured in Lumens and not, as is widely believed, in Watts. Lumens represent the actual amount of ambient light being produced by a bulb or light fitting. The greater the number of lumens, the brighter the room will be. Setting aside the colour scheme of your room, the answer to the question of how many lumens will be required to properly illuminate a room can be arrived at by employing this general rule of thumb: Floors will require 20 Lumens per Square Foot; Tables and Raised Surfaces will require 30 Lumens per Square Foot; Desks and Task Lighting will require 50 Lumens per Square Foot. Thus, when you’re armed with just a small amount of information about the number of bulbs each light fitting requires, combined with the bulbs’ brightness in lumens, should give you a pretty accurate idea of the type of fitting you’ll require to illuminate your room, and will help you avoid making costly and inconvenient purchasing errors. 3. Don’t Order The Wrong Type Of LED Bulb You’ve decided on the style of light fitting you want in your room, and you’re happy that you’ve chosen the correct size to deliver the illumination and light placement you require, so the last thing you want is to discover that you’ve purchased the wrong bulb(s), isn’t it? A very basic method to calculate the number of LED Light Bulbs you’ll require to illuminate your room is to work out the area of the room in square feet. Simply multiply the length of the room by its width, like this: Length of room = 14 feet; Width of room = 8 feet; The area of the room in square feet is 112. Therefore, if your room is used for task-centred activities requiring 50 lumens per square foot, you’ll simply purchase a sufficient number of LED bulbs, based on their lumen output. In a room of this size, you would therefore require 6 of our 9W Dimmable GU10 LED COB Bulbs, as each generates 860 Lumens of brightness. It’s also very important to be aware of the type of base or “fitting” your LED light bulb employs.  There are several to choose from, including: LED spotlight bulbs generally have a GU10 or a GU5.3 (MR16) base. There are also commonly used Bayonet Cap (BC) LEDs such as the B22 and the B15. Edison Screw Fittings like the E27 and the E14. As well as the LED G4 and G9. 4. Don’t Forget That LED Light Fittings Can Be Retrofitted That’s right, all of our LED-compatible light fittings are simple and convenient to install.  They’re absolutely perfect to retrofit into your existing wiring, and will replace your current fittings with the very minimum of mess or fuss! 5. Don’t Forget That LED Bulbs Can Be Retrofitted If, after all your deliberations, you decide that you don’t fancy replacing all your existing light fittings, never fear, because you’ll simply be able to switch all your bulbs with LEDs instead. While this might not have as large an aesthetic impact on your room as revamping its actual décor, it will save you a considerable amount of money on your electricity bill. This is because LED bulbs are 90% more energy-efficient than their old-school counterparts and, with a 50,000 hour life-expectancy, they’ll last more than 20 times longer than the traditional bulbs they’re replacing as well. To see our full range of lighting products, why not visit our LED lights online store. If you’d like any advice about LED lighting dos and don’ts, you’re welcome to call one of our friendly and professional customer service agents on 0116 321 4120 today. And, LED lighting definitely isn’t an area in which you should be making mistakes, so you can back up your phone call with an e-mail enquiry to cs@wled.co.uk just to be certain!

Posted on: 12 August 2016 | 9:35 am

What Do The Colour Of Your LEDs Say About You?

LED lights come with many advantages. One of the great things about them is the fact that they can emit any colour without the need for any filters, unlike older halogen or fluorescent lights. This gives you a lot of choices when picking a colour – but how much does your character influence which colour you choose? How Can LEDs Emit So Many Colours? The reason why LEDs can emit pretty much any colour is because it uses a semiconductor material, and the chemical composition of the material used determines its colour. An example of this is Aluminium, Gallium, and Indium, Phosphide (AiGaInP) that can emit red, orange and yellow colours. Then you have Indium, Gallium and Nitride (InGaN), which allows for green, blue and white colours. Different combinations result in different colour possibilities – explaining why some LEDs are only available in a single colour, whereas others offer a full RGB range. Here at Wholesale LED Lights, we generally offer warm white (3000K), cool white (6000K), day light (4000K) and RGB colours. With the exception of RGB, they all constitute part of the colour temperature chart. Let’s go a little deeper and explore each one and what it might say about those who pick it! Warm White (3000K) Warm white measures up at 3,000 Kelvins on the colour temperature scale. It’s a very popular choice too, and the main reason for this is that is closely replicates the shade of light emitted by traditional halogen bulbs. The slightly yellowy hue is ideal for creating a cosy environment – perfect for relaxing at the end of a long day. As such, it’s great for places like the living room or bedroom. Because of this, it compliments traditional decor really well, matching a wide range of colours. It’s really good for general purpose illumination because of its soft shade. It’s probably fair to say that this is a colour suited for the traditionalists among us – those who prefer conventional styling and want to feel comfortable. Although due to this colours immense popularity, it’s also just as fair to say that probably everyone likes warm white! Cool White (6000K) Cool white comes in at 6,000 Kelvins on the colour temperature scale, and instantly you can tell the difference from warm white – cool white is far brighter and icier, creating a more well lit and clinical atmosphere. The light emitted is closer to true white in all honesty, though it has a slightly blue tinge to it. Because of this, it’s better suited to areas like the kitchen or bathroom, as it helps you to concentrate and stay alert. This is why you’ll often see cool white being used in office environments too. That’s not to say it couldn’t be used elsewhere – it could easily be used in a living room, but it would have to be used alongside modern, minimalist decors with bright colours. As a result, it’s perhaps more versatile then warm white, as it can be used for general illumination as well as feature and accent lighting because of its bright, direct light. People who pick cool white would probably be slightly younger, favouring modern styling over more traditional looks. This is even more so the case, given that minimalist decors tend to be popular nowadays. Those who like light colours will get on well with cool white. Day Light (4000K) Day light slots in between warm and cool white at 4,000 Kelvins on the colour temperature scale. Naturally, it combines the cosiness of warm white with the bright, clean look of cool white. As a result, it’s suitable to use pretty much anywhere, as it isn’t too extreme one way or the other. People who tend like changing a lot will like day light because of the flexibility it offers – it’ll match pretty much any kind of colour scheme and decor. Maybe it’s one for people who don’t like to sit still! Our 3.3W 80 SMD GU10 LED Spotlight is a great example of a product that can emit all 3 of these colour temperatures, making it a really popular choice, no matter what look you’re going for. RGB Colour As the name suggests, RGB colour LED products are capable of emitting red, green and blue at will. Depending on the product, they can even shine with anything in between those too! We think we speak for everyone when we say that no one will be using RGB colour to illuminate their living room, unless they were planning on converting into some kind of disco. So where would you use RGB LED products? This in itself is part of the beauty – you can be as creative as you want with them because of the sheer range of choice! They’d look great in a games room or even a child’s bedroom too, to create various kinds of mood lighting. Better yet, we stock both RGB GU10 spotlights and RGB Colour Changing LED Strip Lights – so you’ve got choices as to what type of RGB lighting you want too! With this in mind, RGB LED products are best suited for young, fun-loving creative individuals who want to be different from the rest, and those who like to work hard and play harder! It’s important to know that we’re not trying to create a gold standard set of rules for colour use in the home. Nor are we trying to make assumptions about the kind of people that use particular colours. If anything, the use of colour is one of the fun parts of furnishing your home – creating different moods and effects that reflect you as a person is part of the enjoyment. Have you been redecorating recently? Let us know what choices you made in the comments below! You can also post on our Facebook page, and even tweet us too @WLEDLightsUK, using the hashtag #WLEDAware. If you have any questions about using colour in your home lighting, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling our team on 0116 321 4120, or by emailing us at cs@wled.co.uk.

Posted on: 5 August 2016 | 9:56 am

Check Out The Latest Trends In Home Illumination

There’s been a definite increase in the number of people upgrading their home’s décor and interior design of late. Indeed, the DIY stores have been filled to bursting with people pushing around huge trolley loads of plaster, paint and a plethora of other home-improvement staples. Luckily though, you don’t have to totally refurbish your home in order to enliven your favourite living spaces. Simple upgrades to your light fixtures and fittings will make a huge impact and reveal the new you for this season! Although home design trends don’t fluctuate with the rapidity of the latest fashion accessories, here’s an overview of the styles that are prevailing in today’s trendiest interiors. Make A Bold Statement To be daring and adventurous is definitely very ‘in’ this year. Spotlight fittings will certainly enable you to show off the very best aspects of your home, highlighting your favourite features so that they practically leap out at you. Available in a wide variety of styles and finishes to complement your choice of décor, they’ll enable you to revamp your living spaces without having to break the bank. Perfect for use in the living room and the bedroom, spotlight fittings come in many shapes and sizes to reflect both the look and the dimensions of your room. If you’re sprucing up your living areas, but you’re on a budget, why not invest in some LED light bulbs as they’ll help you to begin recouping your costs from the moment you plug them in and switch them on? This may sound like an outrageous claim, but LED bulbs are so energy-efficient that you’ll notice the difference in your electricity bill very soon after installing them. They waste 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and require a tiny fraction of the power to produce the same number of lumens, so check them out today! Boho Chic Handcrafted elements can add a seemingly effortless air of authenticity to a variety of rooms including bedrooms and bathrooms. You’ll be able to achieve this look by combining recycled materials with modern, fresh fixtures and fittings and vice versa, to create a stylistic mash-up that’ll look great in your home. Ceiling light fittings such as the Shabby ‘n’ Chic 4-Way Birdcage Chandelier, installed in a room in which some old plaster-framed mirrors and a brightly-coloured, handmade rag rug are featured, will create the ambience you’re looking for. And, what’s more, this fitting is compatible with all E14-based light bulbs, the LED varieties of which, with their incredibly long life-expectancy, will keep the place lit to perfection for 50,000 hours, or 17 years in today’s money! When you’re replacing your old, wasteful incandescent bulbs with up-to-date, energy-efficient LEDs, always make sure that you choose the right bulb ‘cap’ for the particular fitting.  This will save you the bother of having to return your bulb if it doesn’t fit correctly. Brass Is Back The warmer, more traditional types of metal are making a comeback this year, and the days when one type of finish dominated the entire building are history. So why not check out the diversely designed brass light fittings that are available to you? Superb to introduce a somewhat nautical theme either inside or out of doors will be the Fisherman’s Wall Light. Also available in red, black and chrome, it seems that the antique brass finish is captivating most people’s imaginations, as they’re increasingly combining it with cool blues and pastel greens in their kitchens and dining areas. Also featuring gorgeous brass finishes are the multitude of LED-compatible downlights that will add an elegantly subtle flavour to any room in which you have a recessed or ‘drop’ ceiling. With many requiring the bestselling GU10 LED replacement bulb, you’ll gain the ability to tailor the very ambience of your room according to its function, thanks to their choice of colour temperatures. Available in warm white (3000K), cool white (6000K) and daylight (4000K), these amazing low-energy bulbs generate different light qualities that are best suited to certain environments, but for a better explanation, check out this short video: Industrial Cool The industrial trend is gaining pace as more homes incorporate vintage electric design elements. This is in line with cultural references from the worlds of film and literature, and allows people to pair industrial, steampunk-type designs with bright and vibrant colours as a way of adding a more human element to the trend. Light fittings that will complement this particular style will incorporate steel or chrome finishes and are often oversized. Consequently, LED high bay light fittings are increasingly being used, not just for warehouse illumination as was once the case, but in people’s kitchens and living spaces. This type of all-in-one LED light fitting is wonderfully bright and will provide a superb spread of light yet for very little in the way of a power requirement. To augment your utilitarian ambience, go for some suitably finished light switches and sockets. There are a huge number of nicely minimalistic rocker switches to be had, however, one such as the Varilight 2-Gang 2-Way 10A Screwless Plate Rocker Switch in either a pewter or matt chrome finish will offset your other industrially-chic fittings extremely well. Should you wish to discuss any of the above fixtures or fittings with a member of our customer service team, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0116 321 4120. Or you can send us an e-mail enquiry to cs@wled.co.uk if you’d prefer. You’re also more than welcome to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and leave a comment, or ask a question there.

Posted on: 29 July 2016 | 8:40 am

Can LEDs Be Used To Grow Plants And Vegetables?

Growing crops isn’t an easy thing to do, as there are so many variables – some out of our control. These include the amount of sunlight and rainwater that crops receive. But what if we could control at least one of these? What if we could use LED lights to grow crops and other plants – right through the year? Of course, LEDs aren’t the only option when it comes to lighting – you also have the liberty of choosing from incandescent light and fluorescent light. So what is it about LEDs that make them the primary choice for agriculture in particular? Let’s start with the basics. You’re going to need a lot of light to grow plants and ‘replace’ natural light. That’s going to require a lot of energy, and when it comes to consumption – LEDs have the competition beat. They’re far more energy efficient because of how little they lose to heat – just 10% of their energy. Traditional incandescent lights lose up to a whopping 80% of their energy to heat alone. This means your plants and vegetables cost you far less to grow. Of course, the cooler operating temperatures also have an effect too, preventing leaf burn, provided that there is around 12 inches/30cm distance between the light and the plant. It’s not all about energy efficiency though. LEDs can emit any colour they want without the need for any kind of filter. As a result, they can be customised to emit only certain wavelengths of light. This is particularly advantageous as studies of photomorphogenesis show that green, red, far-red and blue light spectrums have an impact on root formation, plant growth (photosynthesis) and flowering. In comparison, incandescent and fluorescent lights have no control over this, giving LEDs an advantage. It is important to remember that although the sun emits infrared, ultraviolet and visible light, plants don’t use the entire spectrum. So by using LEDs, you can cater the light spectrum to the needs of the crop you’re growing. The science says that LEDs are great for agriculture then, but what about using them in practice? Well, in tests conducted by Philips on LED grow lights, they found that LEDs affected disease resistance, taste and nutritional levels for the better. It should be noted though that various factors come into play here, including the kind of crop, light intensity, total light over time, timing of light during the day, light/dark periods of the day, light quality (spectrum), light direction and light distribution. This hasn’t stopped people trying though. Mexican resident Leonardo Moreno uses LED lights to grow spinach, lettuce and other greens inside of old fish tanks. He’s a member of Biohackers Mexico – a group of people sharing a passion in biotechnology. “The idea is not to shut ourselves off (to possibilities) and find alternatives to (traditional) food production” said Moreno. He claimed that some 60% of commercial hydroponic gardens fail because of things like insufficient knowledge and poorly trained personnel, with a well-advised greenhouse having just a 2% chance of failing. Further north, former model Summer Rayne Oakes has filled her entire 1,200 square foot apartment in New York with 500 plants, including everything from an irrigated vertical garden, edible plants ranging from herbs to exotics. So how has she created her own jungle inside the concrete jungle? A vermiculture kit underneath the kitchen sink, compost bin, sub-irrigation system and of course, an LED lighting system. Her dedication is matched by her ambition – “I think my ultimate goal is to, like, homestead in Brooklyn” she said. You shouldn’t be under the impression though, that it only being used by individuals wishing to live outside the restrictions of commercial supermarket fruit and veg. The US Navy has been working on a new research project that could allow sailors to grow fresh veg on submarines. This would bypass the problem current faced my many on duty where fresh vegetables only last for 7 to 10 days, despite average deployment times lasting up to 3 months. Beyond this, they have to use frozen fruit and veg. The research involved growing vegetables in a 40 foot container using LED lights of approximately 7 feet in length. Of the 83 vegetables tested, 51 were able to grow, including various kinds of lettuce, kale and some root vegetables. Other foods like tomatoes required more heat, and cucumber grew to a point where is tangled around the lighting. Although the actual practice of growing crops and plants using LED lights is in its infancy, it does offer people a potential alternative in agriculture. The advantages that LEDs offer will no doubt play a key role, and could become an integral part of farming in years to come.

Posted on: 22 July 2016 | 11:08 am