Physiological, morphological, and energy-use efficiency comparisons of LED and HPS supplemental lighting for cucumber transplant production

Ricardo Hernández, Chieri Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To increase the available photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) for plant growth, greenhouse growers sometimes use electric lighting to supplement solar light. The conventional lighting technology used to increase PPF in the greenhouse is high-pressure sodium lamps (HPS). A potential alternative to HPS is high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The objective of this study is to compare supplemental LED lighting with supplemental HPS lighting in terms of plant growth and morphology as well as discuss the energy use efficiencies of the fixtures. There were three light treatments: 1) blue LED (peak wavelength 443 nm); 2) red LED (peak wavelength 633 nm); and 3) HPS, to provide 3.7 ± 0.2 mol·m-2·d-1(background solar radiation of 6.3 ± 0.9 mol·m-2·d-1). Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants at the transplanting stage (26 to 37 days) under HPS had 28% greater dry mass than did plants under the LED treatments. This can be attributed to the higher leaf temperature under the HPS treatment. No differences were observed in growth parameters (dry mass, fresh weight, or number of leaves) between the blue and red LED treatments. Plants under the blue LED treatment had greater net photosynthetic rate and stomatal conductance (gS) than those under the red LED and HPS treatments. Plants under the blue LED and HPS treatments had 46% and 61% greater hypocotyl length than those under the red LED, respectively. The fixture PPF efficiencies used in the experiment were 1.9, 1.7, and 1.64 μmol·J-1for the blue LED, red LED, and HPS treatments, respectively; however, the fixture growing efficiency (g·kWh-1) of HPS was 6% and 17% greater than the blue LED and red LED treatment, respectively. In summary, supplemental red LED produced desirable plant compactness and HPS had greater fixture growing efficiency than LEDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Blue:red photon flux ratio
  • Cucumis sativus
  • Daily light integral
  • Fixture growing efficiency
  • High-pressure sodium
  • Light emitting diodes
  • Seedlings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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