Factory farming under LEDs
One of the world’s largest plant factories using light emitting diode (LED) lighting has just been constructed in Tagajo, northern Japan. Mirai Co., a Tokyo-based company which operates vegetable growing factories, built facility within the shell of an existing factory. It can produce a daily harvest of approximately 10,000 heads of lettuce.
Until recently, plant factories have typically used fluorescent lamps for artificial illumination, which has low initial costs. But together with GE Japan, Mirai developed LED lights that generate light in wavelengths adapted to plant growth. While reducing electric power consumption by 40% compared to fluorescent lighting, the facility has succeeded in increasing harvest yields by 50%. This makes it possible to recover the initial cost of the LED lighting.
Air conditioning systems were also designed to enable the optimum distribution of wind speed and air temperatures around the cultivation rack units.
The partners aim to export entire plant factories featuring the advanced agriculture developed through this operation. Inquiries have already been received both from within Japan and from overseas.