Light plays a vital role in the growth and development of plants. The sun is the primary light source for outdoor plants, whereas for indoor plants, florescent light bulbs provide benefits similar to sunlight. A grow light stimulates plant growth by emitting the light required for photosynthesis. Grow lights are particularly used where there is no naturally occurring light or where supplemented light is essential. They are significantly used in applications such as indoor gardening, horticulture, food production, plant propagation, and aquatic plants. In addition to their usage at the industrial level, they also find use in households.
Grow Lights Market — Drivers
The growth in indoor farming practices significantly contributes to the grow lights market. One of the primary advantages of indoor farming is its higher yield when compared to conventional farming, which makes it a viable option. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2016, the average yield of traditionally grown tomatoes was 1.85 pounds per square foot, whereas tomatoes grown in greenhouse hydroponics was 10.59 pounds per square foot. Indoor farming is not only independent of external climatic conditions and soil structure, but it also leverages artificial light sources, such as metal-halide lamps, high-pressure sodium-vapor lamps, LED lamps, and others. Moreover, indoor farming keeps plants free from insects and pests, which further reduces the usage of pesticides and other harmful products.
The adoption of grow lights in vertical farming is increasing as they provide sufficient light for the growth of the plant. These lights increase the number of daylight hours and also supplement shorter light patterns that prevail during winter months. Indoor farming is gaining traction all around the world, specifically in urban areas. It is now becoming a highly-effective way to transform urban wastelands into self-sufficient, eco-friendly regions. It is estimated that solid-state electronics will bring the same benefits and advantages to agriculture, as it did to all other industrial segments. Indoor farmers are achieving a rapid return on their investment by leveraging grow lights, as they lengthen the growing season, eliminate chemical contaminants in the food supply, and significantly reduce the transportation costs for food production. As the majority of the populace is becoming health conscious and striving to avoid foods that were grown with pesticides, indoor farming will find more opportunities. As the opportunities for the indoor farming increase, the applications of grow lights also increase, thereby leading to market expansion.
Moreover, the legalization of cannabis production in the U.S. is creating more lucrative opportunities for the grow lights market. In 2012, the U.S. government legalized the production of the plant for recreational purposes. The production of this plant has become a remunerative option for the growers, attributed to the increasing demand for cannabis around the globe. Cannabis production is possible by indoor or vertical farming techniques. Since grow lights are increasingly used for these farming techniques, the increasing production of cannabis in the country is anticipated to provide more opportunities for the market.
LEDs Dominate the Technology Segment
Improved plant production and quality result in LED technology to be the fastest-growing segment. LED lights are considered to be energy-efficient grow lights, as compared to its alternatives and the market is increasingly inclined toward energy-efficient products. These light sources can be placed further away from plants and still produce enough light without consuming much energy. The advancements in LED technology have made it possible to create the perfect environment to grow vegetables at a large scale with less growing cycles and higher yields. For instance, one such characteristic is that the heat produced by LED grow lights is near zero, which has made indoor cultivation of vegetables more energy efficient. LEDs enhance the photosynthesizing process, which converts light into chemical energy at lower power, with higher efficiency and uniform light patterns and distribution. In addition to this, LEDs allow easy installation and have a longer lifetime, which further increases its traction.
Rising Awareness Regarding the Need for Low Power Consumption
The increased awareness and advancements in energy conservation and efficiency results in the >300 Watts product segment to dominate the market. Grow lights with low power are considered to be more efficient than high power solutions as they generate less heat and can be used for longer periods of time without causing harm to the plants.
Demand for Local and Sustainable Food Supply
The indoor farming segment holds the lion’s share of the market as grow lights are the primary source of light in indoor farming. Technological advancements in grow lights are also helping indoor farming to increase the crop yield. In the U.S., indoor agriculture is one of the leading industries. Attributed to the rise in population, farmers are commencing indoor farming operations in order to create a local, stable and sustainable year-round food supply. Moreover, the decrease in the costs of LEDs will further enhance the profit margin of grow lights from the indoor farming segment. LEDs generate less heat, which allows farmers to place plants closer without burning them and also lowers the electricity costs. This technique provides ample oxygen and nutrients to the plants, promotes root growth and curbs the rotting of roots. Hence, grow lights provide various benefits for indoor farming and is, therefore, highly adopted for indoor farming practices.
Europe — A Significant Shareholder in the Global Market
Europe is estimated as the leading region in the global grow lights market owing to the increasing momentum for urban farming. Rooftop gardens, vertical and indoor gardens are getting immense traction in the region. Although traditional farming is expected to prevail in the region, urban farming plays a crucial role in the agriculture industry in Europe. Moreover, the populace in the country is attracted to organic and pesticide-free foods, which can be achieved by indoor farming. So to provide food products according to customer requirements, farmers are shifting towards indoor farming which further leads to the growth of the grow light market.
In 2017, Agrivolution, an agri-technology company, integrated LED grow lights into the company’s aeroponic vertical farming systems. The target was to grow pesticide-free fruits and vegetables all year. The selected LEDs were ultra-thin, lightweight triple-band bar-type and generates balanced full spectrum light while reducing energy usage.
Grow lights are also used in stadiums as well. SGL B.V., located in the Netherlands, introduced a stadium-integrated grow lighting system with six mobile HPS grow lighting units, which can span 70m width of a pitch. The units are fully integrated into the construction of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, home of Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur. This system provides full-pitch lighting at once without any pressure on the pitch. Therefore, it is estimated that grow lights will find more applications in the coming years.
Koninklijke Philips N.V, General Electric Company, OSRAM Licht AG, LumiGrow, Inc., Gavita Holland B.V., Thrive Agritech Inc., Heliospectra AB, Sunlight Supply, Inc., and Illumitex Inc. are among the key players in the grow lights market.