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We all know LED lights help us save energy, but did you know that they could also help us to fight colds? Researchers at Wageningen UR, in a partnership with Philips Lighting, have put LED modules to the test, blasting bursts of light on tomato plants. Amazingly, the tomatoes that received a boost of light from LEDs contained twice as much vitamin C, with only a quarter of the light intensity from a naturally sunny day.

green design, eco design, sustainable design, LEDs in green houses, Philips Lighting, LEd Tomatoes, Wageningen UR
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For the study, the researchers were looking for natural ways to grow healthier fruit and vegetables indoors, rather than in the field. In collaboration with Health from the Greenhouse (Gezond uit de Kas) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, researchers suspended LED modules in between growing tomatoes that would otherwise be in the shade and beneath the leaves of tomato plants.

The LED-blasted tomatoes were then tested for their nutritional value. The resulting data showed that the light-boosted fruit were packed with more vitamin C — in most cases about 50 percent more. The light from LED modules, rather than traditional greenhouse lighting, helped tomatoes foster and grow more nutrients while creating a more red and delicious tomato.

With the help of LED lights, tomato growers can also reduce costs. Not only will the presence of LEDs yield more desirable tomatoes by evening out fruit that would usually not fully develop because of shade, the tomatoes will achieve nutritional maturity faster and easier with the modules.

Via Phys Org

Photos © graibeard and burgundavia