In March 2019, Signify, the global leader in lighting and a royal division of Philip N.V., collaborated with a Japanese food supplier Prime Delica, to grow high-quality spinach, coriander, and lettuce varieties. This will be done using the range of Philips GreenPower LED Production module and offer customers of 7-Eleven, a Japanese-American international chain of convenience stores, with higher nutritional values and vitamin levels. This collaboration between the companies will support Prime Delica to produce 3,200 kg of lettuce daily with an entire automated process of seeding-to-harvest. Such a technique of cultivation increases the quality of the crop and keeps them fresh, healthy, and pesticide-free. For urban agriculture, grow light is the major component and some extensively employed models are led grow-lights, fluorescent lights, high-intensity discharge lamp, metal halide lamp, and high-pressure sodium lights . As the farmers are becoming aware of grow light benefits, the demand within the agriculture sector is expected to increase over the coming years. As of 2018, the global grow lights market size was evaluated at $2.87 billion, and the opportunities are projected to grow at an attractive CAGR of 10.3% during the forecast period 2019-2025. 

Vertical Farming is Now a Growing Necessity

Vertical farming, a French method of growing vertical fruits, is the rapidly growing segment of the grow lights market. Vertical farming has now become the necessity for the urban farmers and is expected to reach $5.8 billion by 2022. The demand for the same is growing at a profitable CAGR of 13.8% through to 2025. Moreover, the global venture capital funding for vertical farming has grown from $36 million to $271 million, which is an increase of 653%. Such significant developments and funding’s are influencing further growth of the grow lights market. In addition to this, the grow lights in the form of LED systems are used in vertical farming is more energy efficient than any other lighting. Most of the vertical farming enables plough crops using grow lights. These grow lights are dispersed between each crop level as it emits significantly less heat that allows the plants to be tightly packed in vertical installations and the crops are not harmed. Additionally, these LED grow lights emit pink-purple lights as these plants respond best in colored lights. Pink and purple are the wavelengths that are able to subjugate the underwater most effectively. Owing to this, vertical farms are springing in many urban and metropolitan cities of the world and ploughing in the facilities such as a warehouse that are powered by smart lighting, artificial intelligence, and sensor systems.

Europe Leading the Global Grow Lights Market

As of 2018, Europe is leading the global grow lights market with a regional share of 35%. Europe was a leader in grow lights in 2016. The dominance of the region is attributed due to the popularity of horticulture and floriculture across Europe. The agriculture sector across Europe has become more reliant on the grow lights for the growth of fruits, vegetables, and plants. Moreover, countries such as the Netherlands is the highest exporter of horticulture produce that is grown within the numerous automated commercial greenhouses. Also, the concept of vertical farming is gaining popularity in the Netherlands. Europe’s rising population is a major driver for an increase in the need to practice indoor horticulture, and it is expected that the growing indoor horticulture and vertical farming will meet the needs of the world’s growing population.

Tech Trend Driving The Grow Lights Market

PAR: A Great Tech Trend: Creation of LED grow lights deliver a different spectrum of lights whenever necessary. There are LED lights that produce a dual-band color spectrum which promotes the ease of vegetative and flowering growth. Modern LED lights are more advantageous for cultivating which makes growing a much easier and cost-effective process. PAR is another tech trend that positively impacts the growth of fruits and vegetables.

Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR): PAR is a trend that is widely being used in the western region of the world. They are the LED grow lights that provide full-spectrum as they consist of a specific blend of colors that are found in natural sunlight. These lights do not emit spectral ranges that are not necessary for the growth of the plants and helps in achieving higher efficiency.

Fanless LED Grow Lights: The older versions of the LED lights had to be used along with fans for cooling. These fans used to accumulate a lot of dust particles and generate a lot of noise. Their complexity even led to the costs of repairs as per depreciation and damages. Owing to these, the latest development of lights are fanless and this is driving the growth of the grow lights market.

Heat Reduction: Currently, the LED grow lights are dependent on passive cooling. The most famous alternative is the use of heat sinks for cooling, designed in a way that it absorbs the excess heat from the diodes. As a consequence, at the time of operation of the lights, this prevents the changes in the light spectrum and avoids damages due to excess heat.

Lesser Heat Output: The companies have now innovated the heat sinks that are eventually combined with the bulbs that emit much lesser heat than before. These LED grow lights cover a much larger surface area, due to this the heat disperses naturally.   

Water Resistant LED Lights: There are lights innovated that are not susceptible to humidity and are certified water resistant that are nowadays widely used in aquaponics.

Reduced Risk of Short Circuits: As farming is done indoors, the chances of short circuit increases if the LED lights are not water resistant. Therefore, the grow lights marketplace are producing water-resistant lights that provide safety to the growers and keep the farming also secure.

Trouble-Free Maintenance: With the development of LED lights, the maintenance of these lights have reduced and become trouble-free. LED lights, when in use, accumulates a huge amount of dust and dirt that can apparently lead to the damages and the malfunction of the lights if they are not cleaned on a regular basis. This innovation has reduced the burden of the growers to maintain the lights.

LED Lights Have Changed the Way of Growing: Weather conditions impact the growth of the crops, fruits, and vegetables the most. The agriculture industry is highly dependent on weather conditions. However, the innovations in the grow light has reduced the burden and cultivation can be done anytime anywhere. With the increasing usage of grow lights, the use of pesticides and fertilizers have reduced for protecting the plants. Such innovations are driving the grow lights market growth.

The Major Players in the Grow Lights Market

Some of the key players operating in the grow lights market are Gavita Holland B.V., Sunlight Supply Inc., Royal Philips, Heliospectra Ab., General Electric, Iwasaki Electric Co., Ltd., Hortilux Schreder B.V., Osram Licht AG, and Fluence Bioengineering. Many companies are introducing new products in order to increase their market presence or entering into strategic mergers and acquisition, joint ventures, and partnerships. 

There are a few start-Ups that have entered the market with innovations, one such example is:

Thrive Agritech, a technology company that designs and manufactures LED grow lights for indoor agriculture, is in the grow lights market, focusing on high-efficiency and user-friendly LED grow lights. With the major focus for supporting the advancement of sustainable agricultural development, the company is producing LED grow lights to control the growing environments such as hydroponics and greenhouse systems. The lights are the patent-pending technologies that produce photosynthetic lights that are optimized for energy efficiency, reliability, and plant growth. In 2017, the company committed that their product is the best suite for the replacement for chemical treatments. This gave a bridge for their product launch in the market.

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