Experts predict that by 2030 global demand for food will double. To meet this demand, food producers are adopting new technologies to increase production at a lower cost while reducing environmental pressures. Most of these production technologies focus on strengthening traditional inputs such as water, air, nutrients and space. However, light is a largely untapped production investment.
By using LED lighting, taking advantage of the unique spectral needs of poultry, swine, dairy cattle, fish or crustaceans, farmers can reduce stress and poultry mortality, regulate circadian rhythms, and dramatically increase yields of eggs, meat and other protein sources while significantly Reduce energy use and other input costs.
Niche applications for solid-state lighting (SSL) include agricultural-specific lighting, which can generate significant revenue potential. Major manufacturers such as Philips and OSRAM have developed spectrum-tunable LED lights for agriculture and horticulture, with small businesses such as Once Innovations and NextGen Illumination producing LED-only poultry markets.
Many livestock farmers still use 60W, 80W and 100W incandescent lamps in their barns. These lamps are very suitable for human environment, but the incandescent lamp and the sun is not the same, the best light for humans is not necessarily suitable for other animals. The spectrum of sunlight is significantly different from that of incandescent lamps. Daylight is a combination of all colors.
Application of LED in Poultry Breeding
The biggest advantage of LED is to provide customizable adjustable spectrum. The spectral sensitivity of animals is different from that of humans, as is the spectral requirement. By optimizing the spectrum, radiation and modulation in the barns, farmers can create a good lighting environment for domestic animals and delight livestock to promote their growth while minimizing energy and feed expenses.
Poultry is four-color. Like humans, poultry have peak sensitivity to green at 550 nm. But they also have high sensitivity to red, blue and ultraviolet (UV). But the most striking difference between humans and poultry may be the poultry's ability to visually perceive ultraviolet light (peak at 385 nm).
Each color has a significant effect on poultry physiology. For example, the proliferation of skeletal muscle satellite cells can be enhanced by green light, increasing the growth rate in the early stage. Blue light grows by increasing plasma androgen levels at later ages. Narrow-band blue light to reduce exercise, but also reduce the rate of cannibalism. Green and blue light together to promote muscle fiber growth. Overall, Blu-ray has been shown to increase feed conversion by 4%, reducing costs per pound by 3% and increasing total live weight by 5%.
Red light at the beginning of the feeding period can increase the growth rate of chickens and increase the amount of chickens exercised to minimize leg problems. Red light can also reduce the amount of feed consumed per egg yield, whereas the resulting egg does not differ in size, weight, egg shell thickness, egg yolk and albumin weight. Overall, red light has been shown to increase peak production, raising egg production by up to 38 eggs per hen, while consumption may be reduced by 20%.
Standards and subsidies
Although LED has many advantages, but the initial investment costly. This is due in part to the lack of performance standards in the agricultural lighting industry, making it difficult for consumers who buy agricultural lighting LEDs to receive energy-saving subsidies like incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps.
Thankfully, the standard is under development and will set key performance standards such as durability, performance, reliability and security, and there are several companies that are interested in being part of the standard set.