Red Light Drives Photosynthesis

July 9, 2018

Plants need only a small percentage of their light delivered in the blue spectrum to be able to grow and function well. Red light, despite its longer wavelength and lower energy value, is more efficient at driving photosynthesis than blue light. While red light may deliver less energy, the plant uses much more of it efficiently to fuel photosynthesis and produce sugars.

This light-emitting diode lamp mixes only blue and red light, resulting in a pink-colored light in the growing area.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

The spectrum of light an outdoor garden receives will vary according to geographical location. Sunlight that reaches areas north of the Fortieth Parallel contains more blue light, while sunlight at the equator delivers more red. The atmosphere absorbs light at different levels in each area.

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