'Dancing' Ultraviolet Light Show Helps Plants Grow Faster

The light installation magnificently blends art and crop growth.
Fabienne Lang

A Dutch designer has created an ultraviolet light installation across crops to help plants grow more quickly and more sustainably. 

The project is the latest creation of Daan Roosegaarde and is called GROW. Roosegaarde's Studio is a space that merges art and technology.

The beauty and innovation of GROW are showcased in a short video in the form of a luminous ethereal landscape where ultraviolet blue and red lights seem to make rows upon rows of plants swish and sway in a magical dance. 

Inspired by "scientific light recipes," GROW improves plants' growth and resilience. 

So how does the light design work?

The colorful lights shine vertically over 20,000 square meters of farmland in the Netherlands. The crops in question look absolutely normal during the day but at night they turn into a live piece of multicolored artwork. 

The lighting is inspired by photobiology light science technologies that have demonstrated how a blend of ultraviolet, red, and blue lighting can enhance plant growth in a sustainable way as it can reduce the need for pesticides by up to 50 percent, explains Roosegaarde. 

As with most art, there's a deeper meaning to GROW's creation. As Roosegaarde says "GROW can be good for nature but also sends hopeful light to people. It gives a new meaning to the word ‘agri-culture’ by reframing the landscape as a living cultural artwork."

Art backed by science truly brings about wonderful creations, and as Prof. Dr. Wargent, the Chief Science Officer at BioLumic, a world-leading expert in plant photobiology said "The project GROW is a fascinating project and supported by scientific research which shows specific light recipes can enhance growth and reduce pesticide use up to 50%."

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Many of us barely notice the acres upon acres of farmland that surround us as we quickly drive past them along motorways. However, farmers and their crops play a huge role in our lives and so should not be glanced over.

Improving the way crops grow is an important task, as can be seen through other initiatives like using drones to more efficiently spray plant protection on crops, or using AI and robots to grow crops vertically.

20,000m2 GROW by Roosegaarde highlights the beauty of agriculture. [Official Movie] from Studio Roosegaarde on Vimeo.

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