The only way mankind is going to be able to completely trash the Earth, move onto to terraform Mars, and then destroy that planet is to grow food in space. But like Terra firma, typical grow lights consume too much energy, take up space and generate lots of heat. However, scientists think that targeted LEDs may hold the key to our future for deep space exploration. Space Daily reports:

Research led by Cary Mitchell, professor of horticulture, and then-master’s student Lucie Poulet found that leaf lettuce thrived under a 95-to-5 ratio of red and blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, placed close to the plant canopy. The targeted LED lighting used about 90 percent less electrical power per growing area than traditional lighting and an additional 50 percent less energy than full-coverage LED lighting.

The study suggests that this model could be a valuable component of controlled-environment agriculture and vertical farming systems in space and on Earth, Mitchell said.

Cannabis growers have been experimenting with LEDs for years and claim that the lights “will give you a larger yield and a more potent product.” That’s great news for commercial growers in Colorado where municipalities are reporting an uptick in energy consumption and astronauts alike. I can’t imagine anything more boring than drifting through space with a stash of proper weed.

(Photo: growsetup)