'Laser Horticulture' Could Transform the Way the World Grows Food

Researchers from KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) in Saudi Arabia introduce 'Laser Horticulture' - a single-source light solution for indoor agriculture that saves water and energy and could change the way the world grows food. In dry regions such as Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, over 95 percent of water can be lost through evaporation. Due to the scarcity of water in these regions, it is often necessary to cultivate plants in an enclosed environment, which can conserve water by up to 90 percent. The KAUST researchers have developed a laser-based illumination system for indoor plant cultivation that is efficient and cost effective. A single source of laser can potentially replace hundreds of fluorescent light tubes and LED lights. The high-powered laser can be tuned to produce the required intensity of light based on specific crops and plants. The laser panels and optics are based outside the horticulture chamber and are guided through access ports to the growth chambers in a single-tier or multi-tier plant cultivation setup.