What a difference a light makes

ArtScience Museum entrance


So we have some dark basil growing in FabCafe, nestled inside Singapore's ArtScience Museum. If you have ever been there, you would know that the entire first level is flooded with natural light as the facade is made up of glass panels. So it might appear that it would be extremely easy to grow plants there with all that sunlight flowing through.

We did a little experiment to test that theory out.

We took a stem of Purple basil that was originally growing in the Plantui system and transplanted it to a pot that was on the shelf next to it. Other than the artificial lights from the Plantui and the fact that now the Purple basil is planted in soil, both were otherwise still in the exact same environment.

The results of our experiment illustrates the effect of the differing light intensities received by plants.

Comparison of the Purple Basil (Ocimum Basilicum 'Purpurascens')

Purple basil flowers

Purple basil, an edible variety of the basil family, has a flavour that is similar to the sweet basil but it has an intense clove taste and it is highly aromatic. A popular variety of purple basil is Dark Opal, which grows about 18 inches tall and reaches maturity in about 80 days. With its sharply serrated leaves that are an ominous shade of very dark blood red, purple basil is a plant that exudes gothic drama.

Light intensity has a strong influence on purple basil coloration. Under low light intensities and low daily light integrals (DLIs), anthocyanin production is lower and, as a result, the green coloration from chlorophyll is more apparent. Alternatively as the light intensity or DLI increases, anthocyanin production increases and purple leaf coloration intensifies.

This explains why purple basil tends to be blotchy during the winter and early spring, when ambient light levels are low.The way to achieve the best looking plants is to increase the amount of photosynthetic light.

Plantui's Smart Garden has 18 high-end LED lights that provide the best spectrums and intensity needed for photosynthesis. With Plantui growth lights, plants get just the right amount and quality of light for their optimal growth and you get healthy, fresh and extremely tasty greens.

Basil Dark (Growing in Plantui): Leaves have a rich, dark purple hue. This is consistent with the plant getting sufficient light it needs.

Basil Dark (Transferred out of Plantui): Plant was still growing in a greenhouse like environment, with bright sunlight shining through the glass facade 

As you can see from the 2 pictures above, the deep purple hue from the Purple basil faded after being transplanted to the pot, though it was still growing healthily. The use of purple basil in this experiment really gave us a glimpse of the visible difference lights make.


Sunlight and photosynthesis


This post seems oddly like a science lesson, but the point here is, if you would like your plant to grow healthily, be sure to provide it with the optimal amount and type of sunlight.

Can I get a watt watt


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