Design of a Planter Box with Dual Light Source
The sudden growth of small-scale urban farming has intensified the importance of optimizing its economic and environmental sustainability, as these start-ups rely heavily on artificial light sources such as LEDs. This paper reviews and investigates the recent developments, opportunities, and challenges in urban farming. The aim of the study is to develop a planter box with a dual light source, consisting of both artificial and natural light, whereby LEDs are only utilized when plants receive insufficient sunlight. This tackles the sustainability issues in the field since the use of artificial light sources such as fluorescent lamps and LEDs, in urban farming contributes to a quarter of the overall cost of operation due to electricity consumption. The study entails conducting an experiment using the planter box solution with a hydroponics cultivation system, to establish the effects of asynchronous dual light system on plant growth, specifically on basil herbs. At the end of the project, the results will show the comparative differences and similarities between using a dual light source and a single natural light source through various factors such as plant growth rate and yield. The project has also effectively developed a safe to use and smart, Internet of Things (IoT) based planter box through multidisciplinary engineering. The benefits of the success of the project would inform urban farmers to redesign their cultivation systems to incorporate a dual light system to improve the sustainability of their farms.