Optimal control of LED light intensity in a plant factory

Dan Xu, Qichang Yang, Yuxing Tong, L.G. Van Willigenburg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


High energy cost of LED lighting is a key factor limiting big-scale plant factory production. In this paper, through optimal control computations, LED light intensity in a plant factory is optimized over time for different electric energy prices and lettuce crop prices. The dynamics of lettuce growth is considered by modifying a greenhouse lettuce growth model. Next, the modified dynamic model is calibrated through the experiment. The dynamic lettuce growth model, like most growth models, does not contain a mechanism that reflects the need for dark periods for proper growth. These are therefore enforced by disabling LED lighting during certain periods at night. Optimal control computations predict the profitability of plant factory production. Moreover, the optimal LED light intensity can be used in the actual production process. The optimal control computations reveal the influence of electric energy price and crop price on the profitability of growing lettuce in a plant factory. This information is highly valuable to growers, legislators, and governments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th Chinese Control Conference, CCC 2020
EditorsJun Fu, Jian Sun
PublisherIEEE computer society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789881563903
ISBN (Print)9781728165233
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Event39th Chinese Control Conference, CCC 2020 - Shenyang, China
Duration: 27 Jul 202029 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameChinese Control Conference, CCC
ISSN (Print)1934-1768
ISSN (Electronic)2161-2927


Conference39th Chinese Control Conference, CCC 2020


  • dark time
  • LED lighting
  • light intensity
  • Optimal control
  • plant factory


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