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Living Wall Technical

Does my living wall require lighting?

As in natural environments, different plant species thrive in various light levels. We can select plants to accommodate the aspect and natural light intensity of each project. In areas where no natural light is present (particually indoors) it is essential to artificially create the right light intensity and colour temperature to support healthy plant growth for your living wall.

For an internal living wall to thrive long-term, it’s important to get the correct balance of both intensity and colour of lighting.  The intensity of light is described in foot candles (FC) or Lumens.  Colour temperature is a unit of measure to express the colour of light emitted ranging from red to blue, traditionally stated in the unit symbol K for Kelvin.  For reference, a summer day with no clouds is 15,000 FC.

The colour of the light will determine the plant’s ability to produce strong stems, leaves and its ability to flower.  For vegetable growers flowering is important since flowers equal produce.  The blues – colour temperatures over 5,000 K – encourage good leaf and stem growth, while reds and oranges (2,700 – 3,000 K) promote flowering.  The natural sunlight provides a full spectrum of colour while the interior market must rely on supplemental lighting designed according to the types of plants in the living wall.

Living walls require a combination of blue and red, and a typical indoor living wall will thrive on 4,500 K to 6,000 K on the colour spectrum.

In summary, for an ANS Living Wall to thrive there must be a minimum of 250 FC and 3,000 K if possible.  If these light levels aren’t available naturally, additional artificial lights need to be considered.

lighting for a living wall

Down-lighting outdoors

lighting for indoors living wall

Subtle indoor lighting

mood lighting for outdoor living wall

Uplighting outdoors

Light intensity is measured in foot candles (FC) or lumen’s. For reference a clear summer day is around 15000 FC. We require a minimum of 250 FC for a long lasting living wall.

Light colour temperature is measured in Kelvin (K). Natural sunlight provides a full spectrum of colour and indoor living walls will thrive with a similar light balance (4500 K to 6000 K). For a healthy living wall we require a minimum of 3000 K.

Ceiling spot lighting for a living wall

Ceiling spot-lighting set back from the living wall at Facebook

Wall spot lighting for interior living wall

Wall spot lighting at Workshop Coffee

Ambient lighting for a living wall

Ambient skim lighting at RizonJet

Does my living wall require lighting? Case Studies