City skyscrapers full of stacked plants may not be the future of vertical farming, but less-pricey suburban warehouses that use energy-efficient LED lighting to give plants just the wavelengths of light they need to grow may be just the ticket, said Purdue University horticulturist Cary Mitchell. "Twenty years ago, research showed that you could grow lettuce in just red light," Mitchell says. "If you add a little bit of blue, it grows better."

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