Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

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Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) or Indoor farming –  What is it? And how does it differ from conventional outdoor growing practices?

CEA has a few unique aspects in addition to the standard outdoor cultivation methods. The main unique aspect of CEA is that it aims to provide and maintain optimal growing conditions throughout the development of a crop. This gives a measure of control over many of the uncertainties that cannot be controlled in a conventional outdoor growing environment.

In this section about CEA you will learn: the optimal conditions your plants need to grow and why they need them in order to grow healthy and strong. If you are learning how to grow plants for food you will need to practice or develop the skills of patience and observation. Plants can tell us what they need while growing by changing color and/or looking weak or sick. Remember plants are living beings that need care and protection for optimal growth, so remember that no matter what happens: always keep on growing!

Below are a selection of videos to introduce you to vertical farming and the key elements that are controlled: Light, temperature, humidity and CO2 (carbon dioxide)

At the bottom of the page we have included some questions to help you with your learning and please use the forum to answer the forum questions or to post questions of your own to the community learning with you.




introduction to CEA & indoor farming

Martian Food

Growing indoors

Vertical vs horizontal planes

Japanese Plant Factories

Controlled Environment Research

Artificial Light

Why is it important?  How do plants transform light into biomass?

Have the light adapt to the plant instead of the plant adapt to the light

The farmers growing vegetables with LED lights  

The effect of light on plant growth

Temperature Control

Why is it important?

Water temperature effect

How is it done? Heat air, water or…

Effect of temperature on plants

Humidity Control

Why is it important, how to control it

How is it done

Humidity explanation, how water works on plants

Watering plants

CO2 control

Why is it important

Some plants benefit from the increase of CO2

Experiments done with plants and different air composition

CO2 is a hot topic for indoor growers; it can be a great tool if you understand how to use it.

How is it done (By Bright Agrotech (June 2016))

How does the increasing CO2 affect plants?

Questions to know if you master the content


    • What is the role of light in growing process?
    • Which light measurements are important for growing?
    • Describe the advantages of LED light.
    • What is the main problem with LED light?


    • Is there an ideal temperature for plants?
    • How does temperature affect plants?


    • Why the humidity is so important?

CO2 Concentration

    • Do plants grow better in rich air CO2 concentrations?
    • How do plants use this gas and why is it important in plant metabolism?