Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - When sci-fi films imagined a future of neon pink lights it may have been more accurate than expected. A new indoor farm that uses functional LEDs to create the ultimate growing environment has beaten nature, hands-down.

Miyagi Prefecture farm uses special LED lights made by GE which emit light at wavelengths for optimal plant growth. The result, in this former Sony semiconductor factory, is plant growth that’s two and a half times faster than outdoors.

Not only is growth faster but more efficient too with 40 per cent less waste material and, crucially, a saving of 99 per cent water.

The farm, which is 25,000 square feet, half a football field, opened in July and is already producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day. The farm uses 17,500 LED lights spread over 18 cultivation racks that climbs to 15 levels high.

Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura says: "What we need to do is not just setting up more days and nights. We want to achieve the best combination of photosynthesis during the day and breathing at night by controlling the lighting and the environment."

GE Japan is currently expanding to Hong Kong and Russia.

READ: Solar-powered robot farmers are almost ready to take over from puny humans 

Writing by Luke Edwards. Originally published on 11 July 2014.