Design and Selection

Published on January 18th, 2013 | by Shelley Awad


Adding Lights to the Greenhouse

Greenhouse Lighting

The goal of finding the best and most efficient source of light for your greenhouse is to provide your plants with the indoor equivalent to sunlight in order to extend the growing season.  With artificial lighting the greenhouse can provide a year round supply of your favorite flowers, vegetable and herbs.

A greenhouse needs quality lighting as well as sufficient hours of exposure for plants to react productively to the indoor environment. The intensity of natural light, especially during the fall and winter months may be too low for plants to flourish. If this is the case, you may require artificial lighting as an appendage.

There are several options to consider as a supplement to the natural light that is absorbed within the greenhouse. Incandescent bulbs provide quality light and, they also create additional heat, which is an added bonus during colder months.  Just remember not to place the bulbs too close to some plants, as the heat may be excessive and damage your plants.

Fluorescent tubes are popular but the light produced does not usually cover a large enough area to consider it superior. Placing them strategically using only the largest tubes available can do the trick. Also it is wise to combine cool white bulbs for the blue rays and warm white for the red rays which are required for flowering and harvesting. This combination will generally supply the best essential light supply.

If your greenhouse is large with an extensive plant growing area you may need to invest in the halide Agrosum bulb which is considered the latest innovation in lighting technology. It is a bulb shaped like a sunburst that provides the most substantial amount of lighting compared with any other style of light source.

To cover an even larger area a Hyrofarm Light Track can be used. It is a fixture that holds the light bulb with an attachment to a track, moving it back and forth mimicking the movement of the sun.

Because light is the most important factor when growing plants it is a good idea to purchase a reliable greenhouse light meter which will help to accurately determine whether your plants are receiving the proper amount of light necessary for their cultivation.


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About the Author

Greenhouse Consultant, Shelley Awad, provides everything you need to know about greenhouses. Whether you are buying a greenhouse or you already own one, you’ll learn tips and tricks on greenhouses and how to grow year-round. Questions always welcome.

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