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Greenhouse Lighting: 5 Factors to Consider

It has been statistically proven that 80% of greenhouse owners in the US are nature lovers. The other 20% has commercial interests. Owning a greenhouse has many benefits; one of them is getting closer to nature. Every plant lover should own a greenhouse. Greenhouses are designed to suit the needs of your plants, a kind of plant sanctuary if you like.

Even though most greenhouses are designed with the optimum environment in mind, it still comes down to the owner to ensure that these conditions are met. All it takes is a little effort and due diligence.

The Setting of Your Greenhouse

The whole idea behind a greenhouse is to provide the perfect setting for your plants to grow in. Not being exposed to the elements can be a good thing, but this means that the greenhouse owner has to provide the necessary elements the plants need to survive.

Let us look at one of those elements that are high on the list of priorities.

Your Greenhouse Lighting

1000-watt-HPS-systemPlants are dependent on light to be able to process their food. Along with air and water, light helps with a process called photosynthesis. This is essential for the plant to survive. This is most evident during winter times. If the amount of natural light available is not adequate, artificial light has to be provided.

There are quite a number of lights available today and it can be tricky to choose the right lighting for your greenhouse. Here are some factors to consider when buying greenhouse lighting.

  1. Greenhouse Design & Type
  2. Average Daily Usage
  3. Types of Plants Cultivated
  4. Are They Electrically Efficient?
  5. Amount of Heat Generated

Greenhouse Design and Type

Commercial greenhouses tend to have more adverse conditions. This means a more robust kind of lighting should be used. In a smaller, home growing greenhouse this might not be so important. In this case, the other factors should be taken into consideration.

Average Daily Usage

400-watt-MH-systemGreenhouse lighting does not necessarily need to be provided 24 hours a day. Keep in mind there are light durations called photo-periods  Generally, depending on your specific plants’ needs, it can be between 6 and 12 hours a day. This will also depend on the time of year. If you live in an area with minimal sunlight then you would have to consider more durable lighting that will run for longer.

Types of Plants Cultivated

This can be an important factor, since flowering plants such as orchids will require a broader spectrum of color. Blue, red and the long, red wave of the spectrum should then be a priority. Certain colors will work for certain plants. It would be advised to do your homework when deciding on what colors will be optimal for your plants. A good resource would be:  Supplemental Lighting for Greenhouse Crop Production

Electrically Efficient Lights

LED-grow-lightsAlways keep in mind how electrically efficient your greenhouse lighting is. LED Plant Grow Lights are the most efficient and Incandescent Plant Grow Lights the least efficient. Other options include Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium and Fluorescent Plant Grow Lights. Choosing the right type of lighting will also depend on your budget, but keep the environment in mind.

Amount of Heat Generated

incandescent-lightsOnly used greenhouse lighting where needed and never overdo it. The reason being that lights tend to create heat and this can be damaging to your plants. This is especially true with incandescent plant grow lights. Too much heat can actually kill your plants. This is why it might be a better option to go for the more expensive, but efficient LED lights.

Hopefully this article has made you realize just how important the right kind of greenhouse lighting can be. Best of luck and may your green fingers become even greener!