The right lighting can make all the difference in producing top-notch floriculture crops and greenhouse vegetables. Understanding how to use this critical technology effectively improves crop performance and ultimately saves you time and money. Lighting presentations at AmericanHort’s Production Technology Conference in October will help you leverage this powerful tool more fully. Here’s an overview of four lighting sessions you’ll want to take advantage of to increase your comprehension.
Learning the Lighting Lingo
Start building your foundation in lighting knowledge or strengthen what you already know as Michigan State University’s lighting expert Roberto Lopez takes you back to the basics with an overview of lighting terms, concepts, applications, and more.
Considerations When Investing in Lighting
The investment in greenhouse lighting systems can be substantial, so it pays to think through all of your options before you make a purchase. Neil Mattson, an Associate Professor and Greenhouse Specialist at Cornell University, will walk you through what factors to consider when purchasing new greenhouse lights. He’ll cover areas such as lighting needs given geographic climate, purchase and installation costs, lighting control strategies, and more, as well as present some comparison studies between different lighting systems. In a separate lighting presentation at the conference, Mattson will go more in-depth, covering lighting controls and schedules.
Research and Applications in Lighting Control Systems Using LEDs and Sunlight
Lighting is expensive, with both the capital outlay costs associated with initial installation and the operational costs (electricity) that follow adding up to as much as 30% of total operating costs. Since the capital costs of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are substantially higher than those of HPS lights, investing in LEDs only makes sense of the benefits outweigh the costs. To help growers get more value out of LED lighting, Marc Van Iersel of the University of Georgia and Eric Mattos of Phyto Synthetics will share how their research combines plant physiology with engineering to develop ‘smart’ lighting control approaches that provide the exact amount of light needed, which minimizes electricity costs while assuring good crop growth and quality.
Using Supplementary Lighting in a Tomato Greenhouse
Dr. Thomas Schwend of BLV will present data from a supplementary lighting study conducted in a greenhouse in South Korea, which is located at nearly the same latitude as Los Angeles, CA. Researchers replaced some metal halide fixtures in the South Korean greenhouse with professional horticulture HPS lighting, which significantly increased tomato yield and quality during winter production. This could be promising for growers looking to increase vegetable production in winter months when consumers might pay higher prices for local, fresh produce.