How Light Diffusion Works In The Greenhouse

The whiteness of the film here means light is being held within the film, but as it turns blue (below), the light is diffusing
The whiteness of the film above means light is being held within the film, but as it turns blue (below), the light is diffusing

Diffused light offers many benefits for greenhouse crops, such as improved crop yield, higher leaf count, lower crop temperature, and shorter crop time.

Simply put, light diffusion is light scattering, or light distribution by mechanical means. It can be by clouds, ice particles, film tinting (white washing), or via a system such as SolaWrap’s engineered poly structures.

Diffuse light penetrates deeper for greater photosynthesis by activating more of the canopy (less shading by upper leaves). In addition, diffuse light helps encourage better growth due to a better distribution of light, making it more evenly spread rather than with hot spots and shady spots. But using diffused film may actually hinder growth in times of low light, such as winter growing when low light conditions exist.

Many films diffuse by tinting the film white, but while these type of films do a good job of diffusing, they do not have the ability to be modified based on environmental conditions. Fixed films, frosted, and diffused sheeting also do not offer the convertibility of offering less diffusion when low light conditions exist.

Unlike these fixed solutions, SolaWrap offers a different approach: a spherical bubble with multi-layer coating. With one film, SolaWrap provides a mix of light types, direct, Solawrap Feature Imagediffused, and refracted.

The photos you see here are of the same greenhouse, taken within 10 minutes of each other. What you will notice is the blue and white colors of the film. Depending on the angle of approach, the light diffusion and transparency will change.

SolaWrap provides high transparency and high diffusion, up to 83% each. In low light conditions, it will allow more direct sunlight to enter the structure, helping crops perform better in the winter. The reverse also applies in hard direct sunlight; SolaWrap will diffuse, reducing the plant burn that sometimes occurs.

SolaWrap is not a tinted or whitewashed film. It is a clear film, yet by looking at the color changes you can see the benefits of diffused technology with direct light capabilities.

Note: Information for this article is provided by Ken Aguilar of SolaWrap Films.

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