Michigan State University Offering Summer Online Course On Greenhouse And Horticultural Lighting

Michigan State University Offering Summer Online Course On Greenhouse And Horticultural Lighting

Feature Image Cob 700 (NewLux)Michigan State University (MSU) Extension will be offering a pre-recorded Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting online course this summer.

The course, which must be completed between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2016, is aimed at greenhouse and ornamental plant growers and others interested in learning the fundamental concepts about how plants respond to light quality, quantity, and duration. It provides introductory to moderately challenging content based on experiments performed at MSU and Purdue University.


The three hours of pre-recorded lecture and video demonstrations are divided into seven units.
• The first and second units cover the properties of light and its importance for plant growth and development.
• The third unit discusses how light quality influences stem extension and flowering.
• The fourth unit of the course teaches participants about light intensity and its importance for plant growth, as well as the factors that affect light availability and how to manipulate and measure light intensity in the greenhouse. Unit four also features four videos that demonstrate how light transmission is affected by the glazing material of a greenhouse, how growers can measure instantaneous light intensity and daily light integral in their greenhouse, and how to measure light intensity and quality from light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
• The fifth unit of the course discusses how light quantity affects plant shoot and root growth and branching, focusing on responses to the average daily light integral.
• Unit six covers photoperiod and long-day lighting strategies, featuring the latest research on delivering long days with LEDs.
• The final unit on supplemental lighting discusses the advantages and limitations of different lamp types, provides guidelines of when to deliver supplemental lighting to increase daily light integral, and the factors to consider when selecting a lamp for your horticultural application.

The course is instructed by MSU greenhouse and nursery Extension educator Heidi Wollaeger. It was adapted and updated from the original College of Knowledge unit developed by MSU professor emeritus Royal Heins, and includes recent research by MSU professor of horticulture Erik Runkle. Supplemental content including videos demonstrating concepts are from MSU’s Roberto Lopez and Purdue University’s Garrett Owen.

Registration for the course is now available.