How to Light a Greenhouse With LED Grow Lights

By Mark Watola on 10/29/2020

Photo by Kinga Longa

Switching greenhouse lighting to LED horticulture lights has its advantages. But how exactly do you light a greenhouse with LED lights?

The answer is not cut and dry, as every greenhouse is different. Aside from the soil and water, the other two main components that determine a plant’s growth include sunlight and the plant’s needs.

How much supplemental light do you need?

Supplemental light works as a secondary light source to the sun. To determine how much supplemental light you need, first examine how much sunlight your greenhouse receives.

Is your greenhouse half-sun (3-6 hours per day) or full-sun (6+ hours per day)? Does your greenhouse face the sun? Do surrounding obstructions create shade for the greenhouse? At what latitude are you located?

Determine these factors, then measure multiple areas of your greenhouse throughout the day to check light levels and record the data. Inadequate sunlight? Determine what supplemental light you need and add LED grow lights. Adjust accordingly as the amount of light depends on the type of crops.

What type of light do you need?

The type of light you need depends on your crops and what you want to achieve with them.

Different effects on plants occur at separate points of the visible spectrum of lights, measured in wavelengths (nanometers or “nm”). We included a general overview of the LED grow light spectrum and its benefits below.

Type of Light   Helps with…

Blue Light (400nm-500nm) 
 

Deep leaf penetration 
 

Green Light (500-600nm)
 

Vegetative growth stage 
 

Red (630nm-660nm) 
 

Flowering/blooming 
 

Far Red Light (720-740nm) 
 

Boost flower/fruit speed
 

 

MaxLite and ETi Lighting offer LED grow lights with selectable light spectrum to adjust lighting to a plant’s multiple growth stages.

For smaller at-home greenhouses or grow applications, some Sylvania A21, Sylvania BR30, and Brightstar bulbs offer LED horticulture lights.

Other Considerations

Typically in wet environments, greenhouses LED lights typically include IP65 rated to withstand dust, dirt, debris, and water.

As temperature also affects plant growth, plants must grow in stable climates. LED horticulture lights don’t produce as much heat as other lights, so greenhouse HVAC costs would be more manageable.

Other greenhouse LED lights help farmers and gardeners see. Depending on ceiling height and square footage, multiple options for general lighting exist.

LED corn bulbs work to blanket large areas. Use LED high bay linear or high bay UFO in greenhouses with higher ceilings. Jelly jars can illuminate specific areas, like entryways or small storage areas, with confidence due to durable construction and caged housing.

Be sure to give your plants well-needed rest. Instead of manually switching lights on and off, use remotes like the ETI remote to control grow lights with ease.

Ultimately, every facility runs differently and requires different lighting solutions on a case by case basis. Factors from the type of plants grown to the direction the greenhouse faces the sun can determine what lights you require.

Check out HomEletrical’s selection of LED horticulture lights to outfit your greenhouse with the lights and accessories necessary for happy plants.

Sources:

https://gs-horti.com/articles/63-led-grow-lights-correct-lighting-for-the-greenhouse.html

https://gpnmag.com/category/lighting/

https://www.kroptek.com/technology

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