The amount of hours a plant grows can be extended with supplemental lighting known as grow lights. Most year round greenhouses will require lighting during the winter so plants receive their necessary photoperiod for normal development. Grow lights can be used to produce artificial sunlight on shady days when plants do not receive sufficient sunlight. Plants can produce more flowers or fruit in a shorter amount of time with this additional light.
High Pressure Sodium Lights
A high pressure sodium lamp emits more light in the red/orange wavelengths to promote more flowers and fruit. It is recommended for production of vegetables and cut flowers. Using this light constantly, even during daylight, can provide increased production.
A metal halite grow light emits more light in the blue wavelength spectrum to promote more of the vegetative growth.
Plants grown under this type of light are typically taller and bushier.
Functional Work Space Lighting
There is less time for gardeners to work with their plants during daylight hours in winter. Unfortunately, most lights are not designed to withstand the amount of water and humidity found in greenhouses. Lights will eventually rust, break, and stop functioning. A water-resistant, greenhouse lighting system with fluorescent lights that can be mounted at the ridge of your structure for task lighting.
Summer sun may be too intense for plants to grow, depending on the location of the greenhouse, they may burn or die. One way to avoid this situation is to install a shading system. Operable, fixed, interior, and exterior shading systems are available.
An interior fixed shade system permanently attaches to the frame and is appropriate for greenhouses with plants such as delicate orchids or tropical flowers.
These fixed shades systems will prevent heat and light from entering the greenhouse, stay in place, and do not move. These shades are recommended for locations with intense sunlight year round.
An interior operable shade system provides control over the amount of light entering the greenhouse. Shades are available in manual or motorized options and can be drawn on bright days or retracted on overcast days.
An exterior operable system consists of shades mounted on the outside of a greenhouse. The shades reduce light and heat build up in the greenhouse, which helps promote healthy plants. Manual and motorized options are available, along with various shade fabric colors.
The shades on this system are raised 5-7” above the ridge and allow for air circulation, which reduces the glass’s temperature.