Published 01/06/2014

Benefits of Diffuse Light

New research at WUR finds 25 percent growth rate increase along with improved plant quality.

Bringing more light into the greenhouse has long been a goal of growers everywhere, and Dutch researchers have now set out on a multi-year study to determine the benefits of harnessing more diffuse light in particular.

In recent trials at the Netherlands’ Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, researchers found that producing potted plants under a light-diffusing screen (curtain) shortens the production time by 25 per cent, and results in better quality plants.

They say being able to utilize diffuse light only when needed appears to be key to these increases, and in this case they employed a retractable screen to compare the effects of removable, deployable diffuse light versus stationary diffuse light screens and coatings.

The findings surprised even the scientists, with impacts not only to the growing cycle but also quality and weight.

Diffuse light is much softer and less harsh than the typical direct light found in most greenhouses. Scattered by particles, diffuse light seems to come from all directions. Think of light that comes through a cloud, rather than directly from the sun...

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