Lighting veteran answers some of the most commonly asked questions he deals with on a fairly regular basis.
May 24, 2012, Wageningen, the Netherlands — Scientists from Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, have concluded that it is possible to develop plants that produce even more food by reducing the level of pigments that make no contribution to photosynthesis.
May 17, 2012, Baden-Württemberg, Germany — Plants are dependent on the sun. Sunlight does not only supply them with energy, but also controls their development steps.
Artificial lighting in greenhouses is common practice in greenhouses in northern Europe and Canada.
Dr. Nicolas Castilla is research coordinator in the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training at the Granada Centre in Spain.

Ottawa supporting LED research project
The federal government is investing in an innovative technology for greenhouses that will help growers improve efficiency while reducing operational costs.
Introduction: Potted flowering gerbera, generally marketed from April to October, have become popular potted plants in Ontario. Understanding the effect of both light sum and photoperiod on the flower initiation and plant morphology is important when growing potted gerbera for different markets. For small-sized potted gerbera (10-cm pots), early flowering, short flower scape (flower stem) and small leaves are important, while for larger sized pots (15-cm diameter), plants must be larger and may need a longer flower scape to provide proper proportion.
Year-round, high-wire production of mini-cucumbers with supplemental lighting is being fine-tuned at the Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre.
The time when you would simply order plastic at the lowest price – or when building a glass greenhouse, order “just glass” – is behind us. New developments are coming so rapidly that ordering your roof cover is becoming a scientific task
As plant producers, we think of ourselves as the original green industry. Ultimately, everything we do is, or was, driven by sunlight. Photosynthesis provides energy for our plants to grow now, and millions of years ago to grow plants to become the fuels we use for heat and to power vehicles. We could argue that we’re already a truly solar-powered industry!
Research at the University of Guelph shows that stationary lighting systems are more effective for plant growth than movable pulse lighting, a new approach to supplemental lighting.
A popular resource book shows how manipulating light levels can help growers produce consistent quality plant material through the year.

Well known for their commitment  to innovation, Alberta’s Doef’s Greenhouses installed two acres of lights last year, primarily for the winter cucumber crop. The results have been encouraging.
Lighting, and its effect on plant growth, was just one of several themes among student research initiatives at U of G last semester. 
Tomatoes can now be grown in greenhouses faster and year-round, thanks to a gene identified at the University of Guelph from natural germplasm. This gene will ultimately allow growers to take advantage of increased sales from year-round production, and get higher market value for their produce in the winter months.
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