Supplemental lighting has gained a lot of ground in the past four years. In 2016, when we first asked growers about lighting in under cover crop production, just over one-third indicated that they had some sort installed. Today, that number has jumped to 70%.
Among those growers using supplemental lighting, the most popular options are LEDs, which growers reported lighting an average of 77% of their crops, and HPS at an average of 50% of crops. And in edible crops, particularly, LEDs have overtaken fluorescent and HPS lighting in popularity by leaps and bounds.
More than two-thirds of respondents plan to upgrade supplemental lighting systems either in the next year (33%) or in the next three years (34%). The vast majority of those growers will be investing in LEDs (92%), while a much smaller percent (22%) are investing in HPS fixtures.
And that's not all that has changed since 2016.
Read on for more insights into the evolution of supplemental lighting in North American greenhouses. — Kate Spirgen