Greenhouse lighting: Are LEDs right for you?

Horticultural lighting workshop on June 26 features national lighting experts from MSU.

Indoor leafy green production under LED lights
Indoor leafy green production under LED lights in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Photo by Jeremy Jubenville, MSU Extension.

Have you been thinking about installing LED lights in your greenhouse or growing area, but are confused by all the lighting jargon and unsure where to begin?

The Michigan State University Extension floriculture team is pleased to offer a free horticultural lighting workshop, Are LEDs right for you?, on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This workshop is designed to help greenhouse owners and growers of all skill levels determine the most appropriate lighting technology for their operation.

The quality and intensity of horticultural lighting is a critical factor for producing high-quality crops in controlled environments. While conventional options such as high-pressure sodium lamps have a proven track record, LED fixtures present an intriguing combination of efficacy, lamp longevity and the ability to apply multiple wavelength combinations. Over the past nine years, MSU has conducted a wide-variety of LED lighting research on young plants, annuals, perennials, potted crops, microgreens, vegetable transplants and herbs. This workshop covers conventional and LED greenhouse lighting and features  Erik Runkle and Roberto Lopez from the MSU Department of Horticulture—nationally-recognized experts in lighting applications for greenhouses, indoor farms, and other controlled environments.

With seemingly unmatched utility, LEDs appear to be the future of horticultural lighting. Nevertheless, present-day commercial application remains situationally appropriate and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for economic viability. Drawing on years of research into supplemental, photoperiodic and sole-source lighting for a wide range of protected crops, Runkle and Lopez explain the most important factors to consider when selecting a horticultural lighting system. Workshop topics include the fundamentals of lighting (quality, quantity, duration), lamp efficacies, lighting strategies, fixture costs and return on investment. Example fixtures and light meters will be on hand for examination and inquiry.

There is no cost for this workshop, but seating is limited, so registration is encouraged for anyone interested in attending. Registration and more information can be found at the Horticultural Lighting Workshop Registration page or by contacting Jeremy Jubenville through email ( or by telephone at 269-492-2813.

Did you find this article useful?