Lighting the way to the future

Greenhouses require lighting and the Michigan State University Extension floriculture team offer regional meetings and online courses on greenhouse and horticulture lighting.

Greenhouses with their interior lighting are popular.

The market for greenhouse-grown ornamentals has become increasingly competitive, reducing grower profitability and increasing the need to cut operating costs. As crop margins continue to decrease, energy costs are becoming a grower’s largest expenses. Michigan State University Extension assists ornamental plant growers in finding methods to reduce energy costs while still producing high-quality plants.

Using supplemental lighting is essential in greenhouses to increase crop quality and control flowering of some crops. In fact, 72 percent of greenhouse facilities use high-pressure sodium lamps for supplemental lighting of crops. To address this concern, the MSU Extension floriculture team offered three regional meetings and an online course on greenhouse and horticultural lighting:

  • 101 greenhouse growers (representing 3.3 million square feet) attended from eight Michigan counties.
  • Attendees reported the information learned was worth over $100,000 to their businesses.
  • Over half of the greenhouse growers (42 acres) who responded to the postsurvey made a change in their facilities as a result of the information they learned.

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