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September 20th 12:00 PM EDT
Humans see visible light; plants perceive and respond to electromagnetic radiation. For all that we have learned and know about lighting design for architectural and roadway applications, surprisingly little of this is relevant to horticultural lighting design. Greenhouses and vertical farms may look like the proverbial “empty rectangular box” for which calculations using the Lumen Method might be sufficient, but plants are much more sophisticated than they first appear. Topics of interest include daily light integrals, short- and long-day plants, shade avoidance syndrome (SAS), red to far-red ratios (R:FR), ultraviolet resistance, photopigments (chlorophylls, phytochromes, cryptochromes, phototropins, and UVR8), photosynthesis and photomorphogenesis, secondary metabolites … the list goes on. Perhaps surprisingly, what lighting designers can bring to the conversation is knowledge of climate-based annual daylight availability. Horticultural lighting design is a fascinating and ongoing discussion between lighting designers, luminaire manufacturers, horticulturists, and floriculturists.