Light Diffusing Screens Help Create Even Climate in Greenhouse
Smith Gardens, with locations in Oregon, Washington and California, has been serving the Pacific Northwest market for over 100 years.
Each year the family-run operation ships more than 38 million annuals, perennials, poinsettias and a variety of other crops, encouraging gardening throughout the Northwest for four generations.
Recognized as a leader in innovation, quality and quantity, they faced a challenge when constructing their newest range, a state-of-the-art Prins glasshouse at their Aurora, Ore., location. The long winters and warm summers characteristic of the climate in the Northwest make providing an even temperature and stable climate an often difficult task.
Head Grower Aaron Bivens determined that diffuse light could be the answer, in the form of light-diffusing screens. After numerous trials and research, he selected XLS 45 F Harmony Revolux, an open, light diffusing shade screen from Svensson.
The difference has been immediately apparent. “You walk into the range and can instantly feel a more even temperature,” Aaron says. “There is a noticeable difference between the light diffusion in the new range compared to our houses with aluminum screens.”
How does it work?
Diffuse light is scattered by particles, in this case the screen, so it is much less intense and much more evenly spread. Diffuse light has been shown to provide significant benefits for plants in greenhouses, creating fewer hot spots and shady spots. In addition, studies have shown that plants produced in greenhouses where the light is diffused are larger, heavier and better quality than those produced in typical light conditions.
The impact has been clear for Smith Gardens. “This past summer we had a good number of days with high radiation and hotter than usual temperatures, so we used the screen quite a bit,” says Aaron. “Immediately you could see a big difference, not only in terms of the light spread but also in terms of temperature — the screen allowed us to achieve much cooler conditions throughout the house.”
So much so, he says, that in the coming years, “we will need to start replacing the screens in some of our older ranges.”
The bottom line: Diffuse light for better cooling, better quality and better plants.