In intensive horticultural cultivation natural light levels often limit crop production during several periods. For an optimum plant production and product quality light intensity, spectrum and photoperiod have to be adapted to the needs of the crops at every moment. Light has to be optimised together with all other growth factors like temperature, humidity and CO2. For a sustainable greenhouse production the use of freely available sunlight has to be preferred. New transparent greenhouse covering materials, like ETFE, glass with new anti-reflection coatings or materials with micro-surface structures, transmit a very high amount of light into the greenhouse. Other new materials are able to scatter the incoming light and make it diffuse. Diffuse light penetrates deeper into the canopy, increases light interception by the crop, influences micro-climate and increases crop production by 6.5-9.2% in The Netherlands, the potential in lower latitudes is even higher. Other materials manipulate light spectrum. Photoselective nettings have been developed in different colours influencing morphogenesis and crop production. Fluorescent plastic films combine effects on morphogenesis with high light transmission, especially important for higher latitudes. When sunlight is optimized it can still be necessary to add artificial light to ensure a year-round supply of horticultural products. There is still room for improving the crop energy efficiency under artificial lighting by changing duration and intensity of lighting, different growing systems and plant densities. Since artificial lighting requires a high amount of energy, new artificial lighting systems have been developed, such as interlighting and light emitting diodes (LED). LED give the possibility for true light spectrum control in the future. The (partial) replacement of HPS lamps by LED systems is currently under investigation in Dutch greenhouses. Integration in current growing systems has full attention. In order to reach a high sustainable and economic beneficial production the factor light has to be integrated and optimized within the total horticultural system
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