By Adam Jacques

Automation is the ultimate when it comes to light dep. With the press of a button, or better, input from a sensor or timer, the custom fit blackout panels automatically move along tracks and into place to completely block out any unwanted sunlight.

There are a few ways that the companies who manufacture these solutions have come to operate. NEXT G3N systems, for example, use many curtains which start at ground height on the interior of one side and go up blocking the roof and end at the ground height of the opposite side. Forever Flowering greenhouses, on the other hand, use multiple panels which run horizontally along the walls and roof and in full length sections. Most commercial grade greenhouse companies offer light deprivation as an option, some using breathable fabric which blocks out over 99.5% of the light, and allowing for operation of the HVAC and stand-alone ventilation systems. The differences between light dep manufacturers is in the quality of materials and build, as well as the individual farmer’s preference of functionality and options. In addition to deprivation of sunlight for a greenhouse, many growers are opting for supplemental lighting as well.

With light dep combined with supplemental lighting, as well as HVAC, some sensors, and a good control system it is possible to utilize a greenhouse and the power of the sun to their fullest potential and obtain 5, possibly 6 harvests a year.