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What is diffuse light?

diffuse light
Written by Lars Ammerlaan | Last update 16-05-2020

Diffuse light is light that is scattered, causing it to fall on the crop from all sides. The light is evenly distributed, leaving no sharp shadows. Diffuse light arises when direct light is scattered naturally (e.g. by clouds) or with artificial means (e.g. a diffuse coating). 

Diffuse light in the greenhouse

This light is created on a cloudy day, but can be imitated by applying a diffuse coating to the roof top. Such diffuse coating ensures that a crop is not damaged by excessive light intensity without loss of light. This combination ensures that diffuse light is used more and more in growing vegetable and ornamental crops in greenhouse horticulture.

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Advantages of diffuse light

Diffuse light has a number of advantages for your crop:
  • Diffuse light does not cause shading in your greenhouse,
  • The light penetrates deeper into the crop, allowing the plant to absorb more CO2 and then processing it into more stable growth, production and quality.
  • A higher CO2 content is possible by closing the windows; 
  • Reduces crop stress due to no direct sunlight onto the plant;
  • There is a lower plant temperature, which ensures more even growth.
  • It ensures higher production and better quality of a crop.

In addition to the benefits to the crop, diffuse light also has an advantage for employees in the greenhouse: the greenhouse temperature is less high when using a diffuse coating, creating a more pleasant working climate especially on hot summer days.
Diffuse light


There are several applications for obtaining diffuse light in a greenhouse, including the application of a diffuse coating. This is the easiest, most flexible and cheapest way and is therefore the most widely used. You can also choose to have a greenhouse fitted with diffuse glass (this is glass with a permanent coating). Unlike permanent coatings, diffuse coatings can be easily removed again at the end of the season with a remover. When the greenhouse cover is completely clean, you can once again benefit from all the useful light.

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Questions about diffuse light

If you have any questions regarding diffuse light or you would like us to advise you, please contact our product specialist Yannick Valstar or use the question form underneath.

Specialist Lars AmmerlaanAbout Lars Ammerlaan

Lars Ammerlaan, product specialist in shading agents and diffuse coatings, has been working at Royal Brinkman since 2017. After the position of assistant cultivation manager, and later on account manager, he made the switch to his current position. Lars has gained a lot of knowledge through his practical experience, which enables him to offer customers targeted and personal advice. Lars enjoys visiting the growers’ greenhouses and thinking along with them about suitable solutions. 'The challenging part of this job is the international part. Abroad things can sometimes be very different compared to the Netherlands and that makes it an interesting job, in which I can continue to develop myself.

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