What is the difference between diffused glass and a diffuse coating? 


Diffuse light can be created by means of diffused glass or a diffuse coating. Lately, an increase in the use of diffuse light is seen in the agricultural sector. It has a positive effect on many crops, such as better diffusion of light, better reach of the light, less stress to the crop and a lower temperature within the crop. There are two ways to create diffuse light in a greenhouse, namely by making use of diffused glass or by applying a diffuse coating. Which of the two options is best for you? In this article, our specialist gives an explanation on the differences between diffused glass and a diffuse coating. Diffuse light and diffused glass

What is diffuse light?

Diffuse light is light which is scattered from and to all directions, to make sure no harsh shadows are there. This has a positive influence on the crop. Especially large/ tall crops with large leaves profit from diffuse light, because the vertical diffusion of light is strongly improved. Like this, the leaves at the bottom of the crop also receive direct light. When these leaves get more light, more photosynthesis is done leading to growth of the crop. Besides, many crops have a better ability to make use of diffuse light than normal light.
Functioning of diffuse light


The effect of both diffused glass and diffuse coating is the exact same: they create diffuse light in the greenhouse with a low to a high degree of diffusion. The differences between diffused glass and a diffuse coating influence the price, flexibility and permanence. 

Diffused glass in the agricultural sector

Greenhouses with diffused glass have been a trend for the last couple of years, especially in the cultivation of vegetables. Many growers that build a new greenhouse, decide to incorporate diffused glass. Glass can be made diffuse in two ways: chemical etching or by structure rolling. 

AR-coating

An important thing to know about light diffusion is that it is always at the expense of a small percentage light transmission. This does not have to be a problem to all crops, but for many vegetables (especially tomato) this is undesired. Generally, these crops make use of all of the light that is available. Losing light is very likely to have a negative effect on the production, particularly when it is not compensated (e.g. with CO2). In order to compensate the loss in light transmission, both diffuse as standard float glass (single or double) can be provided with a light reflecting coating. This coating leads to a small increase of light transmission on both sides.

The AR-coating of glass is fragile and irreversible damage to the glass can be done by incorrect manners of cleaning or maintenance. If this happens, percentages of light transmission are lost. 
Products containing fluoride are known for causing damage to AR-coated glass, but so do other agressive cleaners. However, there is a lack of knowledge in terms of the effects of certain cleaners on AR coatings. The effects vary from ...