Control of Flowering Using Night-Interruption and Day-Extension LED Lighting

  • Qingwu Meng
  • Erik S. Runkle


Flowering of photoperiodic plants is regulated by the duration of the continuous night (dark) period during each 24-h period. When the natural photoperiod is short, longer days (shorter nights) may be desired by commercial growers of ornamentals and other specialty crops to promote flowering of long-day plants or inhibit flowering of short-day plants. To create short nights, electric lighting can extend the daylength (day extension, DE) or interrupt the night (night interruption, NI). Conventional lamps such as incandescent (INC), halide, and compact fluorescent (CFL) can serve this purpose, but they are energy inefficient, have a short life span, and/or emit photons at wavelengths that have little or no effect on regulating flowering. Recent advancements in solid-state lighting enable horticultural applications including regulation of flowering, especially in (semi-) controlled environments. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with customized spectra suitable for control of flowering are at least as effective as conventional lamps, last longer, and are more energy efficient. Narrowband radiation from LEDs facilitates research on the role of specific wavelengths in mediating flowering and plant morphology, which are important in commercial production of many specialty crops produced in controlled environments. In addition, applied lighting research helps elucidate how photoreceptors, such as phytochromes and cryptochromes, mediate these physiological processes in plants. LEDs will increasingly replace conventional lamps to regulate flowering of commercial photoperiodic crops as their energy efficiency increases and manufacturing costs decrease.


Cryptochrome Far-red radiation Long-day plants Photoperiod Phytochrome Regulation of flowering Short-day plants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HorticultureMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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