Q&A WITH Scott Purdy

Q&A with the Experts - Q&A with the Experts | Supplementary Lighting


1 What are the benefits of supplementary lighting?

A: We all know that sunlight is essential for photosynthesis. The problem is that sunlight is not always available: either because of obstacles such as trees or bleachers or because the days are shorter or shadier in the winter. So supplemental lighting is essentially used to increase the light cycle on the turf. Grass is a long day plant and depending on the species it may need more than six hours of direct light a day. If not, the Calvin Cycle being dependent on a supply of energy, photosynthesis will stop, hence reducing the creation of carbohydrates for growth and survival.

2 How much light does the grass need?

A: Turfgrass researchers have been using the DLI (Daily Light Integral) measurement as the new standard in determining minimum light requirements for turfgrasses.

DLI, it is the amount of “Photosynthetically Active Radiation” (PAR) received each day as a function of light intensity and duration. The DLI scientifically speaking refers to the amount of light received in 1 sq.m. of area, which equals 10.8 sq.ft, meaning the amount of photosynthetic light received in 1 sq.m. of area each day.

3 Does supplemental lighting work on all types of grasses?

A: The amount of energy a type of grass requires the environment, ie the amount of natural daylight. It is proven that shade commonly reduces turf quality on golf courses. Different species of grasses will require different DLI. Warm season grasses having their growing season during summer will need more energy, thus requires more light.

In general, shaded grass are subject to more stress because the amount of photosynthesis that takes place is greatly reduced, meaning that the rate of growth is also lower and so is the recovering process.

Grass respond to the lack of light by producing etiolated leaves. These leaves are not as hardy as leaves grown in direct sunlight and are more easily damaged by leaf diseases.

Cold season grasses will have lower DLI requirements but since we are talking about supplemental lighting, there will still be a need for light if the grass is in a shaded area.

4 How can golf courses solve their shade issues?

A: Bernhard and Company working with MLR sports have developed a specifically designed Golf lighting rig. It is easy to manoeuvre and lightweight and to be used to treat turf areas that are suffering the effects of lack of light. It works as a substitute of natural light, providing to the plant enough energy for its own maintenance.

5 How to use a Lighting Rig?

A: Although very easy to assemble and use, the most important element when using a lighting rig is to create the correct movement plan and feed the plant with enough energy for its growth. We all know that each golf course and sports fields have its own environment and management. It will however be easy to identify how many hours is the ideal for each area by analyzing the shade issue and the needs of the plant. This is where Bernhard and Company and technical partners expertise will come into play working with you to deploy the lighting rig according to the needs of your course.