Can overly bright artificial light harm plants? Is it possible to achieve a level of brightness so high that it does more harm than good to plants?

If sunlight can be filtered of infrared light spectrum, so the plants don't burn from high temperature, but if it's possible, then that too.

  • $\begingroup$ Have you done any initial research/litterature searches? If so, it is useful if you post this info. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Dec 6 '13 at 12:42

The wikipedia page on photosynthetic efficiency has some useful insight here:

Photosynthesis increases linearly with light intensity at low intensity, but at higher intensity this is no longer the case. Above about 10,000 lux or ~100 watts/square meter the rate no longer increases. Thus, most plants can only utilize ~10% of full mid-day sunlight intensity. (5)


If photosynthesis is inefficient, excess light energy must be dissipated to avoid damaging the photosynthetic apparatus. Energy can be dissipated as heat (non-photochemical quenching), or emitted as chlorophyll fluorescence.

So, briefly, yes. Too much light can harm plants.

To answer the second question: yes, there exist filters for a large variety of wavelengths of light. You could certainly filter out infrared light, just as most sunglasses filter out some UV light wavelengths. However, just filtering out infrared light would not filter out all photons that could cause damage; likewise, all wavelengths of light have the capacity to heat up what they hit, not just infrared wavelengths.


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