Greenhouse Light Deprivation FAQ

What advantages do light dep greenhouses offer over traditional greenhouse cultivation? 

Light deprivation greenhouses give the advantage of many harvests per season, protection from frost, early flowering, and the possibility of automation. 

Can I build a fully automated light dep greenhouse off the grid? 

Using solar power to supply a controller and timer setup will work if set to run in AC mode. Additionally, using Direct Current solar-powered exhaust fans will ensure that the temperature inside of the greenhouse does not go above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Do I need a special certification to set up this type of greenhouse? 

No special certification is required, although several courses are available on greenhouse design. Anybody who is able-bodied and has a small amount of construction experience will be able to assemble a hoop house shaped light dep greenhouse on their property. However, building a larger scale commercial greenhouse may involve permitting and access to an architect or contractor to get approved. That being said, hoop house-constructed greenhouses are an efficient enough way to initiate light deprivation for your home or business. 

How do I get permits to begin work?

Permits are obtained by contacting your local municipality that services the county in the state in which you live. Generally, greenhouses fall under the category of non-permanent structures. However, coded and structurally sound greenhouses that are more permanent will require a permit, code inspector, and to be approved. More massive commercial greenhouses are coded structures due to their durable construction, and thus have to be inspected for quality of workmanship, water permeability, and a sound foundation. There are also height restrictions in certain areas due to the wind, as well as recommended designs for those higher-wind areas. 

What type of greenhouse should I choose to build in a high-wind, high-snow area?

There are several modifications to your greenhouse's design that should be made if the unit is going to be a standalone unit in an area with heavy snowpack, high winds, or high precipitation. Tall timbers should be removed from the perimeter of your greenhouse so that they are not pushed over by high winds and fall onto your greenhouse. Adding truss support to your greenhouse may be beneficial, or ensuring that a quick slant is used for the ceiling of your greenhouse unit. A higher pitch angle on the roof encourages excess snowpack to move laterally instead of vertically. Higher grades of greenhouse cover are also available that will withstand greater exposure and more temperature and humidity fluctuation. 


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