The primary purpose of a greenhouse is to provide ideal conditions for year-round plant production regardless of location, weather, and other environmental conditions.
The selection of covering material for a greenhouse depends on its application, the crop type to be cultivated, and the region's climatic conditions. It can vary from a simple cover, single-layer plastic or glass, to fiberglass, double-wall plastic, acrylic sheet, or polyethylene film.
Light condition and air temperature are the two most important factors for plant growth. The most common artificial light sources used in modern greenhouses are incandescent lamps, discharge lamps such as fluorescent light tubes, metal halide, high-pressure sodium lamps, and light-emitting LEDs.
Two of the most helpful technological advances are automatic greenhouse monitoring and response systems and the ability to observe and control their functioning from a remote location via computer or smartphone.
Sensor systems are available to automatically monitor a wide variety of greenhouse conditions, such as sunlight intensity and quality, air quality and composition, nutrient and moisture levels in crop root zones, and plant stress and overall health. The most popular automatic monitoring, evaluation and response systems are wireless sensor networks and Internet systems.