Daily Light Integral (DLI)

Last Updated: March 30, 2017

Definition - What does Daily Light Integral (DLI) mean?

Daily Light Integral (DLI) is the amount of photons (light particles) received by a particular area in one day. DLI greatly affects plant growth and development, and the measurement of DLI is important to many gardeners and growers. DLI can be measured, and its measurement is particularly important to commercial farmers and gardeners that use greenhouses.

MaximumYield explains Daily Light Integral (DLI)

An area’s Daily Light Integral is the number of light particles that are received in one full day. Light particles, particularly those that have a wavelength between 400 and 700 nm, provide plants with the energy for photosynthesis. DLI is an important variable to consider, particularly when growing plants in a greenhouse. This is because DLI influences plant growth, vitality, and yield. A rise or fall in the DLI that plants receive can affect a plant's root system, stems, and flowering stage. Although many plants benefit from controlled DLI, specific levels needed will vary from plant to plant.

Knowing an area’s particular DLI can help farmers and gardeners in several different ways. First, measuring an area’s DLI can help a grower decide which crop variety would grow and thrive best a particular location. Additionally, DLI can help growers optimize use of supplemental lighting. To measure DLI, growers will need to purchase a light sensor and record light levels throughout the day. Light sensors and DLI meters can be purchased from specialty stores.

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