Low-Cost Smart Greenhouses

Illuminum Greenhouses makes low-cost, locally produced greenhouses that can be monitored and remotely controlled via text messages.

Illuminum Greenhouses’ affordable smart greenhouses enable African farmers to monitor and manage their crops remotely. The smart greenhouses are equipped with five sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, and soil moisture of the greenhouse. A solar-powered system relays this information from the sensors to the farmer’s cell phone via SMS. This way, the farmer can monitor and regulate conditions from afar simply by sending an SMS back to the greenhouse.

This solar-powered system enables the greenhouse to run for five days without the farmer’s intervention. All Illuminum Greenhouses are produced with local materials, reducing building costs and increasing affordability for African farmers. The company’s smart greenhouses were launched in early 2016.

Relevance of solution

Greenhouses boost crop production, yielding 15 to 20 times more produce than a field of the same area.1 Illuminum Greenhouses further increase greenhouse productivity at low cost, enabling farmers to increase their incomes without using more resources.

Triple Bottom Line


By controlling water usage via irrigation schedules, Illuminum Greenhouse owners can cut water use by more than 60%, according to the company.


Making greenhouses accessible for smallholder farmers can lead to increased productivity and food security.


The most basic smart greenhouse from Illuminum Greenhouses costs just $89, making it more affordable than most greenhouses.


  1. British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture. ”Commodity Greenhouse.” (2014)