Radiation in controlled environments was characterized using fluorescent and various high-intensity-discharge (HID) lamps, including metal halide, low-pressure sodium, and high-pressure sodium as the radiation source. The effects of water, glass, or Plexiglas filters on radiation were determined. Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF, 400 to 700 nm), spectra (400 to 1000 nm), shortwave radiation (285 to 2800 nm), and total radiation (300 to 100,000 nm) were measured, and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, 400 to 700 nm) and longwave radiation (2800 to 100,000 nm) were calculated. Measurement of PPF alone was not an adequate characterization of the radiation environment. Total radiant flux varied among lamp types at equal PPF. HID lamps provided a lower percentage of longwave radiation than fluorescent lamps, but, when HID lamps provided PPF levels greater than that possible with fluorescent lamps, the amount of longwave radiation was high. Water was the most effective longwave radiation filter. Glass and Plexiglas similarly filtered longwave more than shortwave radiation, but transmission of nonphotosynthetic shortwave radiation was less with Plexiglas than glass. The filter materials tested would not be expected to influence photomorphogenesis because radiation in the action spectrum of phytochrome was not altered, but this may not be the only pigment involved.