A lot of folks like to call cannabis the “green” industry, but the truth is that many operational aspects of the industry are far from environmentally sound. As the industry has grown, it has come under increasing criticism for its energy consumption, water use, industrial pollution and consumer packaging waste.
But energy use has emerged as the industry’s biggest environmental concern, and makes it clear that better sustainability practices must be implemented. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple way to dramatically improve a facility’s energy efficiency while even increasing yields and reducing overall expenses. Innovations in LED technology have been moving faster than ever in the cannabis industry. Since Spectrum King LED debuted its patented full spectrum LED lighting fixtures almost a decade ago, growers have increasingly been moving toward LED technology to increase yields, improve the quality of crops, and decrease operating costs. Here’s why:
- Save energy, fast – Before operators even see the first installation bill, they will notice a big difference in how their operation is running. Since LED fixtures emit less heat as opposed to conventional HPS fixtures, a facility’s HVAC system does not have to work in overdrive to offset the temperature difference. This change is not only beneficial for the plants, but for the life of the entire lighting set-up. The higher heat produced by HPS fixtures tend to cause issues within the fixture and can ultimately damage the whole system.
- Boost crop yields, overall production – According to one study, LEDs allow for near total control by optimizing periodicity, quantity and the spectrum of light. Now, growers are able to directly maximize the chemical reactions within the plant like never before. Furthermore, since LED fixtures do not emit as much heat as an HPS fixture, they can be mounted much closer to the canopy, increasing cannabinoid yields.
- Contribute to the bigger picture – Switching to LEDs not only saves money, but reducing an operation’s carbon footprint demonstrates a commitment to a cleaner environment driven by better business practices.
If that is not enough to convince growers to switch to LEDs, today’s opportunity is even more attractive due to the state-provided incentives available in many cannabis markets. Rebates in some U.S. states provide almost 100% return on investment, making upgrading lighting almost a no brainer. In addition, unlike in years past financing is now often available to help businesses cover the initial costs associated with capital improvements.
Once a decision has been made to upgrade, make sure you understand the basic LED components in order to make informed decisions and ask the right questions as you compare products.
An LED fixture can be broken into four parts – diodes, driver, surge protector and frame.
- Diodes. “LED” literally stands for Light Emitting Diode, and these diodes are what actually light up on the underside of the fixture. In LED fixtures, diodes dictate much of the light’s performance, and it’s extremely important to make sure your lights spec high quality diodes.
- Driver. The driver is the component that powers the fixture, and ensures that the power going to the diodes remains consistent.
- Surge protector. Just like any other electrical equipment, LED lights require a surge protector designed to protect the fixture from any sudden increases in electrical current. Without surge protection, any spike in power could fry the whole fixture or assembly, potentially putting your entire operation at risk.
- Frame. The frame itself is equally important, particularly for those retrofitting for older HPS lights. Some LED fixtures are very heavy, and can strain a structure. For this reason, Spectrum King makes the lightest frames in the industry, meaning you’ll be able to hang them confidently and move them easily.
The most common killer of LED assemblies is a power surge to the driver. An outage for even one day could be detrimental to a crop, so investing in a high-quality product with tried-and-true surge protection is like buying extra insurance for your facility. Spectrum King is the only manufacturer to offer dual surge immunity on both the driver and LED board in all of its lights, providing two opportunities for the light to react in mere nanoseconds, stopping surges before they do real damage to the fixture.
It makes sense to invest in quality fixtures that have been designed to provide the highest output without busting the bank. Spectrum King prides itself on providing the absolute best value in LED lighting, with industry-leading output and quality at prices that will help you grow big at affordable prices. For example, SK’s Phoenix 1050W linear LED has been made with the highest-quality diodes on the market, and operates with an industry-leading PPE rating of 2.8. It also provides up to double the photon output per dollar compared to its competitors.
Another thing to think about is what lights will need to endure in a grow environment. It is inevitable that condensation will be a factor, so seek a light with a tested IP rating (measurement of how protected the LEDs are to water and dust) that offers ultimate protection. An IP65 rating means that the light has been tested by a third-party lab, and is dust tight and water resistant to direct spray from a nozzle. All of Spectrum King’s lights are at a minimum IP65 rated.
Finally, cultivators should seek a lighting manufacturer that can also serve as a trusted business partner. Good manufacturers not only sell products, but also provide as many tools and resources as possible to offer growers choosing LEDs the best chance of success. This is precisely why Spectrum King LED offers personalized support to help with every aspect of growing with LEDs, from installation to managing the facility. We also facilitate tours of our partner facilities, so you can see our lights in action for yourself.
Growing cannabis is not easy work. There is a lot that goes into creating a successful ecosystem, and the last thing a grower wants to worry about is a faulty lighting assembly. The future of cultivation is here, and it begins with LED lights. Reach out to Spectrum King LED at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to make the switch.