As regulated, adult-use cannabis markets proliferate across the United States, the industry’s newest operators have a distinct benefit: The lessons learned from states that came before them. At the top of the list is the need to manage resources in order to control costs. In today’s increasingly competitive cannabis landscape, reducing operating expenses can make all the difference. As operators in the Western U.S. have discovered, that means reducing energy consumption.
In an indoor cannabis cultivation facility, fans and lights sometimes work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure a quality crop. Now, take into account that about 40% of growers in the United States grow solely indoors and 60% choose a hybrid indoor/outdoor system and it is no wonder that a 2012 report on the carbon footprint of indoor cannabis production found that 1% of the nation’s energy consumption can be attributed to these operations. In the highest cannabis-producing state of California, that figure rises to 3% of the state’s overall energy consumption. As the cannabis industry grew more competitive, it became clear that the huge energy consumption required to grow cannabis means better sustainability practices must be implemented.
The earliest commercial operators have discovered that decreasing energy consumption is one of the fastest ways to reduce operating expenses. Here are their top takeaways from that lesson:
Design facilities with energy efficiency in mind
As the industry shifts to correct years of neglected sustainability policies, new facilities are being designed – and old facilities are being retrofitted – with energy efficient equipment and infrastructure. Of this equipment, LED lighting has become a leading “go to” solution in the “green” cannabis movement. Unlike other resources such as water and gas, energy use can be managed more quickly – with savings that are realized almost immediately. Water consumption is much more difficult to reduce and control, and HVAC systems that reduce pollutants can be costly and difficult to install without messing with production for an extended period. Thus, while all energy-reducing improvements should be implemented over time, LEDs have become the quick fix for operators seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and overall costs.
Take advantage of rebates to upgrade
The initial investment costs required to make the transition to LED lighting, as well as a lack of familiarity with the technology can feel overwhelming. However, the increasing energy challenges states are facing across the nation have made state-sponsored rebates on lighting upgrades a common incentive. In many cases, with proper planning businesses can absorb the upfront costs and be quickly rewarded with rebates, which often cover most or even all of the equipment costs. Once the lighting is installed, it does not take long for the long-term savings and productivity benefits to kick in, making the initial investment a distant memory. In addition, today there are more financing options available to cannabis businesses, some of which are even available directly through the lighting manufacturer. In addition, some LED providers will help cultivators find financing and even help with rebate applications where applicable.
With the benefits of lighting so clear, and rebates available to defray purchase costs, there is really no reason not to make this important equipment upgrade. However, many state rebates programs expire in time, so it is essential to take advantage of these opportunities while they are available.
Be prepared for hard times
If there is any overarching lesson that longtime commercial cannabis operators have learned it is to be prepared for business challenges and hard times along the way. Fortunately, upgrading lighting and other energy-sucking infrastructure is one surefire way to reduce the impact of inevitable economic setbacks. For cultivators, reducing energy consumption has become an economic necessity as much as an environmental need. Energy costs continue to increase, and expanding competition, cost compression and shrinking margins are hammering businesses. Any and every advantage an operator can find to save money, increase productivity and grow stronger plants while reducing energy use must be considered. Fortunately, technological advancements in lighting provide a relatively fast and efficient way to meet many of these urgent goals.
Today, the pace of LED lighting innovation is driving the modernization of cannabis cultivation, addressing the urgent energy reduction needs while refining the growing process to enable more control and better outcomes. Therefore, 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. 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. Most states today offer financial incentives in terms of rebates for transitioning away from higher energy use technologies – and Spectrum King LED can help you through the entire rebate application process.
A growing, healthy and responsible cannabis industry must make energy reduction a top priority if businesses are to thrive. There is no question that continued overconsumption of energy by cultivators must become a thing of the past. Businesses in state after state will eventually need to make these necessary changes or face extinction from forward-looking competitors. The good news: Spectrum King LED has made upgrading your lighting as easy as possible because with a track record of zero defects and zero returns, it is pretty obvious where you should put your trust. Visit https://spectrumkingled.com/ to see for yourself why Spectrum King LED is the best choice in LED lighting solutions.