Lighting is one of the most critical components of any successful grower’s system. Cannabis plants require different amounts of light in different states – 18 hours per day for when they are in a vegetative state and 12 hours a day when they are in a flowering state. The amount of light a plant receives is important because not enough light will cause stunting in the plant’s growth, or light leaks in dark periods will cause the plant to produce male flowers or revert them to a different stage entirely. Therefore, it’s important to provide consistent lighting for your cannabis plants to produce higher yields but also maintain lower energy consumption. Luckily, RBT has everything you need to know – and the products you need – for your cannabis production facility! Keep reading to learn more.
Grow Lights: high-intensity discharge and LEDs
HID – or high-intensity discharge – lights are typically the industry standard and are well-liked for the combination of output, efficiency, and value. They cost more than fluorescent fixtures but produce far more light per unit of electricity used. Conversely, they are not as efficient as LEDs. The two main types of HID lamps are:
- Metal Halide (MH) – produces a blueish-white light which is generally used for vegetative growth.
- High Pressure Sodium (HPS) – produces more on the red-orange end of the spectrum and is used for the flowering stage.
LED – or light-emitting diode – technology is becoming more efficient all the time. When used for 12 hours a day, 365 days a year, an LED can easily last for 10 years. Yes, their initial cost is the most expensive but will save more in lifespan, durability, and energy costs. One of the primary benefits of using an LED fixture is that you can move them closer to the plants because an LED’s light beam spreads less and it produces far less radiant heat. Another benefit to using an LED system is having access to a wide spectrum of different wavelengths, which we will expand upon next.
Develop and Follow a Formula for Commercial Lighting
As a cannabis production facility, you probably already have formulas for nutrients and irrigation, but do you have a lighting formula? A grow light spectrum refers to the electromagnetic wavelengths of light produced by a light source to promote plant growth. Therefore, most plants will grow if they are exposed to some form of light, but they will grow much better if they have access to a wide spectrum of different wavelengths, which can be controlled through an LED system. A single LED can be fine-tuned to any wavelength or in a spectrum, which provides coverage through infrared, ultraviolet and visible light. Developing a lighting formula will take time to create due to what your specific cultivars need within your growing environment for the best yield, terpenes, and potency; however, once the lighting formula is developed and followed, it will be ideal for your production because growers are able to isolate specific spectrum colours depending on crops and growing conditions.
What is a Lighting Design?
A good lighting system will result in both higher yields and lower energy consumption, therefore you need a lighting design that works for your facility. The right lighting design can depend on several factors, including the desired level of light intensity, the layout of the cultivation environment, as well as the available height and light distribution of the luminaries. Thankfully, RBT can sort all of that out with our experience in various cannabis production projects. Determining your target-level light intensity is important for when we enter the darker months of the year, as you will need to install enough lights to compensate for that deficit – unless are you willing to sacrifice yields during periods of naturally occurring lower light levels.
RBT has completed numerous projects for the cannabis industry, and through that experience, we have developed a strong understanding of the intricacies of the industry. We are happy to supply complete turn-key electrical systems from services to lighting and full binding automation. If you think we can help your cannabis production facility, then give us a call!