It is remarkable how passionate cannabis growers can get when debating the pros and cons of lighting. When a group of marijuana cultivators come together the acronyms start flying – LEDs, HIDs, HPSs, CDLs! Everybody has a preference and an opinion about which lighting methods work best. Let me break it down for you.
HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. It is a very large light bulb (some about the size of your forearm) made of a sealed tube filled with gas, and it creates light when the gas is ignited. The main type of HID lighting used in cultivation is HPS, or High Pressure Sodium bulbs. Growers prefer HPS light because it is very intense, has a red or orange tint, and gives off the ideal spectrum of light that plants need to thrive. The problem with HID lighting, such as the typical 1000 watt HPS bulb, is that it is very inefficient.
Many cannabis cultivators are switching to LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting to try and reduce energy costs. Sure, LEDs are by far the most efficient lights, the problem is that they don’t emit the specific color spectrum that plants require to optimize their growth. In addition, the LED produces little forward heat in comparison to HPS, so growers need to compensate for that lack of heat in the environment.
As I mention in the article, at Ideal Harvest we use the Boulder Lamp Industries 315 CDL light. CDL stands for Ceramic Discharge Light and, in my opinion, this light gives you the best of both worlds. They outperform typical 1000 watt HPS lights because they provide maximum amounts of blue and red spectrum as well as all other spectrum for optimum growth. Plus, they are more environmentally friendly and help reduce energy consumption.
Boulder Lamp Industries offers a unique CDL + LED hybrid light that uses both technologies. Several growers in Colorado who have done side by side tests with the hybrid light have been able to increase their yields by approximately 15%. From a cultivator’s standpoint, we want to produce the highest yields possible while using the least amount of energy. These lights let us do just that.
At Ideal Harvest, we specialize in working with growers to optimize cannabis yields through more efficient use of their space, people and technology. The alignment of design, equipment, lighting and workflow automation can make a major impact on your operations. To see how going vertical can increase production in your facility; check out our Vertical Canopy Plant Calculator .
Want to talk cannabis yields? Reach out to me directly, always happy to assist.Email Mike