The marijuana industry is booming.
Bigger than anyone ever could have imagined, or maybe they did. As four states have legalized Marijuana not just for medical use, but for recreational too.
Here in my home state of Washington there have been close to 400 Marijuana dispensaries opened up since it was legalized for recreational use.
With the industry increasing so rapidly, a growing concern to many environmentalists and eco-friendly citizens is the carbon footprint that this industry may leave behind. Most of the growing operations are done indoors in some areas due to the constant climate change.
The concern there lies with the amount of energy that is being consumed by these indoor facilities. Most notably with their HPS [high pressure sodium] light sources, as cannabis requires a lot of consistent light, in cycles on a 24/7 schedule. With the industry thriving off of new laws, and more and more facilities are opening up on both the residential and commercial scale.
The worry is that these require too much power, and the end results of Marijuana buds may be more damaging in the environmental sense than any social issues that have been brought up.
On top of the energy needed to bring power to these lights, these places require an A/C unit, or several. To operate there grow at the right temperature since HPS lights radiate excessive amounts of heat.
The New Solution
Indoor gardens are a great way to grow premium grade cannabis. But in order to maintain this level of excellence to the mass population of smokers, a new form of lighting as emerged.
LED lights are started to become the standard in the industry. With big indoor growers switching out their old HPS bulbs for these new energy saving and efficient LED lights. They can save the facilities or indoor growing operation hundreds if not thousands of dollars just in energy costs alone. LED requires much less wattage than HPS light bulbs do, and when you really look at the numbers and break them down.
HPS bulbs can cost you up to $2.22 kw/hour while an LED bulb costs as low as $0.77 kw/hour.
LED lights not only save you in energy costs in the amount they require to work, but what some would say is the most beneficial part of LED over HPS is the heat transfer. LED lights do not radiate the heat that HPS lights do, and with that you don’t need to use A/C units throughout the grow. You maintain temperature much easier, and you don’t need to suck out additional energy to run A/C.
What makes these all the more tempting for current cannabis cultivators, is that LED grow lights cut the time between vegetation and harvest down exponentially. That means that these lights are not just saving money but they are saving time too.
By reducing energy costs, maintenance, and increasing your production there really seems to be no reason why anyone who is growing should not switch to an LED grow light system.
But not all LED lights are made the same, and you do have to be careful about which ones you buy and from which manufacturer. These types of light are very simple to use and install, but the technology behind them is far more advanced than what the industry has been using. With that comes under-performing products, that can’t live up to the expectations that the top brands have created.
These lights really are making the difference, and soon the day will come where HPS lights will be completely obsolete in our industry. We just hope more growers catch on, because the quicker the industry adjusts to this new and improved way of growing, the less of a footprint we leave behind!