Medical cannabis cultivation is booming. Not only are more and more governments permitting the growth of this crop subject to certain regulations, but demand from the pharmaceutical industry is constantly increasing.
This in turn means that Hortilux is receiving more and more enquiries about using grow light efficiently for medicinal cannabis cultivation, from investors both inside and outside the horticultural sector. An integral approach that takes all relevant aspects into account delivers a tailor-made grow light solution with optimal efficiency.
"Grow light has clear added value in medicinal cannabis cultivation; namely, it produces a higher yield. At the same time, the pre-investment is relatively high. The choice of light recipe and type of light source (HPS, LED or hybrid – a combination of LED and HPS) has an impact on the operational energy costs", they explain.
When choosing a grow light installation, many aspects play a role. The investor's objective and accompanying business case serve as the most important starting point. Hortilux uses various techniques including personal consultations to realise an installation that fits seamlessly with these. "We also look at the type of greenhouse, the growing system, the climate system, and the local situation."
Type of greenhouse
Will the crop be grown without daylight (indoor farming), or in a traditional greenhouse with glass? With medicinal cannabis cultivation on the rise, an increasing number of people are opting for a traditional greenhouse with outdoor light. "This has consequences for the lighting, because cannabis is a short day plant and can easily get too much light in the summer months. This means that the use of screens needs to be considered, in order to block light from outside."
Type of growing system & climate system
The growing system is an important aspect to consider when choosing the grow light. Will the grower be using a concrete base, pots, gutters or substrates? And logically, the climate system in a traditional greenhouse differs from that of an 'indoor farming solution'. In addition, the presence of cooling, heating, oxygen and CO2 have an impact on the choice of grow light solution. "We take all these factors into account when choosing a specific grow light solution."
"When choosing the type of light source (HPS, LED or hybrid) we work with the investor and the grower to consider the local situation. In a daylight-free environment we always go for LED," they say. This may differ in a traditional greenhouse. "We have insight into the average amount of sunlight at the greenhouse location, and we add the required quantity of grow light that medicinal cannabis requires. We also take local energy prices and the ambient temperature into account in various scenarios. We calculate this for the various growing phases. For each cultivation phase we recommend a specific light recipe and specific lighting strategy", they explain.
"A lighting strategy encompasses the light intensity, the light spectrum and the sum of daylight (‘daylight integral’). Mother plant, cutting phase, vegetative phase and flowering phase; each has its own ideal lighting strategy and light recipe."
Grow light installation with maximum efficiency
By taking all these aspects into account, Hortilux is convinced to offer investors the best and most efficient grow light solution with the best possible total cost of ownership. "This means that we help them to get the most out of their investments; in this case, both the grow light and the crop. And even after installation, Hortisense grow light software keeps its finger on the pulse: the performance of the grow light installations and the associated electrical installation are continuously monitored."
It's hardly surprising that stakeholders have a great need for information about the use of grow light in medicinal cannabis cultivation. "We regularly organise special sessions to support them. At these sessions, we give investors insight into the 'total cost of ownership' of a range of grow light solutions. The next session will take place on 14 June as part of the 'Pro Manager Medicinal Cannabis Mastercourse'", they conclude.
Hortilux will participate in the Greentech, at the RAI in Amsterdam from 11 to 13 June 2019. You'll find Hortilux in hall 8, booth 433.