Smarter lighting: more efficient energy consumption and higher medical cannabis yield

Technological developments around grow light mean new possibilities for medical cannabis growers. Developments in light sources and light recipes give growers better control over crop yields and characteristics while reducing energy costs. There is a trend for growers to make the step from HPS to LED or hybrid (a combination of HPS and LED). One reason for this is that a higher light intensity is desired, but with lower energy costs and without additional radiant heat.

At the same time, the choice of a (new) light source is dependent on many variables. The most important of these are the grower's objective and the associated business case. Aspects such as greenhouse construction, the available power, cultivation strategy, etc., are also important. All of these variables are plotted in specially-developed software to create the ideal cost and yield profile for a grower.

More efficient energy consumption, lower maintenance costs
Once a light source has been chosen, the operational costs should be as low as possible. Obviously, you will want to maximise the lifespan of the grow light installation, but you will also want cost-efficient cultivation. The Hortisense Grow Light Software plays a part in monitoring the grow light installation. This software enables the grower to monitor important performance indicators from the cultivation strategy, using this information to adjust the quantity of grow light. The grower can also call on Hortilux's Growlight Performance Consultants, who assist in interpreting grow light data and co-create a light efficiency curve optimized for their specific situation. The grower can then be sure of making the right decisions for optimal crop results. After all, efficient control of light on the crop is essential to your operational management. It ensures that the medical cannabis yield per m² is maximised, while reducing energy costs. The example shows the extent to which the plant efficiently converts the received light into assimilates (sugars), and thus into medical cannabis. The light level on this crop is most effective in zone A (see graph).

The point at which a plant optimally converts light into sugars (i.e. 100%) is constantly influenced by the greenhouse's relative humidity, CO₂, and temperature. The optimum can, therefore, differ from minute to minute. In phase B, the effectiveness of the crop's light exposure gradually decreases. There is still additional medical cannabis growth, but there are also costs incurred (such as energy or depreciation). The light efficiency graph helps you to adjust the light level based on the needs of the crop.

Grow light installation with maximum efficiency
By taking all these aspects into account, we can 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.

Would you like more information on the possibilities for your crop?
Visit Hortilux at GreenTech, where you’ll find them in hall 8, booth 433 between 11 and 13 June in RAI Amsterdam. You're also welcome to contact them by sending an email to or phoning +31 (0) 174 286 628.

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