There was a time when the cannabis industry was still unsure if LEDs were a viable option if compared to other solutions like HPS or high-density discharge lights. The reason behind such a doubt lies in the fact that operators and growers did not know if LEDs could achieve the same yield and quality that the others did, on a consistent basis. Many companies kept using HPS, while some opted for LEDs hoping the results would have been the same. Nicholai Martinez is a 2nd generation grower, and he knows more than a thing or two regarding this old debate. “I have been in this industry for 25 years. I grew outdoors, in greenhouses, fully automated light dep greenhouses, and for the last decade have been focused on indoor cannabis farming.” Nico says that years ago he wasn’t using LED, but nowadays “this is no longer an argument.” However, before making the big step, he conducted several grow tests to be sure that LEDs would grant him the same yield and quality that other lighting solutions did.
Greenhouse vs indoor
Nico takes care to explain that there are differences between a lighting system for a greenhouse and indoor farms. “In greenhouses, lighting systems usually provide supplemental lighting as greenhouse growers mainly rely on the sun,” Nico explains. “The added benefit of introducing LED into that same situation is that the LED is a lot more streamlined with what the sun is actually producing as far as the different spectrum of light is concerned.” In other words, Nico addresses continuity between the different growth stages as one of the most important things to take into consideration. “Indoor farms are highly controlled environments where every small detail is taken into account and adjusted according to the situation. So, it would be interesting to adapt this same thought process to the lighting as well, since in indoor farming you don’t have the benefit of using the sun.”
That is why Nico resorted to Tune's lighting solutions. Tune is a developer of LED fixtures for every stage of plant growth. Tune’s solutions address exactly the type of control that Nico was looking for in lighting systems. As Tom McClellan, Tune co-founder and CTO, explains, the company “takes the specific wavelengths for growing and puts them in patent-pending and patented fixtures to enable us to get really vibrant productive light output.”
Emulating the sun
He continues: “We emulate the sun. Our lighting solutions can reproduce all the different photosynthetic colors, like the sun would.” In this way, Tune provides growers with lighting systems that can be adjusted to specific conditions, growth stages and especially to specific strains. “We have four fully controllable channels, which allows us to help growers program the full color spectrum from sunrise and to sunset. We can also adjust the program to make different recipes for different strains of grow. We literally change color spectrum to affect the plant. For example, in the last stages of the most optimal grow, we can actually program color spectrum to give warmer light, emulating what happens in nature.”
Additionally, Tune’s solutions are environmentally friendly as they help growers reduce energy consumption and, on top of that, they are 100% recyclable. Tom explains, “During daylight harvesting, when there is enough daylight, our lights are dimming down, thus reducing the power consumption.” We are focused on cracking the code of how to provide top shelf cannabis and hemp growers with the highest light intensity output of 1,700 Umols/m2 while also meeting DLC (Design Lights Consortium) requirements for energy efficiency by achieving approved efficacy ratings to qualify."
Tune also provides rack systems to allow growers to calibrate the light height and thus the plants' height itself. “We have a complete system that gives the most photosynthesis possible. The racking system can be manually set up and down or automated via a secure IoT Bluetooth mesh network to lower or raise the racks according to plant height.”
Dialing in the growing recipe
Tune’s lighting solutions are fully customizable, allowing growers to dial in the growing recipe for the specific strain they are growing. “The customization aspect truly is the missing link in indoor farming,” says Nico. “Tune solves so many problems in indoor environments. Tune’s lights mitigate the stress associated with the harsher environment that current high intensity discharge lamps are responsible for. A lower heat signature as well as a pinpoint color spectrum best suited for cannabis cultivation!” Nico continues explaining that Tune’s LEDs allow him to dial in the specific recipe per genetic on the spectrum, to realize any plant’s optimal genetic potential. His latest project was developing a proprietary genetic portfolio for the high-end cannabis company LEEF, to coincide with the launch of their flower line HEADY. “Tune’s lighting solutions gave me unparalleled control as well as the ability to fine-tune intensities and spectrum which I feel was an integral part of developing these strains to their true genetic potentials. I will be using all of Tune’s products in the large-scale state of the art indoor farm I’m currently designing for LEEF”.
In addition to that, Nico remarks that one of the problems is the integration of new technologies into a grower’s current system. That is why Tom remarks that Tune’s products are extremely easy to integrate and to use, as they can be calibrated according to a grower’s needs and, at the same time, they are “plug-and-play systems.”
Tune will participate in the MJBizCon in Las Vegas. You can visit the company at booth C8619.