“In the Canadian cannabis industry, the capital for new builds and expansions has dried up. Therefore, we realized that we had to go to a financing model,” says Ryan Kirwan, CEO of Aelius LED. The company has been providing cannabis growers with their energy-efficient LED lights for four years. “The LED industry has been flooded with numerous companies. We are differentiating ourselves by not just the quality of our lights, but also our focus on keeping our products accessible to both large and small scale operations.”
Aelius Matrx 630s pictured above flowering crop at Alberta Micro Cultivation facility, Because You Cann Inc.
When it comes to LED lighting, you get what you pay for, according to Ryan. “Opting for really low-priced lights can come with consequences. They may not last as long, may have a short warranty period, or lacking customer service.” At the same time, it has become difficult for companies to invest in high-quality lighting. “For about two years now, we’ve seen the capital for new builds and expansions dry up in the Canadian cannabis industry. In order to keep our lights accessible to all growers, we realized we had to start a financing program. If the company can provide a 50% down payment, they will have a twelve-month payment plan afterwards. We find that this solution alleviates some of the growers’ financial worries.”
The Aelius 880 – A full-spectrum 880W horticulture LED designed for commercial applications. This fixture boasts a high efficacy, robust build, and a tempered glass lens.
Staying affordable but high quality
Ryan emphasizes that, no matter what, it is important that the growers can be assured of high-quality lights. “We do not cheap out on component parts. There are other ways we can reduce our costs. For example, we try to do just-in-time inventory as much as possible because inventory weighs on your cash flow. If a company needs a big order, this will likely take 60-90 days. Chances are, the company will know before that time frame that they will need to order lights. So this way of working has worked out well for us. Moreover, our R&D has allowed us to reduce our fixture prices throughout the years. Now we know that a certain driver is equally as good but for a lower price, for example. Throughout everything, our target is to be a premium lighting company, so we are always searching for the best component parts and best shipping companies possible.”
The LED lighting competition
Ryan explains that the company is confident that they will be able to weather the storm of oversupply in the LED lighting industry. “There are definitely some quality companies out there that are producing really good lights. Yet customers need to be aware that there are so many other things that go into a good lighting company. As a grower, you want to partner with somebody who is always going to be improving, has good customer support, has high-quality lights that don’t have a high failure rate, and much more. And the big thing that is keeping us competitive is our financing. Nowadays, having internal financing is an essential benefit for a lighting company, especially here in Canada.”
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