4 Considerations for supplemental lighting in your cannabis greenhouse

More commercial cannabis growers are opting to grow their plants in greenhouses rather than in warehouse environments thanks to many of the efficiencies a greenhouse environment will provide. Energy costs are greatly reduced in both heating and lighting thanks to the natural light allowed in through the greenhouse which is a major benefit in an industry that requires growers to become more efficient.

The ability to use natural elements to grow cannabis plants is definitely advantageous for growers while energy costs continue to rise, but choosing the right elements for inside the greenhouse is still very important, one of the most important being supplemental lighting.

Here are a few considerations when planning to install supplemental lighting in your cannabis greenhouse:

What type of marijuana grow lights do you want in your greenhouse?

Marijuana grow lights are a significant portion of energy costs in a commercial cannabis greenhouse making it vital to weigh your upfront costs against what will be the return on investment. The two most common options on the market are HPS lights and LED lights. When planning and mapping out your supplemental lighting, you should talk to an expert about what will work best in your facility, but here is some information about both options:

HPS Cannabis Grow Lights

HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lighting is still one of the most popularly used lighting in commercial cannabis greenhouse. Benefits include:

  • A wide spectrum of light colors ideal for cannabis plants
  • Fairly efficient and less costly when comparing output per wattage
  • Smaller in size than LPS or fluorescent lights
  • Less expensive alternative to other options on the market
  • Doubles as additional heat which is beneficial during colder weather, allowing other heat sources to run less frequently

LED Cannabis Grow Lights

Many growers are taking advantage of the energy savings LED lights are known to provide. Some of the benefits of LEDs include:

  • Reducing energy use, especially in larger facilities
  • Lower maintenance and reduced maintenance costs
  • Flexible adjustment allows for lights to dimmed or fully turned on
  • Lights can typically be fixed closer to the plants for greater efficiency
  • Multiple level cannabis growing is possible

Getting the most out of your supplemental lighting for less

In a greenhouse environment where sunlight is plentiful for a significant portion of the year, a grower needs to look at a reasonable time span of low light before supplemental lighting kicks in; otherwise they are being used unnecessarily. If a grower is looking for supplemental lighting in order to extend the day length for their crops they should ask themselves the following questions: what time is electricity the cheapest? What are your light level requirements and what time does the crop need supplemental lighting? Consulting the experts to help your determine the answers to these questions will ensure you’re using your supplemental lighting as efficiently as possible with minimal energy waste.

Do you need blackout curtains?

Blackout Curtains are necessary during the flowering stage when your plants need total darkness, but they’re also important for being a good neighbor. Supplemental lighting in especially large commercial cannabis facilities is a huge source of light pollution which can be incredibly disruptive to neighbors as well as surrounding ecosystems. Many growers will use their blackout curtains at night while their supplemental lighting is on so they aren’t lighting up the entire neighborhood and as an added bonus, they help to further retain heat given off by your lighting which can be beneficial during the colder months.

Will you automate your lighting?

When growing cannabis for commercial purposes, the environment has to be near perfect for high quality and plentiful yields. Much of this balance depends on lighting, but with so many other environmental factors at work such as ventilation, heating, dehumidification and irrigation, it can be a lot to keep track of. Automating your supplemental lighting along with other systems will ensure that you always have the ideal environment for your cannabis crops and it’s an easy way to save on energy costs.

GGS is partnered with a range of industry-leading lighting suppliers with different products that can be tailored for your commercial cannabis greenhouse. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve the best lighting system for your commercial cannabis greenhouse.

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