October Newsletter: The Importance of More Light

Each month, we publish a newsletter discussing a trending topic within the cannabis industry and how it shapes Surna’s philosophy. To be one of the first to receive this information, be sure to sign up for our email list.

October 27, 2015

Each month, we publish a newsletter discussing a trending topic within the cannabis industry and how it shapes Surna’s philosophy. To be one of the first to receive this information, be sure to sign up for our email list.

More Light Means More Yield

According to a chart from Marijuana Business Daily, lighting accounts for 33% of total energy usage in a commercial cannabis grow facility. That’s a huge number that is often difficult to control – after all, plants need a lot of light to grow. This is why understanding the basics of lighting, specifically bulb type and how that light is being delivered to the plant canopy, can make all the difference in a grow.  

The amount of energy that is actually converted to light varies by bulb type. Additionally, how this light reaches the plant canopy varies based on the reflector being used.

A lot of progress in energy efficiency has already been made by switching from mogul (single-ended) HPS lights to double-ended HPS bulbs. For example, this Philips Mogul bulb consumes 1000W of power and produces 1550 micro-moles per square meter per second; however, the Double-Ended version also consumes 1000W of power, but produces 2100 micro-moles per square meter per second. That’s 35% more useable light with the same amount of energy consumption.

(Micro-moles per square meter per second is the measurement of photosynthetically-active photon flux density, or PPFD, which measures the amount of photosynthetically active radiation, PAR, that a light puts out. PPFD and PAR represent the amount of light that is useable by a plant. For those of you who really like to get into the details, PAR is most widely considered to be light (optical) radiation between 400 and 700 nanometers. Read our blog post on the importance of micromoles for more information.)

As you can see, a simple bulb switch can increase useable light output substantially without increasing overall energy consumption. Theoretically, this means your plants now have a 35% higher yield potential, resulting in larger crops and more profits for your business without increasing electrical costs.

The other major factor in light delivery and efficiency is the type of reflector being used. The Surna Reflector was designed with photometrics in mind in order to deliver more light to the plant canopy than the standard reflectors currently on the market. With the knowledge of existing reflectors and knowing growers need improved technology, our engineers set out to create a more efficient reflector. The results are better than we hoped for. Our patent-pending design allows the Surna Reflector to deliver up to 9% more useable light to the plant canopy than even a standard DE bulb. Call us at 303.993.5271 for more details.

Small changes, from reflector design to bulb type, can make a big difference in both cost to produce and overall yield. When evaluating any equipment remember to think about the long-term implications, not just the immediate price – energy efficient choices can mean large returns in the long run.

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