VanGreen’s Increases Cannabis Yields and THC Content After Switching to LED Grow Lights
About VanGreen’s Cannabis
VanGreen’s Cannabis is a family-owned craft cannabis growing operation located in Sitka, Alaska. Owner Eric van Veen was a fisherman for 20 years before founding his own cannabis company in 2017. The hydroponic indoor facility currently employs 10 people and grows 15 different strains. VanGreen’s flowers and pre-rolls are carried by 20 dispensaries across the state.
Prohibitive Electricity Prices
Like many other former home growers, Eric learned how to grow with high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures. However, Alaska’s high electricity prices make running the energy-intensive fixtures and keeping the rooms cool prohibitively expensive. LEDs’ energy efficiency and low heat output made them a more economical lighting choice. Eric began to trial various LED fixtures, starting with a hybrid HPS-LED set-up, before moving to a 100% LED layout.
“There are a handful of differences between HPS-grown and LED-grown flower,” explains Eric, “The LED-grown has a denser bud and is a little more terp-y. They also have really nice colors- a little more purple.”
“My Chemdog 91 has a THC content of 29%. Under [the other LEDs], it was 24%. My Critical Plus is now 21.5%. It was never more than 18% under the other lights.” – Eric van Veen, Owner of VanGreen’s Cannabis
When it came time to select a lighting solution for VanGreen’s, there was no doubt in Eric’s mind about installing LEDs. Eric initially installed a LumiGrow competitor’s LED fixtures but has since switched them out for LumiGrow fixtures.
“I felt that LumiGrow offered a better product and that they’re a better company all around,” says Eric, “My experience working with LumiGrow has reinforced that 120%. If I have a question, I get an answer in a day or so- I’m not waiting around for an answer.”
Meeting the Demand for High THC Content
Since Alaska’s cannabis market is very focused on THC content, Eric tests his flowers regularly. He noticed that several of his strains’ THC content has increased since switching to LumiGrow.
“Chemdog 91 has a THC content of 29%. Under [the other LEDs], it was 24%,” says Eric, “My Critical Plus is now 21.5%. It was never more than 18% under the other lights.”
Improved Yields Across the Board
Eric is also pleased with his plants’ yields. His plants are producing 1.36 grams per watt. This is a 73% increase compared to when he was using the competitor’s LEDs.
Eric is currently achieving these results using LumiGrow Targeted spectrum. He’s excited about utilizing his fixtures’ smartPARTM Wireless Control Software to adjust spectrum. Eric plans to use a spectrum with a higher ratio of blue to red to keep several strains more compact and use an all-blue spectrum treatment at the end of flower to boost terpene levels further.
“People are slowly starting to realize that it’s not just about the THC numbers,” says Eric, “In Alaska, people go for the highest THC. But they’re starting to realize that you can get way higher on a twenty-percenter with the more [terpenes] while paying less money… That’s why it’s important to also get terpenes tested and let retailers pass on that information. People deserve to know that they don’t have to smoke bad-tasting weed.”
“I felt that LumiGrow offered a better product and that they’re a better company all around. My experience working with LumiGrow has reinforced that 120%. If I have a question, I get an answer in a day or so- I’m not waiting around for an answer.” – Eric van Veen, Owner of VanGreen’s Cannabis
A Bright Future
VanGreen’s is also on course for an expansion. The expansion includes a retail endcap and room to spare for concentrate manufacturing equipment. Eric is excited to be able to start selling directly to consumers.
Eric is also looking forward to seeing how different spectrum ratios bring out different characteristics in his plants.
“I’ve got a couple stretchers and want to get the node spacing a little tighter,” says Eric, “LumiGrow Research recommended using a higher blue-to-red ratio to keep them more compact. I also want to see if changing spectrum affects the popcorn buds on my Girl Scout Cookies plants.”
In the meantime, he continues to refer fellow cannabis growers to LumiGrow.
“I tell all my grower friends in the business about LumiGrow,” says Eric, “One has ordered lights, another is preparing to replace their HID lighting. They saw how well my flower room was doing and are excited to try [the fixtures] out.”
Eric is confident that his friends will have the same positive experience:
“Working with LumiGrow has been great. There’s a personal touch that you don’t always get from other companies.”
- Problem. Alaska’s high electricity prices cut into profit margins; HPS fixtures have high power requirements and emit heat
- Solution. Installed energy-efficient LumiGrow fixtures with smartPARTM Wireless Control Software
- Results. No longer need to run AC; increased yields to 1.38 g/watt; increased THC % by 3-4% across multiple strains
LumiGrow revolutionized horticulture in 2008 with the introduction of the first smart LED grow lights in North America. Today, LumiGrow leads the world forward in grow light innovation with their TopLight and BarLight smart fixtures designed to maximize a growers’ profits. The LumiGrow lights are wirelessly controlled by their smartPAR software to optimize yield, quality, and custom plant traits. LumiGrow lights can be fine-tuned for greenhouse environments by pairing with their award-winning smartPAR Light Sensor to ensure consistent crop production year-round at the lowest energy cost.
LumiGrow has the largest install-base of smart LED grow lights in North America with installations worldwide. For more information about LumiGrow, please see www.lumigrow.com
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