Customer Stories Jun 10, 2015

Daily Harvest Aquaponics Uses LumiGrow Grow Lights to Grow Plants With Thriving Fish

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About Daily Harvest Aquaponics

Daily Harvest Aquaponics uses aquaponics to create a controlled, diverse and sustainable environment that ensures a constant output for locally grown crops in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area. One of the ways the company is able to do this is by using LumiGrow LED fixtures to provide light for the 2,700 square feet of growing space for a wide variety of crops from arugula to kale, several kinds of lettuce and many different herbs.

49% Energy Savings

25% Capital Investment Rebate from Utility

Thriving Plants and Fish

What is Aquaponics?

Daily Harvest Aquaponics’ grow space is located in a 9,500 square foot warehouse that is also home to a variety of fish including tilapia, striped bass and koi. The whole operation combines hydroponics (growing plants in water) and aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) to create a symbiotic environment for a food production system called aquaponics.

Among its many benefits, aquaponics uses 95% less water than traditional farming. Also, plants feed off the natural fertilizer produced by the fish so there’s no need for outside fertilizer. Cold-blooded fish don’t carry the same harmful organisms that warm-blooded animals do so there is no worry about e-coli or salmonella contamination. The plants provide benefits for the fish by cleaning the water before it goes back to the fish tanks.

“For indoor growers LEDs just make sense. It’s the smarter way to go.”

Why LEDs?

When Daily Harvest Aquaponics’ owner, Gavin Vitt, put together his business plan, he was originally going to use high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps as grow lights. After doing some research, Vitt saw that the long-term cost savings made LumiGrow LEDs the smarter choice.

“It ended up being worth it for me to commit to investing in LEDs,” said Vitt. “I like the simplicity of LEDs. Unlike HIDs there are no ballasts, and no replacing HID bulbs once a year.”

LumiGrow LEDs are guaranteed to last a full five years and are much more energy-efficient than legacy lighting systems. LEDs convert approximately 50% of the energy they use to light as compared to HIDs that only convert about 30% of the energy they use into light. Because of their energy efficiency, many utilities offer rebate programs to defray the cost of a new lighting system.

In Daily Harvest Aquaponics’ case, this meant a on-time 25% capital investment rebate from electricity provider Mountain View Electric. Tack on a monthly reduction of up to 49% percent of lighting energy used versus that used by HID lights, as Vitt said, “For indoor growers LEDs just makes sense. It’s the smarter way to go.”

“Aquaponics is a complicated system,” said Vitt. “We have been able to focus on optimizing the fish and nutrient part because the lights are working as advertised. I have faith in the lighting.”

Summary
  • Problem. Needed a low-maintenance, cost-effective way to light aquaponic warehouse crop
  • Solution. Installed cooler running, high-output LumiGrow fixtures
  • Results. 49% energy savings and 25% capital investment rebate from utility
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