LEDs Excel as Sole-Source Lighting in Cannabis Cultivation

When horticultural LEDs first emerged into the cannabis market many years ago, the technology was just beginning to be explored, and a vast black hole of experience and information led to some early assumptions and practices.

For example, many early LED grow lights were initially used only for supplemental lighting in greenhouses. Early LEDS were not considered adequate for use as sole-source lighting for cannabis cultivation. Some growers who experimented with earlier LED grow lights reported a decrease in yield compared to traditional HID lighting. Though some greenhouse cannabis cultivators used LED technology to increase the amount of red or far red applied to their plants in order to trigger a photoperiod response, by and large, growers did not adopt early LED grow lights as sole-source lighting.

However, as LED technology progressed, sophisticated growers explored plant responses to different wavelengths and to different combinations of wavelengths. These growers learned how to make the most of LEDs’ strengths and as a result, many, many growers are now using LEDs as the sole source of lighting for a multitude of crops, including cannabis.

Listening to feedback from these progressive growers and from leading plant scientists,  Illumitex designed LED lights that are specifically crafted to be used as the sole source of light in cannabis grow operations.  We’ve developed specialized optics for our patented LED packages, allowing us to deliver more photosynthetically active radiation to the canopy than our competitors can.

Our NeoSol Series LED grow lights, for example, use our F3 spectrum LED package to deliver more light more uniformly to the canopy. The F3 delivers 81% red light, 11% blue light, 7.7% green light and .3% light in the far red range.

Forward-thinking growers have responded positively to the new LED grow light technology from Illumitex, learning to manipulate it to their advantage. For example, Vashon Velvet, a top-shelf cannabis cultivation operation in Washington, uses NeoSol DS fixtures to grow its speciality strains. The growers at this cutting-edge operation utilize to great effect the dimming abilities of the NeoSol DS, and have found that they could manipulate internodal spacing to their benefit — a practice based on the simple growth response to lack of light.

“The plants respond much better to the LED lights,” says Vashon Velvet Master Grower Patrick Rooney.  “The plants branch out more, get more bushy – this allows us to produce more product in a smaller space.”

Advanced LED technology from Illumitex, combined with advanced growing methodologies from smart growers, mean that LED grow lights can absolutely be used as sole-source lighting in cannabis farms.