December 19, 2018

How VividGro is Evolving LED Lights for Cannabis Grows

This article is presented by VividGro, an agricultural lighting company developing technology-based products that empower growers to create a superior growing environment.


Indoor cannabis grows have, thankfully, come a long way from the power-sapping, makeshift setups of yesteryear. Agricultural tech pioneered by illumination engineers such as VividGro has been a win-win for farmers, consumers, and the planet since day one. But day one was a little while ago now, and today’s new LED systems use less energy, and, combined with cutting-edge sensor and automation technology, can provide cannabis cultivators with more bang for their buck.

Modern lighting systems can help create higher yields and reduce time between cycles, resulting in grows are better for the planet and easier on a grower’s bottom line, creating a better situation for plants and humans.

Customized for Cannabis

While VividGro lights are powerful enough to help a variety of plants grow big and strong, their systems were designed with cannabis in mind, built from conversations with cultivators about their wants, needs, and challenges. The thing VividGro saw at the top of many cultivators wish lists? Lights that produced less heat.

Less efficient lighting setups can make factors like temperature control a pain, raising the heat around plants and creating uneven growing patterns. To address this issue, VividGro’s engineers designed the GroBar, which distributes light evenly while staying cool to the touch, eliminating hot spots and providing consistent lighting. Lights can be placed as close as six inches from the top of the canopy, allowing for more compact setups and higher vertical stacking.

“The new GroBar lights show that they’ve been designed by a company that listens to cannabis growers and understands their needs,” says John Minor, owner of the automated growing system Turbo Pots. “The heat produced by lights is a challenge for many growers, and cool-light options like the GroBar offer grow-ops a lot more flexibility when it comes to designing their lighting solutions. And as a nice side-benefit, cooler light sources mean growers can cut their air conditioning bills and be more energy efficient and sustainable.”

Tinkering to get the correct light spectrum is also a specialty at VividGro. While some lights have just focused on light spectrums that plants need, it became apparent that humans need to see what they’re growing. The color spectrum on the GroBar X offers a spectrum range that both benefits plants and provides a clear view to the people tending them.

The GroBar from VividGro marks a step forward in LED lighting technology. (Courtesy of VividGro)

Keeping Setups Simple

The design of the new GroBar system also emphasizes ease-of-use, featuring design changes meant to make life a little easier for hard-working cannabis farmers. The new GroBars are lightweight, for instance, taking some of the strain out of placement and construction, and also keeping them scalable. But that’s hardly the only change.

“We’ve been close to this industry for a long time and have been able to take the LED light from energy-saving alternatives to traditional sodium light to a no-brainer choice for any indoor cultivator,” says VividGro vice-president of sales Randy Shipley. “In addition to making engineering improvements that save growers power and money, we’ve also worked to make next-generation lighting systems like the GroBar more user-friendly. The new systems are easier and faster to clean, and they’re more durable to last longer without replacement.”

It was just a few years ago that VividGro introduced their groundbreaking LED grow lights to cannabis cultivators. But its new products make that seem like an eternity ago. Since spinning off from their parent company Lighting Science, VividGro’s tech has only gotten more specialized and efficient for cannabis grow operations. New systems like the GroBar keep the efficiency and customization of the original VividGro light while making it more user-friendly and utilitarian.

“We’ve seen the impact that high-quality cannabis and cannabis products can have on people battling serious illnesses, and as a result, we’ve tried a lot of different tools to ensure we’re providing customers with the best cannabis we can produce, says Sam Hachey of Alaska’s Tranana Herb Co. “We found the GroBar is a great fixture that provides a nice, even canopy. The plants love the full spectrum these lights provide, and we love how they lower our energy costs.”

Since 2013, VividGro lights have been helping everyone from houseplant enthusiasts to architects to researchers in Antarctica—all with a flexibility gained by working closely with the cannabis industry.

VividGro lights stay cool enough that they can be kept close to cannabis plants, saving growers precious space. (Courtesy of VividGro)

Light Smarter, Not Brighter

Of course, a successful indoor farm is not just about lighting, so VividGro has expanded their services to promote all areas of horticultural success. Their GroNet integrates various systems and sensors into one interface, making it easy to see the big picture and providing real-time insights and recommendations. This sort of equipment integration optimizes factors including temperature, security, equipment, humidity, ventilation, and power. Growers can use the system to create the most efficient automation possible and make sure they know when something looks off.

Ultimately, though, cannabis farming comes down to getting your hands dirty, and VividGro’s staff is right there, too. Their consulting service, GroAdvisor, combines tech expertise with hands-on advice, going directly to indoor agriculture facilities to make sure everything is as optimized as it can be.

That on-the-ground work doesn’t just help farmers thrive. It gives VividGro a constant connection to the challenges of a fast-evolving industry—and a keenly honed sense of what farmers need and how VividGro can evolve to serve their partners

“After years figuring out the best possible lighting for cannabis growth, we’ve learned a whole lot about the best possible everything for cannabis growth,” says Shipley. “By taking a holistic view of the industry’s needs, we can make sure an entire operation has the tools for success from top to bottom.”

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