Cannabis Grow Lights: How to Plan & Implement a Successful Retrofit

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If you’re considering retrofitting your cultivation facility with LED cannabis grow lights, there are a few considerations you should address first to ensure the retrofit brings you closer to achieving your overall business goals. 

Higher Yields Consulting Cannabis Grow Lights: How to Plan & Implement a Successful Retrofit

When done right, retrofitting your lighting system can help you increase efficiency, ROI, and yield. But before you start, it’s important to understand what, exactly, you want the retrofit to accomplish for your cannabusiness. Then you can plan and implement your retrofit project accordingly. 

Read on to learn more about how to retrofit your cultivation facility with LED cannabis grow lights based on your unique business goals. 

Where to Start

When beginning a new retrofit project, Casey Rivero — Cannabis Solutions Architect on the business development team at Fluence, a leading provider of energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for commercial cannabis and food production — says the first step is to understand your objective. 

Why are you retrofitting your cannabis grow lights? What do you want the new lighting system to accomplish? Once you’ve identified the goals you want to achieve, you’ll be able to tailor the retrofit project to accomplish those goals. 

For example, one goal might be to increase productivity per square foot. Depending on your budget, business model, and potential for ROI, meeting this goal might be as simple as increasing light intensity levels or as involved as moving from single-level to multi-level production. 

A team of horticulture and technical experts like those at Fluence can help you evaluate the current state of your facility and how to customize your retrofit plan to suit your goals and available resources. 

What to Know

Rivero — along with Fluence’s Director for Horticulture Services, Dr. Abhay Thosar — identifies a number of questions to consider as you prepare to upgrade your cannabis grow lights. 

Once you’ve determined your objective, also ask yourself:

  • Is my plan aligned with what I’m trying to achieve in the market? Every state and municipality is different. Do your business model and goals set you up for success in your specific market?
  • What other factors will be affected by the change? Lighting is only one element of your grow room environment. What other adjustments will you need to make to your infrastructure or controls once you switch to LED cannabis grow lights?
Higher Yields Consulting Cannabis Grow Lights: How to Plan & Implement a Successful Retrofit
  • Can I afford this? Before you begin, evaluate not only your current budget but also your potential for ROI and expected timeline for repaying investors based on market conditions. 
  • Have I carefully vetted both the product and the company? When it’s time to purchase new cannabis grow lights, make sure you choose a quality vendor you can trust to remain in business and provide support throughout the lifespan of those lights.
  • Am I comparing apples to apples? Not all LED lights are the same. Some spectrum lighting is better suited to cannabis growth than others, so it’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for and to compare like products. 

“There’s a lot of homework that growers need to do to make sure they are making the right decision,” Dr. Thosar says. Instead of trying to figure it all out on your own, be sure to get expert guidance as you plan and implement your retrofit. 

What to Expect

The process and impact of retrofitting your cannabis grow lights will be as unique as your cannabusiness, but keep in mind that adopting a new technology always comes with a learning curve. 

Even if you aren’t making large-scale alterations to your cultivation’s infrastructure, you’ll likely still need to adjust SOPs, room controls, and ideologies. “A light is not just a light,” Rivero says. “It’s a different method of performance.”

The right team of experts, however, can help minimize that learning curve, guide you in avoiding potential roadblocks, and set up your grow for the greatest chance at success. 

Increase ROI With LED Cannabis Grow Lights

Successfully retrofitting your cannabis grow lights starts with understanding your unique business objectives and working with experts to develop a customized approach for maximum ROI. 
At Higher Yields Consulting, we’re committed to helping you find the right solutions to suit your cannabusiness goals. Contact us today to get a custom grow design or lighting plan.

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