Episode 47

The Future of LED Tech in Cannabis

Every cannabis business – whether it’s a cultivation, extraction facility, manufacturing operation, or retail dispensary – depends on a healthy and plentiful grow. In this episode, we dive into the latest technology that is advancing cannabis cultivation and allowing growers to achieve higher yields than ever before.

With the lighting experts at Fohse, we will introduce you to the Pisces, Cobra, and HPS replacement options that can most dramatically affect your outputs. We also talk with Brian Hesterman of InSpire about how these lights directly affect the plants we depend on to give us the highest yields. We also discuss what cannabusinesses need to do to not only sustain their operations, but to evolve and scale their businesses.

Adam Kulbach 0:09
Hello and welcome to the Higher Enlightenment podcast brought to you by higher yields cannabis consulting your seed to sale Business Solutions team. My name is Adam part of the creative team here at higher yields. And today’s episode is number 47, the future of LED tech in cannabis. And our special guests today are Bryan Hesterman from InSpire, Anthony Domangue from Fohse. And Anthony Adkins from higheryields consulting. So let’s get on with the show. We’ll start with the self introductions. Have you guys introduce yourselves, tell us who you are and what you do. And so I guess what? I’ll start with you, Anthony. Number one. Is that No. Sorry. No offense to you.

Anthony Adkins 0:58
Hey, we’re both number one.

Anthony Domangue 1:00
We’re both number one.

Adam Kulbach 1:02
In order of appearance.

Anthony Domangue 1:04
Yes. So I’m Anthony domaine. I were a few different hats at first, as I was explaining earlier. So I’m a social media coordinator. I have my hands on a lot of the creation and filtration of our social content from a growers perspective. Because my primary background is in cultivation. And with that being said, I’m also a grower liaison, so I help our clients get dialed in with our fixtures, because prior to my work at PFOs I use our fixtures commercially for about two years. So very familiar. But I love horticulture and I’ve been growing for in total about six years now. All kinds of fruiting trees, veggies, herbs, cannabis. And that’s pretty much my background.

Adam Kulbach 1:55
Well, thank you for being here. How about you, Brian?

Bryan Hesterman 2:00
Hey, Brian Hester man with inspired transportation solutions. Good to be here today. Thanks for having me, inspires a HVAC D manufacturing representative and it can Environmental Control Solutions Provider focused exclusively on cannabis cultivation. That means is we work with a diverse set of manufacturers and do HVAC control integrations to ensure we bring the right environmental control solutions to each unique project. I grew up in a small town Grass Valley and are up in the foothills of California and been you know, I was introduced to cannabis at a young age and became infatuated with it. And, you know, over over the years have consumed my fair share and grown my fair share. And it’s been an amazing experience to sort of take a passion and an a personal interest and be part of a business that has such a strong role plays such a strong role in the cultivation, indoor cultivation of cannabis and I have a small business management and entrepreneurship degree. And I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole career. And I’ve been involved with inspire across the board, primarily on the operational and management side. But it’s been amazing learning about the plant science and HVAC engineering, that go into our systems. And you know, as a small business, being able to sort of have my finger on lots of pots, or lots of lots of buckets, makes it interesting day to day. It’s something that’s always changing and then it always dynamic.

Adam Kulbach 3:51
Thanks for being here, Brian. How about you, Anthony?

Anthony Adkins 3:55
Yeah, absolutely. I’m Anthony Atkins, Chief Revenue Officer at higher yields consulting. My background goes deep into telecom and technology. Going all the way back to the days of at&t Global. We were spearheading their at&t solutions are the consulting arm into the global arena and the global market really had an opportunity to see a lot of different things on a global scale in terms of partnership development, market development, business development, you know taking over flipping teams fixing and flipping you know, sales and business development teams and creating them from you know, from scratch and understanding the importance and the complexity of of technology, you know, in the industry, but also how that transmits transfers into you know, what I’m doing here with higher yields. And the cannabis have an hopefully psychedelic industry sometime soon. And so, you know, my role at higher yields is really that I mean, it’s, it’s all about the you know, partnership develop market development, client revenue development, you know, really taking a look at, you know, connecting the right resources at the right time and the right value, you know, bringing to you know, those clients to elevate the game elevate standards, you know, and help our clients and really understand the importance of our expertise, that there is an expertise involved, you know, that have a funny quip that, you know, YouTube is our greatest competition, you know, folks, you know, looking at you tube and thinking they may have a growth figured out, or the waiting structures figured out, or the integration of technology, you know, in a particular environment, you know, figured out because they watch a YouTube video, you know, so it’s interesting. I mean, it’s so dynamic and so diverse. And each project is has its uniqueness to it, that we can apply formulas, and that sort of thing. So very excited to be joining Anthony, and you, Brian, on this call on his podcast, and I’m excited about the discussion.

Adam Kulbach 6:04
Well, thanks. A lot remain here. First question for anybody who wants to chip in? It’s, can you give us an overview of what factors affect a group facilities yields?

Anthony Domangue 6:17
Yeah, if I can jump in first. There are honestly so many factors that can affect yield because growing plants is involving so many different inputs, it involves lighting, temperature, and humidity, air circulation, and ventilation, nutrient concentrations, irrigation frequency, and volume. So these are just a few examples of all of these growth inputs. that add up to the combination of one thing which is yield. So ultimately, just to dive into a couple of those lighting, the intensity, and the spectrum are so important as it pertains to yield. You know, as far as intensity goes, under older systems, people are used to traditionally running lower light intensities, but with emerging research and with anecdotal evidence, as we found out that cannabis can take a lot higher light intensity than we thought possible. So light intensity, through a study out of the University of Guelph showed a linear increase with yield through 1800 Micro moles, which is huge. For a lot of people who are growing under HPs, or CMH. They’re typically capping out there light intensity levels around, you know, anywhere from 900 to 1000, micromoles, maybe a touch more, but typically, when you go above those levels, you’re going to have really detrimental heat added to your canopy. So people usually don’t pass that threshold. But what that means is that they’re leaving a lot of weight and potentially quality on the table. So lighting is huge as it pertains to yield environment as well as is going to dictate how well your plants are going to transpire and be able to regulate the flow of moisture and subsequently nutrients into the plant. That obviously has a huge effect on yield if you’re if your plants aren’t able to transpire because your VPD is too low and and the space is too humid. Again, you’re going to see a lot of deficiencies and signs of pH issues. So you can start to see how interwoven these all of these inputs are as it as it pertains to yield because yield really should be looked at, as you know the sum of many things. And again, I just touch on a couple more, the nutrient balance and concentration is huge for yield. Especially with increasing light intensities, it’s important to increase that nutrient concentration. And additionally, the irrigation volume and frequency is so important. When plants are in veg, they prefer smaller shots sizes that are maybe more frequent and over a long period of time, as opposed to flowering plants. That before a smaller irrigation window of maybe a few hours, maybe two to three hours of the day. You’re irrigating it but it’s usually with a couple very large shots. So these are some of the things that that I think about as a cultivator that affect yield first and foremost.

Bryan Hesterman 9:56
Yeah, that’s good points there Anthony. I It’s a it’s a, it’s a really broad question, I think we might be able to spend the entire hour talking about just just this one question. I’ll try to make it as succinct as possible. I guess when I, when I hear yields. As a businessman, I think profitability, right. And when, like, as with any business, companies have to focus on their profitability. And it’s, you know, it’s not just yields that we’re talking about when it comes to profitability is product quality and its cost of production. And when we, when we look at, look at it through that lens, you know, the concept of law minimums can’t come into mind, you’re only as good as your weakest link. And really, that starts with your facility design and your construction. early decisions on projects can make or break the long term long term profitability of these cultivation businesses. This is really where your yield potential gets set. And, again, early, early decisions, wrong decisions can have a cascading effect all the way through to the ultimate operation of the facility, when and then it’s too late to make changes, you’re stuck with systems or processes or buildings that you’ve already paid lots of money for. So I think it’s critical to hire a design and construction team that has experienced building cultivation facilities. You know, there’s just so many pitfalls that are different building a cultivation business than a commercial and industrial type of building and all the way from power requirements to insufficient structural capacity or space for mechanical equipment. The way that these systems are designed in terms of return and supply, ductwork configurations, interim airflow, what type of systems are selected, the list goes on and on, but then with the actual operation, that the equipment that you use to, to grow these plants, you know, we’re talking about genetics and environment. So I guess the or the age old sort of formula of genetics, environment equals phenotype. So genetic selection is super important, right, you can have the best building with the best equipment and if you don’t have good good performing genetics, that’s that could be your, your minimum, you’re the lowest stave in the barrel, so to speak. And so the genetic selection is super important, then you move into environment, you know, you’ve got all of these parameters that impact the growth rate of a plant, you know, you’ve got lighting and co2 and humidity and temperature and airflow up above the planter and within the plant canopy, and then a whole bunch of parameters down in the root zone. And I always like to think about it as an energy balance equation. So, you, you basically have three mechanical systems that are responsible for optimizing generally three planet processes. So you got lighting, fertigation, and HVAC and environmental control the airflow and the way that these environmental control systems are controlled, that are responsible for optimizing photosynthesis, transpiration and the gas exchange or carb carbon assimilation within the plant, which is building creating sugars and building all of the all of the mass of those plants. And, and so with with lighting, you’re you’re directly impacting photosynthesis and you’re also adding heat into the space with fertigation you’re adding you’re providing the plants water and nutrients and with that water is is energy as well. So you’re putting lights in you’re putting heat energy in with lights and you’re putting water energy and with fertigation and the environmental control system is responsible for removing that he and removing the water that comes out as vapor from the surface of the leaves the transpiration to maintain those balances right so you got you got these energy inputs and you have to have the right amount of energy outputs the right equipment capacity and airflow to ensure that you maintain those balances so you can meet so you can really optimize photosynthesis, transpiration and the gas exchange within that substance model cavity and I guess just to tie it off we’ve seen with integrated HVAC D The ability to deliver cool dehumidified co2 enriched air into one common area within the space and then distribute it homogeneously across the plant canopy, we’ve seen tremendous results, as opposed to a more more legacy style approaches where you’re cooling from mini splits and dehumidifying from Pocket dehumidifiers and making the capacity from those systems is really challenging, especially when the plant density of these spaces gets so, so large with vertical racks gardens. It just, it’s almost impossible to homogenize the environmental conditions in the room, let alone having the right amount of equipment capacity to maintain the balance within those spaces, especially when it comes to high PPFD. Lighting Technology, right, because the, the more light you’re giving a plant, the more it’s photosynthesizing, the more it’s transpiring, the more you have to dehumidify the more you have to remove water vapor from within the space to keep the plant operating at the highest levels possible.

Adam Kulbach 16:24
Okay, so this is for all of you to what are some of the technical technological advancements that you’re most excited about right now?

Anthony Domangue 16:37
Well, on our side of things, there’s quite a few things actually, LEDs. We’ve had significant advancements as far as grow light technology in recent years. So one huge thing is spectral control. A lot of the early LEDs like the very first ones were laden with a, it’s called a Blurple spectrum is heavily red and blue mix, cheap, compact LED, and thereafter when when growers were not really getting the results they desired. lighting manufacturers responded by creating, in my opinion, too much control by allowing growers to toggle every single wavelength of the light spectrum. So now after years of advancement, we’re finding spectrums that work well for various phases, phases of plant growth. And at FAU, specifically like we’ve developed the the flagship series with three different spectrums that we’ve suited for different phases of plant life, we have just a spring summer and autumn spring being great for things like the edge and early flower to help mitigate the stretch that you experienced during the edge and early flower and as well as stack nodes within that shorter plant height. Summer being great for for bulking or mid flour. And then we also we catered the autumn spectrum more so to a ripening effect for cannabis. But improve spectral control is one huge innovation and LEDs that we’re super excited about. And we’re excited to see where it progresses into. Additionally, higher efficiency and lower energy consumption. So we’re seeing more and more efficient fixtures as time passes and technology advances. Technologies like HPs that a lot of our legacy growers are coming from are not very efficient, usually hovering around, maybe a two micromoles per joule efficacy rating. Our fixtures are going to lean more on the 2.5 to over a three as far as efficacy rating. So you can see it as there’s a huge difference in that efficiency and how much energy you’re not only consuming but you’re able to use. So again under LEDs we have more usable power than these high pressure sodium situations so you’re able to produce more usable light without creating a bunch of energy and a bunch of radiant heat that you you don’t need. Additionally, we have a lot of advances in chip technology constantly. Heat dissipation and cooling systems. So one cool thing about our fixtures is that we have these thermal conductive aircraft grade aluminum heatsinks that help dissipate heat and keep operating temperatures low and ambient temperatures low at the plant canopy. And that’s huge for cannabis specifically, because terpenes and all those secondary metabolites are extremely volatile, and they degrade and oxidized in the presence of heat, light and oxygen. So we want to mitigate that as much as possible. And, you know, with with improving technology, we’re seeing fixtures operated, cooler temperatures. Additionally, we’re seeing a lot of cool research come out about UV and far red. UV, it comes in, you know, it’s a little bit spliced up, you have UVA, UVB and UVC, which all do different things on their own. And with the president research, you know, there’s not necessarily established standards or recommendations for how UVI should be implemented, we’re very much so in an experimental stage. But some preliminary studies have shown that, you know, integrating certain types of UV at certain times, or at certain frequencies during the plant lifecycle can, they can boost certain terpenes, or certain certain responses within the planet can improve. UV is also really great for mitigating the proliferation of powdery mildew. So, there’s a, there’s a lot of research and development going on. And there, I see the sky’s the limit for LEDs. And I see, you know, the largely ahi de using market converting over the over the next five to 10 years entirely to LED

Adam Kulbach 22:04
what what is involved in HPs replacement?

Anthony Domangue 22:11
Brian, you want to speak to this first or let me go?

Bryan Hesterman 22:15
Well, I mean, I could take a crack at it. I was, I was prepared to talk about some of the technological advancements and HVAC but we were back to need to. If we need to move on for time, we can no problem. I guess just a couple of things that I wanted to say if I if I could integrate it HVAC D is still in the early stages of adoption. As mentioned previously, there, there are a lot of companies and growers that are still using systems that have been designed and built for human centric comfort, cooling. And to your point about standards, Anthony or lack thereof, you know, there, there are these standards and sequences that have been written for human centric comfort cooling units that basically operate air conditioners to to keep people and buildings comfortable, right, and the programs on those units and on those on those systems are not appropriate for a process application like cannabis cultivation. And so there’s a ton of progress that we’re making, and we still need to make around the way HVAC units are controlled. You know, this in this plays out in the trends, right, so what we’re trying to do is deliver tight adherence to setpoint for our growers. So you know, because research shows that the, the tighter we can adhere to temperature and relative humidity and have those VPD set points, the more productive the better yields, the better product quality that that our growers are going to get. And a lot like in almost invariably will go into our clients facilities or get trends from our clients facilities. And there are, you know, poor port temperature and relative humidity trends, particularly in the transitions between lights on and lights off and then back from lights off to back to lights on. overshooting undershooting, frequent oscillations above and below setpoint. And these deviations have real impact real tangible impact on yields and product quality. And so I guess I would say that environmental control is still is kind of where LEDs were five years ago. There’s still really it’s still really misunderstood, misapplied, and there’s There’s lots of opportunity to improve and, and not just on the on the control side but also on the mechanical sizing side, you know, these human centered comfort units are designed for cooling not dehumidification. So most of the time there’s insufficient dehumidification capacity. And then and then on the control just to close the loop on the control side, providing growers sequences to effectively environmentally crops here are some some other developments that we’re really excited about, should you not to maintain RTR for example, help them with with T diffs. Whether it’s you know, to help reduce internodal stretching, or to get, you know, to get those anthocyanins out of the plant to get the purple colors, ramping sequences, again, to help with the transitions between lights on the lights off, controlling to leaf temperature measurements, actual leaf temperature measurements, to control the VPD and not having to use leaf temp offsets to or to, you know, manually shoot the canopy with IR guns to figure out what your leaf temp is and what you need to control your HVAC system to to really try and hit that VPD point more accurately. Okay.

Adam Kulbach 26:27
And this is only going to

Anthony Domangue 26:30
speak to the HPS replace your Yeah, yeah. So HPs replacement is, is a process that we go through with with a lot of different people who are interested in our LEDs, I would say that a lot of like I said, our labor legacy growers from markets like California, Washington, and a lot of the West Coast guys are still heavy into these H ID systems. And you know, it’s, there’s, there’s a lot of negatives associated, we really were using H IDs, out of necessity, but technology is advanced. And there’s, there’s really no reason to do that anymore, comparatively. And here’s why. So, first I will, I guess high energy consumption is gonna be the first thing I think about when it comes to H IDs, it’s a lot of the energy you’re creating is given off as heat. And that heat for for few people who maybe live in extremely cold climates, you know, that can that can be a benefit to you. But for the large majority of people, it’s it’s not a benefit. And it’s it causes your AC system to basically be an overdrive. And usually that’s an AC system, as Brian was saying that was made for animal comfort. So this, it’s not designed to do what we’re trying to get it to do, especially under these HIV. So

let’s see. One one other sort of con with these H IDs is the limited spectrum control that they have. Usually just comes in one very like orange, red, it has, you know, some far red there. But it’s one spectrum that your plants can experience while they’re in flower. And, you know, I mentioned our flagship series earlier, because we created that out of, you know, our founders created that because they were previously in an H Id grow. And we’re looking for solutions on how do we improve plant morphology, the response to the plants are having to the lights. And one of the ways they did that again was like creating multiple spectrums. Under HPs, your plants because of that, that red spectrum are going to stretch more and have a lot more distance as far as internodal spacing goes. Again, for a few strains, it can be used as a strategy where that’s a benefit. But for for a lot of people who are growing indoors, you want to be able to mitigate and control that stretch and HPs systems don’t really allow for that. HPs systems also have a really short lifespan. Most guys who’ve been in HPs grow and know that you’re constantly changing bulbs are breaking. And if at best, they don’t do any of that then they just don’t last for very long. So your your typical bowl is going to last about 10,000 hours. Hours, give or take. And, you know, most LEDs are going to have a lifetime exceeding 50,000 hours, give or take, a lot of our fixtures are L 90 rated at 40 to 50,000 hours. So, still giving you 90% of the original luminous flux that you purchased at that time. So short lifespan is a real problem for these HIV systems. And another thing is a huge problem as far as yield to with HIV is the in insufficient distribution of that light. Most people will use reflectors and things like that to better spread the light since it’s coming from that single bulb source. And really, what that that’s going to do is according to the inverse square law, you know, the further away from the fixture, that that intensity is going to decrease. And being that it’s from a single source. As it spreads throughout the room, it’s going to get weaker and weaker. So that’s going to, again, it’s going to affect photosynthesis and ultimately yield. So while it’s been the go to choice for many years, there’s a ton of drawbacks when using these systems. Yeah,

Bryan Hesterman 31:29
absolutely. My head goes to profitability, again, sort of first and foremost, and LEDs gave growers the ability to go vertical. And in my opinion, the future is multitier. And it’s particularly important in mature markets that are experiencing supply saturation and price compression, you know, how? How can you grow more cannabis, higher quality cannabis, with a lower cost of production, right, you use a better spectral composition, you try to stuff more plants into the same footprint. So you have a smaller rent payment or smaller mortgage payment, right, that whole fixed cost absorption element around being more efficient. going vertical is a, I think, a really important element. And you just you know, you can’t do, you can’t do vertically wrapped gardens with LEDs. And you really can’t do it with conventional, non integrated HVAC, either. There’s new new technology, that is pushing the limits of production wall and quality while driving the cost of production down. And ultimately, you know, cannabis cultivation is a business just like every other one. And ultimately, you know, and regardless of what market you’re in, there’s going to be margins are going to be squeezed eventually, and the companies that plan ahead and put these highly productive systems and are the ones that are going to win.

Anthony Adkins 33:12
You know, so yeah, one of the things that before we go on to the next question, you know, as, as you both are speaking to the technology and the integration side, and, and that sort of thing, one of the things that I’m looking at it from my perspective, in terms of that business development, or, you know, how do you direct position message, you know, around that is over engineering? Have you ever seen that in your tenure, of course, in the industry? And how do you stop? Or, you know, encourage someone not to over engineer, you know, the the environment?

Bryan Hesterman 33:53
Yeah, it’s a great, it’s a great question. And, you know, something that we are acutely mindful of all the time. Because, you know, when we design these systems and submit the performance for these systems to our clients, we have to we have to make sure that we’re actually achieving those numbers. But what I what I’d say is our cultivators, perception of budget around environmental control systems is woefully low, it’s far far too low across the board. And for that reason, you know, and knowing that they’re budget sensitive, we’re we’re doing our best to try to try not to over engineer these systems because when you over engineer these systems, they get to expend they get more expensive and, and all of a sudden, you know, we just we get laughed off of a job, because, you know, they can go and buy mini splits and pocket D who for a fraction of the price, despite the fact that they’re going to get better long term performance out of their business and and the systems that we sell them are going to be paid off is going to be a very quick ROI on them but it just like there’s no there’s no vision there. There’s no money there, especially right now with macroeconomic the macroeconomic environment being where it is. So I guess it’s we’re very mindful about not over engineering the systems just so we have shots at jobs.

Adam Kulbach 35:37
Forever Anthony de you have two systems Pisces and Cobra that can help cultivators reach new levels in yields. What makes these systems special and can you tell us a little bit more about them?

Anthony Domangue 35:51
Sure. So the Pisces and Cobra are for two different applications. Pisces being more on the indoor or, more specifically home grow and tent grow side. And the cobra is going to be more applicable for greenhouses. But for the Pisces, you know, we received a ton of inquiries from home growers about just a budget friendly fixture option. So we got to work on the concept for the Pisces and really it’s it’s a first fixture stripped down to the bare necessities, that being power efficiency and a long lifetime. It’s going to offer high light intensity options up to almost 2500 Micro moles. And with just for perspective for those who may not know, on a clear summer’s day, the sun’s given upwards of 2200 or more micromoles. So, we know cannabis can take these really high light intensities, and we want to want it to be able to provide that potential at home for some of our home growers. It also has a really high efficacy rating of 2.6 micromoles per joule and is L 90 rated 40,000 hours. So again, at that time period of 40,000 hours, your fixture will still retain 90% of that 2500 micromoles. So still giving you that industry leading power for years to come. And one thing too with the homegrown is I know as a hunger that sometimes, you know, life just forces you to move the hunger around whether it’s you’re moving to grow specifically or you’re moving your home itself. So we created the Pisces to fold in half, allowing for really easy storage and transportation. So really excited to see about what that fixture can do for the homegrown market. As far as the Cobra goes, the cobra is a bar style greenhouse fixture that can integrate real easily along the trust infrastructure of the greenhouse. We have a lot of good feedback from our other bar style fixture. It’s a lower wattage 320 Watt fixture called the P 80s. And it’s really good for traditional Hort applications like your vegetables and leafy greens and things that don’t need, you know, maybe such high light intensity right. But we you know, we liked the design so much, we just decided to make a higher powered version that would be applicable for cannabis greenhouse applications. So the Cobra comes in both 701,000 Watt options. Again, that profile being so slim is going to limit the shadow cast to your canopy which is huge for consistency as far as light intensity to your canopy goes. It’s also pretty lightweight, so very easy to install. And both the 701,000 Watt versions they both have a 3.2 PPE or photosynthetic photon efficacy rating which is anything above a 3.0 is incredible. So they’re very highly efficient greenhouse fixtures and we’re excited for both the prices and the Cobra I think it’s going to be great for cannabis growers both at home and in the greenhouse.

Adam Kulbach 39:25
Okay. For Brian, how does lighting affect the plants their transpiration and their yields? Yeah,

Bryan Hesterman 39:35
so PPFD sets the tone for these cultivation facilities. And really, so to your point, Anthony cannabis is a unique equatorial species that can absorb a ton of light. And I think that’s why companies like foce are pushing the envelope of these high High Intensity fixtures. And when you’re, when you’re putting this much light onto a plant, you’re increasing the rate of photosynthesis. And I think back to what we were talking about earlier, from a law minimum perspective, if you’re, if you’re expecting to increase the photosynthetic rate of these plants, you need to expect for the transpiration rate to increase for the right. So which would require more water, more nutrients, and more co2 within the environment, right. So because they’re going to be assimilating more carbon, and building more sugars and building more biomass and flowers. So again, the lighting intensity really dictates what happens with transpiration and consequently with the yields of these plants. And so we need to really keep in mind that what we have to keep in mind, what type of light intensity is going into these spaces and make sure that we’re engineering systems to provide sufficient cooling, sufficient dehumidification, sufficient reheat sufficient airflow to really maintain those balances, and ensure that the photosynthesis, the photosynthetic rate, encouraged by the light can actually happen. Because if, if you’re given a plant a ton of light, but it doesn’t have enough water and nutrient nutrients, or dehumidification capacity, you could stress the plant out, and it’ll just shut down, regardless of how much light you’re giving, giving it.

Anthony Domangue 41:47
Yeah, that’s super Wilson, if I can piggyback just the you know, one other detail to add as the genetics are going to probably be like the first limiting factor in the equation. You know, light intensity can affect yield in a negative way. There are cultivars out there that prefer lower intensities, whether that be the you know, it’s a land race from a cool region, or simply that it was bred and selected, under lower light intensities, likely under HPs, like a lot of our genetics have been to up to this point. So it can be to the detriment or to the benefit of your crop, but it’s all about growers finding out that balance and getting intimate with each cultivar and learning what is what are your light intensity preferences, your apologize, your light intensity preferences, your your spectral preferences, your your nutrient concentration preferences. So just another little tidbit there on how light intensity can affect yield.

Adam Kulbach 43:03
Okay, for both Anthony’s, how does lightning affect the evolution and scalability of a business?

Anthony Domangue 43:14
Well, these are really, really good questions, because there’s like, I can expand on them so much. So when we’re considering, you know, how how quality lights can affect the ability for a business to grow, we really should, you know, consider the following, I mean, first thing is going to be that the right grow light is going to improve your overall crop yield. More weight from the same amount of space means more money in the cultivators pocket, which is huge, like Brian was saying about, you know, markets that that are suffering with price compression, they’re looking for ways to maximize their yield in the same space that they have, because often, you know, they’re limited on how much plant canopy they can have. So, that’s one one aspect of it. Additionally, you know, the lighting will give you better control and and flexibility over your grow, which is just going to push your production further and optimize things within the grow the right light, it really it should reduce your crop loss ultimately or the potential you know, increase the potential poor and inconsistent lighting can result in uneven plant growth, lower or inconsistent yields. And sometimes as a secondary effect and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases becomes present because of such So, quality grow lights really provide like a stable and uniform condition minimizing that loss And as as we touched on earlier a few times, there’s an accelerated growth cycle with the right grow light, when you have these LEDs that they produce more more usable light to the plant canopy, they do so at Lower, lower wages and lower earn and for at a more efficient rate. This is ultimately going to speed up and improve plant growth. And that, you know, what’s entailed with that is your light spectrum and intensity. And all of these things can can improve the the time it takes to harvest what you’re getting when you do harvest. And sometimes these faster growth cycles, you know, when you’re planning your, your crop cycle, this can shave time off, that we’ve had a lot of clients in veg using our lights and because they’re, they’re doing so much more for the plants, they’re like, Hey, man, I was veggie for 21 days, I’m down to 10 day veg, now I got to figure out what to do with these plants a lot quicker. So that’s just, you know, one case in point there of how the right light can accelerate your growth cycle and improve things there. And again, in addition to yield, it should improve product quality, the right light is going to have a spectrum that’s catered to the kind of crop that you’re trying to grow. And in our case, you know, talking about cannabis, one thing that we see, when growers are trying to push higher light intensities is they’ll see what’s called Photo bleaching or, you know, it’s where the a certain portion of the top Colas going totally white due to the destruction of chlorophyll. Really what that is, in part two is not just light intensity alone, but it’s combination of light intensity, and the incorrect spectrum. So some recent research has shown us the it’s the amount of red and bar red combined, that is what’s doing this. So you’ll see the you know, fixtures that are they have an imbalance spectrum growers can’t push intensity, and what does that ultimately affect yield at the end of the day. So with our lights, we’re really proud to say that we offer growers spectrum that’s catered to cannabis, not only in beverage, but also in flour. And that ultimately just gives gives people the opportunity to push the bounds of what we once thought possible.

Anthony Adkins 47:41
No, that’s absolutely correct. I mean, in terms of, you know, understanding the starting point, right, understanding the vision of what that operation, or what the the group that cultivators the, you know, the operators are looking to seek to accomplish, you know, kind of not reverse engineering it, but, you know, scaling it all the way back or backward shaping it to, you know, location to budget to, you know, understanding and knowing that there is an element of education and proof of concept, in a sense, proof of development, and then allowing yourself allowing the that to be able to, to expand and scale. So that, you know, any adjustments or any variables that are entered into can be mitigated, and you’re mitigating that risk protecting that investment and, and war, and we’re kind of walking through it, and developing given the opportunity to, you know, be considerate of of the waiting mechanism, you know, based upon canopy, of course, everything is factored in. So it’s not one thing. And that’s just the one thing, you adjust your life, you have to adjust everything else. And so what I’m seeing, you know, in terms of, you know, the business development side is truly that developing a business, you’re developing an operation, you want the highest yield possible, and there’s going to be adjustments along the way not to be locked into a way of thinking not to be locked into, you know, so being so rigid that you can adjust the lighting methodologies, you can adjust the irrigation, the dehumidification, the H vac systems that are going to be able to support that grow, you know, so be mindful, be considerate, you know, really taking a look at you know, developing that out and listening to the experts you know, listening to folks who have developed the technology or utilizing and functioning and implementing that technology in order to produce the highest yield possible with the greatest outcome, greatest quality that you can, you can go so I know looking at it from a pre kind of the pre project side of things, you know, being that mindfulness and you know, higher yields is really focused in on, you know, that financial model idling and taking the time and working, of course with, you know, our partners and Phocion in inspire, you know, to to make sure that navigating those financial models in the budget in the roadmap in order to leave that, you know, that cushion or the ability to pivot, the ability to make that variable change in order to, you know, continue to scale and grow. So that, from my perspective, I think that that’s, you know, so, so important to be mindful of it, and the development side. Okay, well,

Adam Kulbach 50:33
I think we’re just about out of time. So are there any final thoughts? Or would you like to plug your businesses tell us where we get in touch with you?

Anthony Domangue 50:43
I did have a final thought, just to piggyback on what Anthony was saying. is one thing that you said stuck out to me, which is not having the rigidity, in your mindset on making adjustments or changing your style of growing because we run into it a ton. Like, like I said, we’re working with a lot of like, Legacy guys, and guys have been doing it for 2030 years, and people will certainly get stuck in their ways when they find a recipe that works, you know, and, you know, to just some advice I’d give to some growers who have been stuck, you know, on old lighting technologies, but want to take a step further in their grow as growers need to, you know, educate yourself, because the research is out there, there’s so much coming out about how LEDs can benefit cannabis production, comparatively to HPs systems and understanding the different types of grow lights available and their benefits and drawbacks is huge. Cuz, you know, professional guidance to which Anthony mentioned, sometimes you have to have the advisory of a professional, especially during the build out process in order to to mitigate these like long term risks, like consult people who have done it before, and you’ll be better off for it in the long run. And additionally, if you’re switching to a new lighting method, or using higher intensity LEDs, remember the transitioning takes time. There’s a lot of variables that go into horticulture and as you’re increasing light intensity. And every strain is different as well with its preferences, you have to find, find out what works for each one, if you’re going to grow it and have that optimizing your facility. So just investment in the right technology and experimentation is so key.

Bryan Hesterman 52:51
And then really well said continuous improvement having that Kaizen mentality and knowing that this is such a multidisciplinary challenge, it takes lots of experts to get done right is, is really important. And really having a good plan before before jumping in, from an environmental control perspective is critical as well, like don’t don’t expect to increase the light intensity, or like swap, swap out lights in your space from HPs led and expect the environment to be the same or to put another tier of racks in your room and expect the same environmental control equipment that you put in previously originally, to serve that purpose. Right. It’s, it’s all about it’s so dynamic in these, the environmental conditions change depending on lighting, genetics, plant density, where they’re at in the lifecycle, you really need to think through it strategically and make sure you’re bringing in experts to help you along the way.

Anthony Adkins 53:54
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s so good. Being in these conversations, of course, with both of you, Brian and Anthony, you know, higher yields really realize and understands the the power of an ecosystem, the power of partnership, the partnership, the power of development, and that mindfulness and consideration of our clients. You know, the things that really create differentiation for us as a consulting and professional services organization, you know, is being to evaluate is being able to bring clarity and certainty. You know, providing those roadmaps and developmental budgets and financial modeling, you know, really sets out to set us apart and customization customization really sets us apart in collaboration, you know, not only with our partners but with our clients. And we found that by doing that really brings that cost control mechanism into into play. Not just going to slap up and you know, template things out and say, oh, yeah, this is what you need. Right? And then, you know, overcharged for it. The expertise, you know, in terms of the collective is so important. Understand, because you really get into creative and innovative solutions. When you bring that expertise in, we’ve seen a lot of things, you know, and so we’re not basing things on guesswork or hope, right? We hope it works. You know, that sort of thing is they hope is not a strategy. But then the third thing is that phased approach, it’s really that kind of slow down to go fast as the totality of risk mitigation and investment protection. And always being able to, you know, make sure that you’re leaving that that openness or that opportunity, that that open mindedness in order to be able to adjust when need be when it when the evidence appears. And so very excited, of course, to be be working with you guys. And you know, excited about the future of the industry.

Bryan Hesterman 55:48
Absolutely. Well, I really appreciate you having us on me on today. And it was a lot of fun to have this conversation.

Adam Kulbach 55:56
Yeah. Well, thank thank you so much for being on. You guys are so so full of information. I feel like we could go for another couple hours. That’s right. I really appreciate it.

Bryan Hesterman 56:08
So thank you very much.

Anthony Domangue 56:11
Yeah, thank you to the higher yields for having us. This was an awesome talk. And just again, a little, little plug. If anybody is interested in post LEDs, you can contact us on our website or our social media pages, and we’ll get you taken care of.

Bryan Hesterman 56:29
Yeah, similarly with inspire inspire.ag is our website, we’ve got a great resources page, I’d point you to a couple of our webinars we did recently on mechanical systems for indoor plant environments. First, which is number seven on our resources page is on the plant. It’s a deeper dive into the concepts that I tried to highlight today. And then number eight is on the mechanical systems, right? How we how we size design, engineer, supply, implement, and help support these mechanical systems long into the future to get better yields higher product quality and lower cost of production.

Adam Kulbach 57:14
Okay, well, thanks again. Really appreciate it. Thanks, guys. Have a great day. You too. You too.