A perfect storm of circumstances has culminated in 2023 to wallop cannabis producers. In the past, cultivators could slap together cheap equipment, grow with their eyes closed, and still make a profit, but today's market uncertainties mean it's no longer possible to succeed by sheer luck alone.
How can growers survive? Leaning into cutting-edge technologies is one strategy — and there is perhaps no better example of this than the payoffs from LED horticultural lighting. LED grow lights maximize operational efficiencies, save on energy expenditures, and produce higher-quality harvests.
If you want to survive in this economy, now is the time to make equipment decisions for which your future self will thank you.
Although consumers remain blissfully unaware, the cannabis market has been in turmoil since 2021. Issues with banking, oversupply, and taxation have all had a dampening effect on an industry once heralded as the "green rush." Even in California, the country's largest market, sales have just fallen for the first time in its legal history.
Rachel Lerman, writing for the Washington Post, explained that the market "is flailing in many parts of the country as the pandemic boom that sent sales soaring has tapered off. Supply is now flooding the market in several states, economists say, depressing prices and decimating already-thin margins."
In the same article, she predicted that the market’s already highly competitive nature will only continue, "as decriminalization spreads, large growers adopt more cost-effective technologies and the illegal market not only endures, but thrives."
But the cannabis industry is far from its death throes. Yes, it's true that the "green rush" has transitioned into "The Great Reset," but this is the market working out the kinks.
MJBizDaily still predicts $33.6 billion in cannabis sales in the US this year. They also expect sales to nearly double by 2028. The truth is that more Americans smoke cannabis than cigarettes, which means cultivators still have a fruitful future, provided they buckle down to get through today.
So as a grower, you should ask yourself what investments you can make today that will pay dividends in the future. Instead of saving money over the short term on cheaper technologies and equipment, does it not make more sense to invest in solutions that will last longer and cost less operationally over the long run?
Enter TSRgrow's Advanced LED Lighting, a solution to help you future-proof your grow operation.
Not that long ago, LED lighting was plagued by bad press. It was difficult to sort through the sea of cheap imports to find legitimate LEDs that worked as stated.
Plus, LEDs were expensive, often prohibitively so. So even if growers could find high-quality LEDs that were equivalent to traditional grow lights, they were stuck with HPS based on excessive upfront costs.
But times have changed. As more growers have switched to LEDs, prices have come down and technology has gotten better. There is also increasing proof that LEDs grow high-quality cannabis for a lower cost over a fixture's lifespan.
If LEDs aren't already a part of your facility design, here are just a few arguments behind LED lighting as a long-term strategy.
The number one counter-argument against LEDs in the grow room has always been the higher upfront investment. In the early years, this was true. New LED technology came at a premium, especially compared with HIDs. But it's 2023 and the economics now lean in LED's favor.
LED substantial energy savings, combined with advanced grow room controls, helps operators increase yields, improve flower quality, and reap higher returns on the open market. All of which reduce the return on investment period to less than a year.
Plus, there are a growing number of rebates and incentive programs available for new builds and retrofits. Depending on the market and the project size, it's possible to save upwards of 50 percent of the project cost with these incentives. In a few cases, TSrgrow helped secure upwards of 70 percent of the project costs for their clients.
Need help maximizing your rebate potential? With years of experience helping growers build energy-efficient grow rooms, we'd love to help you find the most cost-effective solution.
It's common knowledge that LED lights are more energy efficient than their HID equivalents. In a controlled analysis published by researchers Devesh Singh and Chandrajit Basu, they reported that LEDs consume 166 percent less electricity per day than an equivalent HPS light. In the grow room on (12-hour-a-day for Veg and 12-hour-a-day for Flower) cycles, that quickly impacts a utility bill.
LED horticultural fixtures last significantly longer than their traditional counterparts. A longer lifespan means lower replacement costs and less downtime in the grow room.
As Singh and Basu et al. reported, HPS fixtures have an expected lifespan of just 2.2 years or 20,000 hours. In comparison, LED fixtures last more than twice as long: 5.7 years or 50,000 hours. If you are planning for long-term cost savings, doesn't it make economic sense to invest in lighting technology that won't fizzle out in just two years?
TSRgrows LED technology also reduces downtime and maintenance costs. Our fixtures have been engineered with Plug-n’-Play technology and a remote power server to make ongoing maintenance more efficient, less labor intensive, and less disruptive.
Today's cannabis industry is going through unprecedented turmoil, but the long-term outlook remains positive. If the current predictions hold, there will be continued growth year after year for the foreseeable future.
Will you still be around to capture this growth?
While other facilities are floundering, it's time to double down on your long-term strategy. That means taking a step back from the day-to-day to consider what equipment and technologies will give you an upper hand over the long run.
TSRgrow's LED lighting technology maximizes outcomes while reducing operational expenditures—an upfront investment that pays off in years to come. And this is just the start.
We integrate our advanced lighting technology into our TOTALgrow Solution. This turnkey system can manage everything in the grow room environment to achieve maximum growth at the lowest operational cost.
With TSRgrow's TOTALgrow Solution, your grow room's longevity is at the forefront of our engineering. Our technology includes grow room monitoring, integrated controls that regulate intensity and light for each strain, remote power servers, and reporting and metrics that support GMP. We are committed to providing you with a turnkey system that maximizes growth while reducing operational costs. Don't wait until it's too late to invest in your future, contact TSRgrow today.