This Luminaire Provider Says Science is Lighting the Way Forward for Cannabis

Photo courtesy of Fluence by OSRAM

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

Fluence by OSRAM is using science to convince cannabis growers that broad-spectrum LED lights are the best way to increase their yields.

The Austin-based company’s founders Nick Klase and Randy Johnson discovered that broad-spectrum, white light best mimics sunlight, which in turn is more effective for growing cannabis than light sources that feature higher blue or red content, said Fluence CEO David Cohen, who joined Fluence in 2018 after more than 20 years in the broader LED industry.

But don’t take Cohen’s word for it. Fluence is so confident in the science behind its lighting solutions that it supports studies proving its technology is superior to conventional lighting and has found that more cultivators are adopting LED lighting.

The 6th annual “State of the Cannabis Lighting Market,” produced by Cannabis Business Times with support from Fluence, found that 69% of participants are using LEDs during propagation, compared to 33% who used fluorescent lights, 22% who use high-pressure sodium fixtures and 13% who use metal halide lights.

The study also found that 63% of growers who are not currently using LEDs during flowering are considering implementing the solutions in the next 12 months, and 15% said managing energy costs is the greatest challenge when considering LED lighting. 

“We are dedicated to leading with science and research,” Cohen said. “We’re always striving to evaluate and optimize lighting strategies so we can go to the growers with tangible evidence. Data-backed research is effective in showing growers what their return on investment is going to be.”

In the Spotlight?

It’s a strategy that appears to be working for the company.

Cohen said Fluence’s revenue has doubled almost every year since he took the helm in 2018. Data collected by the company shows that investment in cannabis cultivation will grow through 2025 and that some of the best cultivators are switching to LED lighting.

“Our technology platform and what we have perfected has proven to be the standard in cannabis growing,” Cohen said. “Now, everybody is using broad-spectrum solutions.”

Fluence’s lighting technologies are ideal for vertically integrated companies such as Canopy Growth Corp. CGC, Tilray TLRY, and Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB.

Although the cost to purchase LED lighting is 5 to 10 times as much as conventional lighting, the amount of energy saved and long lifespan make it attractive to growers, Cohen added. LED lights last for about 50,000 hours — or about 10 years — before you have to change them. 

Fluence’s background in cannabis has also helped it to grow in the commercial agriculture industry. What works specifically for cannabis growing could be effective across many different types of plants. Another advantage to LED lights, according to Cohen, is that they help plants produce higher yields than conventional lighting methods.

“If your plant typically grows, say, 10 pounds of tomatoes, we can provide a lighting strategy that yields 12 pounds, faster,” Cohen said. “LED lighting really changed the market, transforming a lot of high-volume grows from high-pressure sodium lights to LEDs.”

Fluence's continued investment in global crop research informed the launch of its newest luminaires and controls set to debut in 2022. The company unveiled numerous new products—including its high-output SPYDR 2h luminaire, SHYFT Light Scheduler, and others—at MJBizCon, the world’s largest cannabis industry trade show.

“We had an unbelievable response from our customers,” he said. “MJBizCon was a great opportunity for us and solidified our partnership with growers throughout the industry.”

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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