Shine a Light

Special Report - Special Report: State of the Cannabis Lighting Market

October 5, 2021

Over the years, Cannabis Business Times has published articles emphasizing the importance of data collection and analysis in building strong, forward-thinking businesses. Both innovation and experimentation are limited without the capability to conduct an objective assessment.

That also is why CBT has conducted research studies and published reports like this “State of the Cannabis Lighting Market” report, now in its sixth year. While comparing data against past results can lead to new findings, being able to benchmark your operation against industry peers can reveal potential—and missed—opportunities. You can read more about the importance of data tracking in this feature.

In this year’s “State of the Cannabis Lighting Market” report, made possible with support from Fluence by OSRAM, CBT continues to delve into the cannabis industry’s lighting use, a key driver of both production and financial efficiency. This year’s study, conducted with leading third-party research organization Readex Research, asked cannabis cultivators about lighting types used at various growth stages, their plans for LED adoption in flowering (and what is preventing them from making the switch), growing with vertical racking systems, and more.

Among other findings and trends, this year’s data shows the continued growth of LED adoption across all plant stages. For the first time since this report first launched, more than 60% of growers who answered the questionnaire indicated using LED fixtures across all growth stages. In 2016, LEDs were in use by no more than 21% of growers across all growth stages.

One potential explanation behind what is driving this surge in LED fixture adoption is the ability to customize light output (in certain models). Both university researchers and experimentally minded cultivators have been investigating the impacts of various spectra and intensities on cannabis production. Mitchell Westmoreland, Utah State University researcher, and Jason Sanders, head of cultivation at Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation, explore their findings in this feature here.

With the industry continuing to turn to LED fixtures, opportunities to leverage cubic square footage through vertical systems has become more appealing. This feature offers tips and best practices from Fog City Farms and Proper Cannabis for those who have added vertical farming to their operations and those considering doing so. Building on the experience of others can be a good way to navigate the potential pitfalls and mistakes that can occur with any change in production methods.