As the demand for cannabis and hemp-based products explodes nationwide, so does the need for growing space. In 2018, hemp growers in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have increased their demand for indoor growing space to enable them to grow year-round. Globally, the need for indoor agriculture has been compounded by toxic or weakened soil from over-farming, chemical spraying, loss of topsoil, and climate change. Indoor growing and lighting is Violet Gro’s entry point.
The increasing difficulty in keeping up with the cannabis industry’s rapid growth is driving more and more hemp growers inside. Violet Gro’s innovative lighting technology enhances growth and can specifically incorporate UV light to protect sensitive cannabis plants from harmful mold, mildew, and other pests. Research on UV light has also demonstrated that the incorporation of UV-A and UV-B light can drive increased production of cannabinoids.
Violet Gro is the sister company of Violet Defense, a dynamic next-gen indoor lighting technology company, headquartered in Florida, that deploys the revolutionary Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) system. The violet and UV light source in the S.A.G.E. products combine with an ultraviolet transmissive lens to produce greater photonic energy from surface to cells. Using the same photonic energy as the sun, the S.A.G.E. system kills up to 99 percent
Violet Gro applies this same lens technology to its LED grow lights, allowing more light to reach the plants at a lower energy requirement. This lens material also prevents fouling and degradation that occurs in many traditional horticulture lights. The Violet Gro 200W, 110-volt 8’ light only draws 1.8 amps — about 20 percent of the energy draw of a fluorescent sodium overhead office tube of the same length. When you’re talking thousands of lights in a grow facility, the reduced strain on electrical grids is enormous. Not to mention the cost. Most of all, the light promotes strong growth and deep plant protection.
“An indoor facility of 500,000 square feet might have 20,000 lights,” said Terrance Berland, CEO of Violet Defense. “Our product could save over 100,000 amps at that usage level compared to traditional lighting.”
When it comes to plant protection, “If you have a 20-acre farm and, say, 30,000 plants, and a pest problem, you could be $500,000 out of pocket,” said Kurt Kucera, President of Violet Gro, heading up its operation in Grand Junction, CO. “That doesn’t happen when the plants are grown indoors with our technology.”
“People have the opportunity to move indoors, which creates additional sustainability and all sorts of benefits,” Kucera continued. “Growers can minimize or eliminate their use of pesticides and herbicides. The use of water reduces significantly because moving indoors reduces runoff and evaporation — a big issue in the West. The bottom line: you harvest a safer, more organic product.”
Where do growers find indoor facilities to deploy the game-changing lighting technology? As they say, when one plant dies, another rises. The decline of brick-and-mortar retail has left many small- and big-box retail facilities empty, some warehouse-sized (think Sam’s Club). Growers and farmers are starting to snap them up, an unforeseen but tremendous benefit for indoor growing — and a prime operating spot for Violet Gro technology.
“We have clients looking at obtaining buildings, and we expect to see this increasing everywhere as we move our agriculture indoors to increase yield and be more sustainable in this changed climate,” Kucera said.
Feature Image: Violet Gro’s lighting technology (Courtesy of Violet Gro)