There is more marijuana being grown right now than ever before in legal recreational and medical marijuana states. In my home state, Oregon, there are industrial gardens all over the state from Eastern Oregon to the Oregon Coast and from Portland to Ashland and everywhere in between. It’s truly mind blowing. One thing that growers and I talk about all of the time is the carbon footprint of the industry. A lot of growers in legal states grow outdoors, but many more don’t because of climate issues in their areas.
All of those indoor gardens use a lot of energy. I heard a figure awhile back from an energy industry expert that estimated that one percent of all energy in the United States is used by indoor marijuana gardens. And that claim was made before there were any recreational marijuana states in America, and I’d imagine that proportion of energy consumption has grown and will continue to do so as the industry and right to home cultivation spreads. The biggest users of electricity in any indoor garden are the lights, and to a lesser extend cooling equipment. I once visited an industrial garden that had 110 1,000 watt lights in use, and as many fans as could fit into the warehouse alone with some beefy AC units. When I asked what his electricity bill was, the owner of the garden just laughed and said ‘you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, it’s that high.’
Indoor gardens are great, and in fact I’m thinking about starting my own now that all Oregon residents can grow up to four plants for recreational use. But I want to do it in a sustainable way. Plus I like saving money, so anythings I can do that are cheap and better for the environment I try to do because it’s a no brainer. That’s how I feel about LED lights. LED lights of course have their plus and minuses compared to other lighting setups, but the lower energy usage and lower energy bill that come along with using them is undeniable. The lights use less power, and put off less heat, which means you don’t have to run as many fans and AC units.
More and more industrial gardens are going all LED everyday. Growers send me pictures all of the time showing me lush gardens under the redish glow of LED lights. The lights cost more upfront, but the bulbs on them last way longer, and when combined with the energy savings, more than pay for themselves over the long haul. Smaller home growers may not paying a little extra and use other lighting setups, but industrial gardens that use triple digit lights definitely need to think about saving money, which makes sense why so many gardens are going LED.
And if helping the environment or saving money isn’t incentive to go all LED, looming law changes should serve as motivation to consider using LED lights. Municipalities, counties, states, and likely even the federal government is going to step in eventually and put caps on the amount of energy a garden can use. Anyone who thinks that they are going to run warehouses full of high energy consuming bulbs forever into the future are far more optimistic than I am. America’s power grid is old, and the growing energy consumption rate of the industry is far from sustainable, and elected officials know it. I know that’s why many of the largest industrial gardens operating in America right now use LED lights. Those companies are smart and want to get out ahead of things.
Not all LED lights are created equal. By far the best ones I’ve seen in operation are Heliospectra LED grow lights. I know several industrial facilities that use only Heliospectra grow lights with great success. The upfront cost is more than made up by the energy savings, and the plants love them. If you are looking to lower your indoor garden’s carbon footprint, whether if it’s a one light garden or a warehouse sized garden, you should seriously check out Heliospectra lights.