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[Case Study] New Greenhouse LED Grow Lights at Harborside Farms

Greenhouse LED Grow Lights

Greenhouse LED grow lights are no longer a nice-to-have feature for today’s greenhouse grower. In order to compete in a fast-advancing industry, commercial greenhouses must have supplemental lighting. No one understands this fact better than the team at the iconic Harborside Farms.

As one of the most respected growers in the industry, Harborside Farms is under constant pressure to maintain the quality their customers have come to expect. Harborside’s success has also meant rapid expansion over the last two years, including new stores and a new grow facility.

Having already achieved great results using the California LightWorks SolarSystem 550 in their greenhouses, the Harborside team decided to work with us again for their new greenhouse. This time, they equipped their facility with our GH Pro 340, designed specifically for greenhouse applications.

Harborside general manager Doug Brothers tells us the goal for his new greenhouse is to hit a minimum light level of 750 μMols. That’s high for a greenhouse. In fact, it’s comparable to the light levels of indoor facilities . . . and cannot be consistently achieved by sunlight alone.

“The sun goes down at 4:00 in the winter,” Brothers says. “What are we going to do until 6:00? Your lights are going to give us that indoor quality twelve months out of the year.”

Let’s take a closer look at why and how Brothers and his team have made the GH Pro 340 part of their growth strategy.

 

 

The Challenges to Overcome with Greenhouse LED Grow Lights

The first great challenge Harborside faces is expansion. Demand for their product is on the rise, and industry trends suggest that demand won’t let up any time soon.

While this is the problem every grower dreams of, it is also a dilemma. How can an operation that is known and loved for its organic, boutique-quality product:

  • Increase yields across the entire year
  • While maintaining industry-leading product quality
  • Without sinking all their gains into building a facility that can meet these needs?

This is where the GH Pro 340 comes in.

 

The Solution: GH Pro 340 Greenhouse LED Grow Lights

The GH Pro 340 is designed specifically for greenhouse applications. This unit features the most advanced LED technology to guarantee great results with proper use. We’ve also taken advantage of tech innovations to make installation and operation as cost-effective as possible.

Notable benefits include:

Two-Channel Wireless Spectrum Control

Each of our greenhouse LED grow lights features full-spectrum white light on one circuit and 660 nm red light on the other.

The white/blue light provides necessary supplementation to ensure Brothers hits that 750 μmols target every single day during veg. It’s also helpful when the blackout curtains are closed.

The red light is a huge benefit for a greenhouse, because plants get very little red light from natural sunlight in the winter. Since red is a power player in the flowering phase, greenhouse yields depend on supplemental red light.

But it’s not enough to have both red and white light available. Growers must be able to control how much of which spectrum their plants receive at what time. With the GH Pro 340, spectrum control is amazingly simple.

Each individual fixture features a built-in clock and programmer, allowing growers to program and schedule spectrum changes down to the minute.

Our greenhouse LED grow lights also include light sensors that read current sunlight levels and automatically dim to balance the total light available. Plants receive consistent light throughout the day and all year long. And achieving that consistency is extremely easy thanks to our biggest innovation:

Bluetooth Mesh Technology

With the help of our wireless partners, we’ve made it possible to control the GH Pro 340 wirelessly through Bluetooth Mesh Technology.

This innovation allows growers to program their lights and establish communication between fixtures, sensors and the central control hub, all without laying a hand on the devices themselves and eliminating expensive hard wiring to central controllers.

Thanks to Bluetooth Mesh, Brothers can manage thousands of lights in a single network. He accesses the controls through a gateway on his wireless device. The gateway is easy to use and allows him to communicate with each zone or network independently.

He can even control the lights through the cloud when he’s away from his facility.

 

High Efficiency

Our 340-watt greenhouse LED grow lights are made with the latest generation of Osram LEDs. These LEDs offer up to 3.0 micromoles/joule, making them the among the most efficient in the industry. And thanks to the spectrum control and light balancing features, growers never waste energy on light their plants won’t use.

Plus, the GH Pro 340 has a compact, linear design to reduce the shadow effect. Plants still have optimal access to natural light.

No wasted light, no wasted power.

 

Easy Installation and Operation

Our design team has worked hard to make the GH Pro as easy as it is effective. This starts with our fully integrated drivers, eliminating the need to mount external drivers when installing lights.

These greenhouse LED grow lights are also daisy chainable, allowing Harborside to piggyback up to ten lights from a single power drop.

Then, once the lights are up and running, there’s very little work to do in terms of maintenance. The GH Pro 340 is passively cooled so it has virtually no moving parts. We also designed the unit to have high resistance to humidity and direct dripping.

From spectrum technology to housing design, our team has done all they can to provide a reliable solution for growers like Harborside.

Now for the big question. Did it work?

 

How Did Harborside Fare with Our Greenhouse LED Grow Lights?

We visited the new greenhouse at Harborside Farms to see both the installation of the GH Pro and the final results.

The greenhouse is a clear reflection of Harborside’s long-standing dedication to quality cultivation. We’ve seen many commercial greenhouses over the years, and this one is the cream of the crop.

It’s a 50,000 square foot Venlo Greenhouse split into five different houses. Each house features drop down shade curtains and blackout curtains to isolate the house as needed. They are all equipped with automated vent roofs for humidity control. In additional to massive wall fans and water curtains, air is also circulated underneath each bench with specially designed air flow tubes. Heat is supplied both by traditional forced air heaters and radiant heat built into the floors.

In all regards, Harborside has designed this facility to compete. We wanted to know if Brothers and his team felt that our greenhouse LED grow lights supported this goal.

Installation

During installation, we speak with Chase Matthews and Anthony Ramos of Palmer Electric. We want how installing the GH Pro 340 compares to installing other grow lights.

Ramos is quick to explain that our greenhouse LED grow lights simplify installation significantly over HID grow lights. The GH Pro 340 is around 340 watts, versus the 1,000-watt HIDs. As Ramos explains, HID installation requires one contactor for each lamp and one circuit for every one or two HIDs.

“Because the California LightWorks lights come supplied with customer made connecting cables, everything is plug and play,” he says. There’s no strapping or hanging of cords. It’s exceptionally easy. Matthews communicates a similar sentiment.

“When we were thinking about the construction project, we were thinking, ‘Man, how are we going to build all this infrastructure in this short time period?’” he says. “Then we found out we were dealing with Cal LightWorks lights. The cost you’re saving on this particular light . . . the cost on labor, the cost on parts, we don’t have to build any contractors or do any relay logic . . . that saved an incredible amount of time.”

Ramos also acknowledges that the advanced spectrum control feature does not complicate installation in the least.

The integrated Bluetooth Mesh technology accounts for this simplicity. The Harborside team can communicate with receivers in the lights through the wireless gateway. And each greenhouse has five gateways that connect to one data switch and provide data to the Internet.

It’s that simple.

 

Operation

We return to Harborside’s new greenhouse three weeks into flower. Brothers gives us the tour and shows us his crop, which is as robust and thriving as you’d expect from an industry-leading grower.

“Yesterday, the fog came in and didn’t leave until 10:30,” Brothers says. “We barely had 150-200 umols of light in our houses [without supplemental lighting]. Now the lights can kick on and we have 750 μMols. We’re pretty excited about that.”

He tells us he’s been testing the GH Pro in a bay side-by-side with a competing light to gauge how each light performs in winter. He can already tell the GH Pro 340 is the high performer.

“The coolest thing you guys developed that I was struggling with was the ability to dim the white light and go directly to red as the sun is coming up,” he says. “To me, that was the tipping stone.”

He’s also happy with the ability of our greenhouse LED grow lights to complement—not compete with—their fine-tuned environment. The team has successfully maintained temperatures of 72-74 degrees and 50-55 percent humidity during the day.

“And that’s without any of our humidity systems turned on,” he adds.

It seems the GH Pro 340 has made installation and operation exceptionally easy for Brothers and his team. But what about the big question? Is Harborside getting the results they need to hold their own in an increasingly competitive market?

 

Current Results and Future Plans

As Brothers mentioned, he tested the GH Pro 340 side-by-side with competing white LED lights. The results? The GH Pro cultivated a 20% higher yield.

Doug Brothers expect that our greenhouse LED grow lights will play an even greater role in this new facility.

Fortunately, it couldn’t be easier to add or adjust our lights. Due to the modular design, there is no need to change the wiring.

Unlike competing LED fixtures that each require their own power drop, the GH Pro can be moved simply by unclicking the cable. The wireless Bluetooth technology still recognizes where the lights are and what groups they belong to.

At California LightWorks, our goal is to provide lighting solutions that help commercial growers produce high yields and exceptional quality. We’re happy we can help Harborside maintain the legacy they’ve worked so hard to establish.

If you’re wondering if the GH Pro might be the lighting solution you’re looking for, please reach out. We’ll talk through the needs of your facility and even provide a free greenhouse light plan with no obligation.

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