Brett Stevens, CEO and Alex Gerard, CTO
Lighting is a huge part of commercial cannabis cultivation. HPS lights have long been the industry standard. But in recent years, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs for short, have carved out their place in the cannabis world as they are quite beneficial in terms of increased efficiency, cost savings, higher light intensity, and a level of control over the lighting spectrum, which is impossible with HPS. In this particular edition of agtech, Agri Business Review is featuring Nevada-based Fohse who has emerged as a key player in this space by solving impediments and overcoming indoor cultivating complexities.
Fohse has already created a name for itself in the world of indoor horticulture lighting application and research. The company engineers and manufactures LED grow lights specifically for commercial cannabis agriculture. Over the past five years, the Fohse team has been working closely with cannabis cultivators across the United States and Canada. “In a typical large facility, we run into power constraints as electrical consumption can be taxing on the power grids but we help our clients get the maximum amount of light with higher efficiency,” says Brett Stevens, CEO of Fohse.
The firm has developed the technology and growth methodology to outgrow HPS consistently. Whether the environment is a single-tier indoor farm, a vertical farm, or a greenhouse, Fohse provides both the LED technology and onsite staff training to ensure client success. The company’s flagship product, A3i model (1500 Watts), is best suited for single-tier indoor grows. “You can maximize your light levels, and there is also a variable spectrum in the fixture,” adds Alex Gerard, CTO of Fohse. This essentially means one can bring in plants out of a vegetative area into a flower room and start with a similar spectrum of the vegetative area and slowly shift into the flower spectrum as the plants start adapting and flowering. Fohse has also developed a smaller package of the A3i model called the Aries (640 Watts) for clients who want to fit it in smaller locations.
Fohse’s F1V model is an optimal light that finds its sweet spot in vertical racks or multi-tiered setups. “It is very efficient, compact, and fits right into racks similar to Pipp’s racking, and rolling style vertical racks, among others,” adds Gerard. The O6i model is a compact high power greenhouse light fixture built on a small physical footprint so that it does not block natural sunlight in a greenhouse. “We have kept it very small but yet have 1200 Watts to produce a lot of light and cover large canopy footprint,” adds Gerard. The O6i model also interacts with sensors that monitor natural sunlight, and during sunrise, sunset, or different weather conditions such as storms, it can brighten and dim different areas of the greenhouse as per requirements. “We also have an additional low power greenhouse light house fixture called the Pleiades (320 Watts) as there is a wide variety of greenhouses,” adds Gerard.
We help our clients get the maximum amount of light with higher efficiency
Since there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for commercial lighting for a cultivation facility, Fohse works closely with clients, understands their goals, and grows inside and out to design the best lighting system based on their unique needs. For instance, The Grove, a vertically integrated cannabis business, first caught word of the record-breaking cannabis yields being grown regularly under the A3i LED grow light by fellow grow teams around the country. Mike Howard (Director of Cultivation, The Grove) immediately switched to Fohse lighting, and the A3i system generated an average of 27 percent more light compared to the HPS fixtures. This additional light led to an increase in dry yield harvest weights by a whopping 65 percent. All of this, while using 16 percent less energy than the HPS lighting it was compared to and in the same physical footprint of space with the same number of plants.
“Being able to work with our clients and see almost immediate results gives us the motivation that drives us day-to-day,” states Stevens. Whether be it engineering or plant science, Fohse stresses hiring and working with the best people to bring real and market-disrupting value to this industry. Forging ahead, the company aims to keep growing and scale globally as indoor organic ag and plant-based products are gaining traction worldwide. “We are competitive and passionate about this industry and we try to make the best decisions which pushes R&D forward and our prices down for the customers,” concludes Stevens.