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AMA With Eric Eisele, Eli Bakofsky, and Adi Rao From GrowFlux

  • AMA With Eric Eisele, Eli Bakofsky, and Adi Rao From GrowFlux

  • When : Wednesday, September 5th at 11 AM PST

  • Topic: Latest LED Trends

GrowFlux is a horticultural technology and quality control solutions provider offering the first horticultural lighting and sensing platform with integrated quality management for large scale growers including legal cannabis producers, greenhouses, seed manufacturers, and biopharmaceutical manufacturers. GrowFlux products help growers implement much needed quality control protocols while boosting yields, improving quality and consistency, and saving energy.

Contact info:
www.growflux.com 2
www.linkedin.com/company/growflux 1
www.twitter.com/growflux

Vendor Corner: About the GrowFlux category

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I am super stoked for this AMA today! Guys, thanks for taking the time today to make this happen for GNET!

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I am going to fire off this first question here. So, I’ve been using your lights now for a few months and every day I’m amazed at the versatility of the fixture and software! There is so much technology built into these lights.

How did you find your way into the grow light business?

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We look forward to it as well! Thanks

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What does your team think is the biggest reservation growers have about adopting LED lights?

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Hello Growers Network! I’m Eric Eisele, the CEO of GrowFlux. We are very excited to be part of the GN community and are looking forward to hearing your questions, so fire away! We would love to chat about LED technology, energy efficiency, wireless, PAR, lighting standards, cultivation space design, CO2 sensors, vapor pressure deficit (VPD), or DLI control.

Growernick, to answer your question, I previously started a company which developed human circadian tunable lighting (sensors, lights, and wireless controls) for commercial buildings which I exited in 2012. I’ve always been peripherally involved in horticulture and started GrowFlux in 2014 when I started to see that, in my opinion, none of the LED companies in this space were heading in the right direction. Our earliest customers were drug manufacturers in the biopharmaceutical space, which is largely where our obsession for quality control and repeatability comes from.

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It sounds like you are in tune with the pulse of the industry and current market trends. The name of the game as we move into the future is going to be standard of purity. In my experience with these lights, you have made it much easier for the grower to achieve a high standard of purity over and over again.

How have your lights been received thus far by the cannabis industry? Why do you suspect the HID holdovers are still reticent to make the change to LED?

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Hunter – I think the biggest reservations customers have with regard to LED lighting is cost, yield, and intensity. There are of course other confounding factors such as spectrum, product quality, and the lack of industry standards that affect LED adoption, however cost, yield and intensity are the big ones.

First on cost, we generally see that more sophisticated growers are able to quantify cost savings and invest in LED lighting when the payback is multifold – in the form of smaller climate control systems, lower maintenance costs, and of course reduced energy consumption – even if there is a moderate reduction in yield. As costs continue to drop and efficiency in LED lighting improves, I think we will see more holdout growers convert, especially with new DLC requirements which mandate minimum efficiency of 1.8umol/watt.

On intensity: Not many manufacturers are honest about the fact that a brand new Philips DE HPS 1000W in a Gavita Pro delivers 2.2umol/watt. We see a lot of suspicious LED efficiency numbers out there, and are really looking forward to the implementation of programs such as the Horticulture Lighting Label which will require third party testing and labeling to comply.

Finally on yield, the best cultivators out there (in my opinion) can quantify all of their operating costs per batch (labor, lighting energy, climate control energy, fertigation, IPM, etc) against their yields and ensure that they are always operating as cost efficiently as possible. These growers are less focused on yield per square foot or yield per light and are more concerned with facility wide efficiency.

We will always have growers who are insistent on specific yield numbers per plant/light, and we can certainly accommodate them with 1000umol+/m2/s PAR intensity, however this isn’t always the most cost efficient strategy.

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Hi Growernic - Glad to hear that you are enjoying our lights and controls! We have been getting some great feedback from cultivators within the cannabis industry as well as horticulture researchers, commercial greenhouse growers, and biopharma drug manufacturers. I think one component that resonates the most with the advanced horticulturalists is our controls and extended tunable range. We offer the only product which is able to deliver consistent PAR over time and consistent PPFD across many spectrum settings. We are frankly surprised by the reception these features have garnered.

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Rightfully so! I expect the feedback to be very good as people become aware of all the functionality of your lights. It so far supersedes the competition as you can tune so many features within the cultivation environment with your lights/sensors.

I used HID lights for well over a decade and may have been one of the biggest holdovers…and LED detractors! It took a lot to sway me! As I began to experiment with some of the various high-end LED’s on the market I discovered the ability to tune the spectrum of some of the lights I was using allowed me to far better control aspects of cultivation a grower would never have been able to achieve with HIDs. Your light even exceeds the ability to tune the spectrum. These LED’s constantly run at 600 watts, regardless of the spectrum, am I correct?

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Hey GNET @memberdirectory, it’s time for another edition of our AMA. Today’s AMA includes a discussion with the gentleman from Growflux. Please come on over and join the party!

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We design our LED engines with more installed capacity than the 600W driver can address at any one time, so many spectrum settings ranging from broad spectrum red rich flowering to blue rich finishing are delivered with the light consuming approximately 610W AC.

You can see the installed power and specific LEDs we are using in our current FluxScale 600TL V2.0 here: https://www.growflux.com/fluxscale-all-resources

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Hello! I have some questions. What do you suggest for estimating the light intensity if one does not have a spectrum analyzer? Is there a rule of thumb to avoid light saturation? What are the hints/symptoms that you would look to see if the light is sufficient or not?
Do you happen to know strains that show vulnerability to light intensity significantly or other factors may be involved?

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Hi. I really enjoyed your GN article on Coefficient of Utilization which discusses the FluxScale reflectors. I particularly loved the section on the computer modeling you used to get your data, and now I’m just wondering if you’ve gotten any additional results/feedback from growers using your reflectors.

Thank you! You guys are awesome!

(My bad. The article was from your blog!)

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Hi Faezeh!

What do you suggest for estimating the light intensity if one does not have a spectrum analyzer?

We only recommend using PAR sensors, such as the Apogee MQ-500. PAR or PPFD should not be measrued with a Lux sensor or any DIY sensor. We are preparing to release our own low cost PAR spectrometer that is part of our sensor product suite; it measures PPFD and spectrum with 120 datapoints from 350nm-1000nm. The product is designed to remain in one place to accurately detect daily light integral from both natural light as well as artificial light from any source. See more here: https://growflux.com/parspec

Is there a rule of thumb to avoid light saturation?
What are the hints/symptoms that you would look to see if the light is sufficient or not?

I’d say know your plants and measure your lighting with PAR sensors. Get familiar with the DLI (daily light integral) necessary for your cultivar, especially in relation to your climate controls and fertigation plan. Measuring Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) will also help fine tune your lighting and climate controls. Getting a handle on this will help to avoid over lighting before you see the signs with your plants (leaf curl, bleaching, etc).

Do you happen to know strains that show vulnerability to light intensity significantly or other factors may be involved?

Some cultivars are happy in just about any conditions, while others can be extremely picky about microclimate and lighting. I’d recommend following growers who document their grows extensively (such as @Growernick). Based on feedback from other growers, you can surmise how your own cultivar may respond to your conditions. I’d also recommend getting familiar with your genetics since so many cultivars are closely related. For the genetics side of this, check out the Phylos Galaxy.

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Why should growers purchase your lights over the competition?

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Thanks for the AMA, GrowFlux. I wonder if you have any performance testing results to share with our community; and in particular do results indicate that the increase in yield quantity and quality offsets the cost of a GrowFlux system within a certain time frame? Thanks!

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Hi Eric,

Thank you for taking questions. I am curious about logging in to the network to monitor and make adjustments to the growing environment (i.e. hours, intensity, etc…)

I am curious if Growflux has incorporated increased security measures to protect the network from potential attacks?

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Thanks Chris, looks like you beat us to the punch with the link to the relevant blog post!

In response to your question, yes, we’ve been receiving encouraging feedback from our clients who are utilizing the reflectors in greenhouse settings. Proper planning is critical. A detailed and careful lighting plan design can lead to very high uniformity.

We put together exhaustive PAR maps for all of our lighting products which are specific to a variety of cultivation conditions (rolling benches, large square arrays, tents, etc). We do this so customers can understand how our products will perform specific to their growing conditions.

Check out our FluxScale 600TL V2.0 PAR map here: https://docs.growflux.com/products/FluxScale-600TL/V2.0/FluxScale%20600TL%20V2.0%20PAR%20maps.pdf

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Heyy Growflux Team! Thanks for hosting this AMA!!

What is PPFD and why do cultivators need to know about it?

Also, I’ve heard LEDs require slightly higher room temps, is this true?

Thanks!

~Kareenabis~
Success Coach

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