Published Link  

Client ····· California Lightworks
Subject ···· Grow Ohio case study
Formats ···· Web blog

My work for LED grow light company California Lightworks included this case study, documenting their technology's performance in a test run by Grow Ohio. I familiarized myself with both the science and technical language of the industry to communicate authentically to commercial growers, while remaining accessible to novice farmers. The goal for both audiences was to highlight California Lightworks as an authority in the market.

“Based in Columbus,
Grow Ohio
is a cannabis cultivator and processor dedicated to providing safe & consistent medical marijuana that meets the same strict standards as pharmaceutical medication.”


MegaDrive™ Lighting Technology Case Study


The operations of California Lightworks have grown quickly over the years, leading Grow Ohio to look for new ways of maximizing efficiency, without sacrificing any quality.

A big part of this new strategy involves swapping out many of their MH (Metal Halide) and HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) grow lights for LEDs, which often cost more upfront but run far more efficiently in the long run. But which LEDs to go with? For that question, Grow Ohio set up a trial between California Lightworks and three of our strongest competitors.


Testing the Difference: Head to Head

Grow Ohio tested the LEDs by dividing an indoor room of growing tables amongst the four companies chosen: California Lightworks, Gavita, Grower’s Choice, and PhotoBio. This gave them a clear side-by-side comparison for every aspect of the yield. Across all aspects— from mass, to bud growth to overall quality, California Lightworks’ LEDs were the clear standout; out-performing every other company we were tested against.

Grow Ohio then decided to test a full room of crops under California Lightworks’ MegaDrive technology. Compared to the rooms still outfitted with HPS lights, California Lightworks was again the clear winner, with the mass (both in terms of grams per square foot and grams per watt) and quality of the yielded crops surpassing those of the others.


The Project

Glass House started the first cycle in June of 2020. While there was still plenty of natural light out, the weather had been a bit foggy. This was the optimal time to see if supplemental lighting could help counteract subpar environmental conditions.

Glass House was able to set up two separate sections of their greenhouse—one with supplemental lighting and one without. Thanks to the computer-controlled conditions, they were able to keep all other parameters the same. This created the perfect environment for an side-by-side comparison. The only change between the two sections was the MegaDrive system, so any differences in growth and final yield could be attributed to supplemental lighting.


The Advantages of MegaDrive™


MegaDrive made it easy for Glass House Farms to add supplemental lights. The system is built to maximize efficiency while significantly reducing upfront and operating costs.

The secret is the MegaDrive’s 10,000 watt single power supply that takes incoming 480 volts through an independent breaker. This power supply is wall mountable, eliminating the need for power drops over the canopy. It is capable of running up to 30 400-watt LED fixtures. These fixtures come with dual spectrum control and separate channels for red and white, which can be dimmed from zero to 100%, either manually or automatically.

MegaDrive also comes with a wireless Bluetooth control system that operates independently or integrates with most popular environmental controllers. The cloud-based data communication system allows you to control functions from any Bluetooth device—and from virtually anywhere in the world.

All this made it easy for Glass House to quickly install and start running supplemental lighting. Hanging the lights was much simpler without having to run drops to every fixture. Controlling the lights via smartphones gave them a simple way to tweak light spectrums throughout the grow cycle as needed.

MegaDrive provided them a more convenient, lower cost option for testing the efficiency of supplemental lighting on their plants.

“The system is built to maximize efficiency while significantly reducing upfront and operating costs.”


Current Results and Future Plans

In just three weeks, there were already signs the supplemental lights were improving the yield. As the flowers began to grow, the buds were larger on the plants grown under the lights. They were also significantly larger than the plants growing under natural sunlight.

After the first harvest, Glass House saw a nearly 30% increase in finished product. This is particularly notable given these crops were harvested over the summer, where natural light is at its peak. They credited the efficiency of the MegaDrive system for this boost, particularly the adjustable spectrum control that allowed them to use red and white light at different points in the grow cycle.

Happy with the results, Glass House plans to continue to grow with MegaDrive Greenhouse Lighting Technology and have already done two more cycles using the lights. Glass House Farms is optimistic about both their own future and the future of California’s market in general. Already the third largest flower brand in the state, Glass House hopes to continue to expand their business through their dedication to continued innovation and experimentation.

“Already the third largest flower brand in the state, Glass House hopes to continue to expand their business through their dedication to continued innovation and experimentation.”