In the context of technological progress in the horticultural lighting sector, what is your perspective on the adoption of innovative methodologies such as the use of interlighting technology for the medical cannabis industry?

Cannabis growing has traditionally used top lighting as supplemental light (if greenhouses) or full light source (if fully indoor) for the crop. What we have learned from open fields is that naturally plants don’t receive light only directly from the top, the planet functions as a gigantic greenhouse where light transmission surrounds the entire crop if at full sun exposure.

In other crops, Interlighting (IL) was the first LED horticulture light we launched, to try to mimic in part and bring lighter into shadowed areas. Cannabis being a light loving crop it was only natural for us to test it. It was remarkable to see that bringing IL into the crop resulted in more robust plants, where light is used to swell flowers that with only top light in, balance top light with IL and bring more yield and flower quality at a much higher energy efficiency than ever before. Even in greenhouses with no supplemental light, it could be a first step to improve yield and flower quality at a low energy investment when compared to top light current high light levels.

With appropriate designs and plant densities we can definitely change the way this plant grows at hopefully a more sustainable level. It is LED, so heat is no longer an issue, so you can bring light closer to the crop. This is one of several solutions we hope growers will embrace in the future of cannabis growth.

Sabrina Carvalho, Cannabis Plant Specialist at Philips Horticulture LED Solutions (Signify)