Violet Defense Group Sets Its Sights on South Africa

Violet Defense Group, the parent company to Violet Defense, the UV germ-killing light company, and Violet Gro, the agricultural lighting company, is expanding its commercialization efforts into South Africa in collaboration with Logan Medical and Surgical (Pty) Ltd

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As Violet Gro looked at the opportunities to expand its commercial opportunities, South Africa became an obvious choice. After the Constitutional Court of South Africa decriminalized possession, use and cultivation of cannabis in private dwellings in September of last year, the CBD industry was off to the races. 

However, until recently, CBD was considered a scheduled substance by the Medicines Act, requiring a prescription to purchase products containing CBD.  In May, the Department of Health made a new declaration, now exempting all products that contain a maximum daily dose of 20 mg of CBD intended for “general health enhancement or relief” from the schedules to the Medicines Act. 

“We were already making inroads and getting a great response from growers in South Africa,” said Kurt Kucera, President of Violet Gro.  “These new rulings will open the door for even more growers to take advantage of our energy-efficient lighting solutions as they look to set up new facilities, as well as our UV lights that can help create healthier grow environments.”

LMS will be serving as the importer for Violet Defense Group for both its Violet Gro’s LED agricultural lighting solutions and Violet Defense’s line of UV disinfection products.

Read more about this collaboration in our press release.

Violet Gro Gets a Jump Start in the Grand Valley

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Violet Gro has been approved for the Colorado Rural Jump Start program, a statewide economic development initiative created to attract primary jobs to rural areas to spur diversification. In Mesa County, where Violet Gro has chosen to establish its Colorado operations, the program is a joint endeavor between the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT), the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) and the local academic partner, Colorado Mesa University (CMU).

We look forward to seeing Violet Gro’s impact on Grand Junction and Colorado’s hemp industry.
— Betsy Markey, Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade

As part of the program, Violet Gro will be partnering with CMU on developing and executing joint research efforts, creating internship opportunities for CMU students and facilitating educational initiatives around its agricultural lighting. This includes developing strategies for optimizing plant growth and enhancing plant benefits through their use of patented UV technology in Violet Gro’s products.

Read more about this joint endeavor in our press release:

Violet Gro LED Grow Lights Partners With Hyperponic on Their Fully Integrated Vertical Tower Growing System

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Violet Gro’s LED grow lights has been selected by Hyperponic as the primary light source for its fully integrated, patent-pending CropTower.

The Hyperponic CropTower is a technologically advanced growing system that provides growers with a complete computer-controlled environment and nutrition management system to facilitate increased quality and consistency, faster production, reduced space requirement and better yields at lower costs.

Hyperponic has been researching multiple lighting options that could support their goals of vertical growing with increased efficiency, lower cost, and more profit for its customers. In a head-to-head test, Hyperponic's team evaluated several lighting options, including Violet Gro LED Grow Lights, and has chosen Violet Gro as the primary lighting source for its patent-pending CropTower.

Read more about Violet Gro and Hyperponic’s partnership in our press release.

The Violet Gro LED Grow Lights give us consistent, high quality output with lower direct energy costs, and with substantially less heat, meaning lower HVAC costs for a facility.
— Doug Fyvolent, Managing Partner of Hyperponic

Lighting the Way to Better Cannabis, Violet Gro Works With Greener and Manx Farms in a Joint Effort to Develop Best Practices for Cannabusiness

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Violet Gro Inc. is teaming up to continue exploring the optimal use of its lighting technology for growing cannabis indoors.

Through a joint effort to develop best practices for producing pharmaceutical-grade cannabis, Violet Gro is working with Greener, an advanced analytics and energy management technology platform incubated out of the Harvard Innovation Lab, and Manx Farms, a grow collective based out of Los Angeles, California, dedicated to using best practices in every area of its cannabusiness.

Read more about this collaboration in our joint press release.

Lighting the Way to Better Hemp

Violet Gro teaming up with researchers to study effects of UV lighting

Violet Gro is working with researchers from University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) to further explore the use of ultraviolet light in indoor growing environments to identify the best ways to grow plants that produce compounds of medicinal and therapeutic value, including industrial hemp.

Last year, Violet Gro was featured in LED Professional Magazine, as a thought leader on the application of UV LEDs for horticulture.  The article, UV LED Technology for Emerging Applications in Agriculture discussed the advancements in UV LEDs that have made it possible to bring the additional benefits of ultraviolet light, particularly UV-B, to indoor agriculture.


UV light has been shown to drive increases in plant production of active substances in medicinal plants, including cannabinoids in industrial hemp, but also to help create healthier environments.  UV light can be used to reduce mold, mildew, and certain plant pests, all of which need alternatives to chemicals due to increasing fungicidal resistance.

In 2019, Violet Gro’s patented technology allowed it to develop a dedicated UV LED supplemental light that can deliver the spectrum and intensity of UV-B that plants need without experiencing the traditional lens and light source degradation from which their competitors suffer.  The light can be deployed in indoor grow facilities to bring these benefits throughout the grow cycle, or as needed.  Informal results from one farmer already evaluating the light had indicated the UV supplemental light helped him successfully deal with an aphid issue in one of his grow rooms. 

While prior studies have demonstrated the numerous benefits of UV light to indoor grow environments, there has been little research conducted specifically around the introduction of UV into indoor grow environments for hemp.  Fortunately for Violet Gro, researchers here in Florida are doing just that.  In 2018, the UF/IFAS launched its Industrial Hemp Pilot Project.  

Hemp has been identified as a potentially valuable and impactful alternative crop for Florida.  As part of our efforts to develop hemp management practices and cropping systems, we see UV light as a vital research topic that can generate key information and support a sustainable and viable hemp industry here in Florida.
— Roger Kjelgren, Professor, UF/IFAS

The research plan for the project focuses on three primary topics: “hemp varieties that grow across Florida, the development of management practices, and ways to mitigate the risk of hemp posing an invasive threat to state agricultural crops.”

Researchers from UF/IFAS MREC will be able to establish a grow room that incorporates the UV supplemental lights from Violet Gro in order to investigate the impact that ultraviolet light has on hemp at various stages of growth, as well as the health of the overall grow environment. 

Stay tuned for more information on what we learn through this exciting collaboration. 

Lighting: The Economics of Growing


Violet Gro has always approached its grow lighting a little bit differently than traditional lighting by focusing on the overall system economics. Traditionally, the cannabis industry has been associated with high expense from electricity to run its lights and then HVAC systems to cool the room back down.

By giving plants only the light they need, growers can maximize their profit by minimizing both their energy costs, in terms of lower electricity to operate the lights and lower cooling costs, and their long-term capital costs in terms of repair and bulb replacement, while still producing high quality plants.

The Cost Saving is Real - Much More Than Half
— Sonny Lopez, Thrive Farms

However, it can be challenging to convince people to take a different approach, even if it will ultimately help them come out ahead in terms of cost savings and ultimately profit.

One grower willing to take a closer look at the economics of growing was Sonny Lopez with Thrive Farms. He has found that Violet Gro lights allow him to grow high quality plants at nearly half of the electrical costs, which puts him ahead of the game, compared to traditional lighting.

Read the interview with Sonny in MMJ Daily on his journey to begin growing hemp and his experience with Violet Gro lighting.

Cheap Lighting Can Become Really Expensive

Indoor growing has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, including the addition of new players, particularly in the vertical growing space. "Regardless of whether a greenhouse or an indoor vertical farm is the right choice for your grow operation, a critical factor to understand is how the right choice in lighting can help address what may otherwise become hindrances to your long-term growth and profitability.”

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Learn more about the value of dedicated lighting or supplemental lighting in greenhouses, and how newer grow light options like that from Violet Gro can set up a grower for lower energy costs and less excess heat, which means fewer HVAC infrastructure and ongoing expenses.

Read more in our latest article in HortiDaily.

A Violet Future for Cannabis Growers


As the cannabis industry continues to explode, more and more growers are moving indoors to increase yields and grow year-round. That's where Violet Gro LED lighting comes in.

From incredible energy savings to emerging solutions that can help deal with plant pests that may result in huge crop losses, Violet Gro has the latest in LED lighting to help grow healthy, viable plants.

Read more about the latest trends in the Fall Issue of Cannabis & Tech Today or click here to see our online article.

Violet Gro at the 7th Annual THC Championship


On Saturday, September 29, Hemp Connoisseur Magazine hosted the 7th Annual THC Championships.  Violet Gro served as this year’s cocktail sponsor, allowing attendees to enjoy their signature 420 Violet Martini while leading companies in the industry competed for “best in class” recognition across over 20 categories.

Based on independent judging from industry connoisseurs and users; Connoisseur’s Choice, People’s Choice, and Overall awards were given out in areas including best flower,  best concentrates, best edibles, and best CBD products. 

The month-long judging process ended in “one of the biggest parties of the year for legal cannabis,” celebrating the achievements of numerous deserving companies.  It was truly a night to reflect on the ever-expanding professionalism of this industry as they work to advance the quality of cannabis products that are produced for both medicinal and recreational use.

The Violet Gro team was on site to help celebrate these achievements and to spread the word about our Violet Gro lighting.  Foundational to producing high quality finished products is ensuring that you start with high quality cannabis plants, which require the right type of lighting.  Violet Gro’s LED lights give plants the light they need, but with less heat and lower energy than traditional indoor lighting.  We are excited to continue to partner with more and more cannabis growers to help them light the path to better growing.

Joining the presenting sponsor, TotusMJ, along with other event sponsors Cost Plus Hydroponics, and Cannabolish, we would like to congratulate all of the winners.  Special thanks to the organizers at Hemp Connoisseur for putting on an incredible event.

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For more information about our lighting products, visit

The Role of Indoor Agriculture in the Global Food Challenge: How The Farmory and Violet Gro Are Working Together on a Solution

Growing Food Demand

Food demand throughout the world is growing rapidly with estimates that world population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050.   To meet that growth, the world will need to increase its global food production by 70% according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 

Given the existing strain on farmland and natural resources worldwide, we cannot simply expand the amount of farmland and expect this global challenge to be solved.  With the traditional farming workforce declining and the lack of access and affordability of starting farms keeping many new farmers away, it is necessary to look at new solutions and new approaches to food production.

Lack of Access to Fresh, Healthy Food

We need a radical solution, which is to re-engineer our agricultural system.
— Duncan Cameron, Professor of Plant & Soil Biology, University of Sheffield

Much of the solution to date to increase the food supply has involved shipping our food farther and farther.  On average, an apple could travel over 1,555 miles and has typical storage time of 9-12 months.  Does a year-old apple still keep the doctor away?  

According to Brian Halweil at Worldwatch, “the farther we ship food, the more vulnerable our food system becomes.”  It’s estimated that foods are losing up to 45% of their nutritional value during transport and that 23.5 million people in the U.S. have limited access to fresh, affordable, healthy foods – living in “food deserts”. 

So not only does our means of production need to change, but we also need radically rethink our means of supply chain and distribution.

Wouldn’t it just be easier if we could grow the food right next to where it was going to be consumed, and do so with available land that, heretofore, would never be considered for agriculture?  Well we now can through the advent of high production indoor farming.  

The Move to Indoor Agriculture

The solution to many of our food challenges “can be achieved by investing in technology, thus helping increase food production without compromising quality,” says Charles Sissens, Analyst with Global Data.  The technology behind indoor agriculture not only has the opportunity to make healthy, fresh food accessible, but there are tremendous advantages to the growing process itself.

Indoor agriculture is a controlled environment that enables year-round production, with meaningful reductions in the use of pesticides and herbicides, and substantial reductions in the use of water.  It’s estimated that indoor growing, on average, uses only about 5% as much water as conventional farming.

The combination of the environment and technology means indoor growers can produce yields approximately 7-32 times that of traditional growing, depending on the crop.

The Vision for the Farmory

One such group with a vision to bring the value of indoor agriculture to its community and beyond is the Farmory, a campaign to bring local, sustainable, and indoor agriculture to downtown Green Bay and the larger Northeast Wisconsin region. By converting an empty former armory building into a 20,000 square foot indoor vertical aquaponics farm and fish hatchery, this non-profit will offer fresh fish and produce year-round, and provide area residents with job skills, entrepreneurship opportunities and educational resources on high tech agriculture careers and sustainability.

The Farmory (Before)

The Farmory (Before)

The Farmory (After)

The Farmory (After)

The Farmory’s team is working to invigorate the local food system on the institutional level and is already producing and distributing 200 pounds of organic, sustainably grown food per year, with just one small grow system in operation. Once fully operational, the Farmory will be producing over 100,000 pounds of mixed salad greens and 40,000 market sized yellow perch per year. In addition, The Farmory will provide up to 700,000 fingerlings to prospective fish farmers in the area, invigorating the local aquaculture and aquaponics economy. Food from the Farmory is already being sold to local schools and restaurants.

Value of Partnerships

As part of its approach, The Farmory is located in the urban center of Green Bay and puts great value in partnerships, community connections, and the power of volunteers.  For example, through hands-on volunteer opportunities, classroom lessons, and workshops, The Farmory inspires people to grow food and consider a career in agriculture.  The Farmory’s high tech vertical aquaponics systems will be cared for by 200 volunteers year-round.  This will enable community residents of all ages and abilities to learn skills and get hands-on training in an urban farm. 

Another important partnership is in the research and development of the growing systems themselves.  The Farmory is a nonprofit social enterprise that has relationships with the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and other institutions to become a real living laboratory for new applications in sustainable aquaponics and agricultural systems.

Lighting the Path to Better Growing

One of the most important factors in any indoor agricultural system is lighting.  Some farmers may be hesitant about indoor growing, expecting huge expenses from both energy costs to run the lights and cooling requirements to dissipate the heat they create.  Traditional indoor ag lighting, such as High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights require extensive amounts of electricity to operate (up to 1000W each), including a large electrical infrastructure to handle such electricity demand.  They are also extremely hot, reaching up to 750 degrees on the surface,  and raising room temperatures 15-30 degrees (which then has to be addressed through large and expensive air conditioning infrastructure). 

Violet Gro lights at The Farmory

Violet Gro lights at The Farmory

However, not all lighting is the same.  Violet Gro LED lighting, which is currently partnering with the Farmory on improving their growing design, believes in finding ways to improve the system economics of growing by reducing a farmer’s total cost of ownership of lighting.  Violet Gro’s patented technology enables the LEDs to be in direct and immediate contact with our specialized lens material.  This cutting-edge design provides plants with more light at lower energy usage and with minimal heat production.  Projected cost savings for Violet Gro lights over traditional lighting are up to 70% while still providing the spectrum of light needed to produce optimal plant growth and vibrancy.

 Ability to Incorporate Ultraviolet Light

Another great aspect of the partnership with Violet Gro is their knowledge and understanding of ultraviolet light, which can be used to trigger specific plant responses, such as increased nutritional, taste, and medicinal compounds as well as improving the ability to  control plant mildew, mold, or other pests – reducing the need for pesticides and herbicides.  Learn more about the value of UV LEDs for agriculture in Violet Gro’s article in LED Professional magazine. 

Aquaponics also benefits from UV light by helping disinfect and protect against plant algae or other bacteria in the water.  Violet Gro hopes to partner with The Farmory to research and develop a UV light solution that will not only protect the farm and aquaponics systems but will also avoid some of the pitfalls of legacy UV systems in terms of efficiency and maintenance requirements.  Since the lens used by Violet Gro will not foul and degrade over time, you should experience a longer lifetime and less maintenance than other similar solutions. 

To learn more about The Farmory and their mission, visit and for more information on what makes Violet Gro lights stand apart, visit

UV LED Technology for Emerging Applications in Agriculture

With the technology advancements in UV LED Market and the ability to expand into new applications, such as agriculture, the UV LED market is projected to grow to over $1 billion by 2025.  UV light can increase production of active substances in medicinal and traditional plants, but some considerations need to be in place.

Terrance Berland, CEO of the Violet Defense Group, the parent company of Violet Gro explains in the latest edition of LED Professional Magazine, the re-design considerations needed to fully take advantage of the capabilities of UV LEDs, especially utilizing the appropriate lens material.

Read more about considerations for incorporating UV LEDs into agriculture

Read more about considerations for incorporating UV LEDs into agriculture

Violet Gro is actively partnering with growers through our research consortium in Colorado to test the benefits of incorporating UV light into their grow process.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of UV to horticulture, including better control of mold, mildew, and other plant pests, contact us.  

Violet Gro Featured in The Business Times


Headquartered in Celebration, Florida, Violet Gro also has tremendous presence in the Grand Valley, including efforts to evaluate the use of ultraviolet lights in hemp production with a consortium of local growers.

We are excited to be a part of this research to evaluate UV as a way to not only further improve the quality of our product, but also address some of our biggest challenges —including spider mites, which are a huge threat to our crops.
— Margaret MacKenzie, Salt Creek Hemp Co.

Read more about these efforts in the Business Times article.

For more information about Violet Gro’s research efforts, contact us.

Violet Gro Featured in Grand Junction Sentinel

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Violet Gro was created as an offshoot of Violet Defense Technology, which has developed UV light technology to help kill bacteria in the medical field. Violet Gro President Kurt Kucera said Grand Junction became an ideal location for the company's new home because of the connections already in place.

"It's really exciting and we've got a lot of connections in Grand Junction and Montrose and into Durango," Kucera said.

Read more about the work going on in Grand Junction in the Sentinel Article.