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.

IMG_3039.jpg

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.