How to Upgrade Your Old Grow Lights to LED at Little or No Out-of-Pocket Cost

Are you looking to take your cultivation efficiency to the next level? Do you want to enhance your quality while saving money on monthly overhead expenses? The solution might be simpler than you think. By upgrading your old grow lights to LED, you can experience a significant improvement in both plant health and energy efficiency.

What’s even better is that depending on your location, you may be able to make this upgrade at little to no out-of-pocket cost, thanks to energy rebate programs offered by local utility providers, municipalities and state agencies.

Here are some insider tips on how to upgrade grow lights to LED without causing major disruptions to your facility’s production and balance sheet.

The LED Advantage: Why Cannabis Cultivators Should Upgrade from HID to LED Lights

High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights have been the go-to choice for cannabis cultivation for years. However, these days, most growers know that the best cannabis in the world is now grown under LEDs, and for the most part, the only reason a grower wouldn’t upgrade to LED (other than being stubborn and resistant to change) is the cost to entry. Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology has emerged as the superior choice for many reasons:

Energy Savings for Cannabis Cultivators

While it’s true that HID bulbs such as Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) emit a lot of light, they also generate a lot of heat, which is wasted energy and further requires more energy use from the facility’s HVAC system. LED grow lights are incredibly energy efficient, consuming up to 50% less energy than traditional HID lights. This not only reduces your energy bills but also helps lower your carbon footprint.

Low Maintenance and Longevity

HID lights have a relatively short lifespan and require frequent replacement of bulbs and / or ballasts. LED lights, on the other hand, have an exceptionally long lifespan, often lasting more than 50,000 hours. This means fewer maintenance hassles and costs.

Heat Management

HID lights emit a significant amount of heat, which can lead to temperature control challenges in your growing environment. LEDs produce much less heat, making it easier to maintain optimal growing conditions. Additionally, reduced heat loads from grow lighting result in reduced air conditioning requirements. (Did you know that HVAC rebates are also a thing? We have more information on our blog.)

The Power of Energy Rebate Programs

Now, let’s delve into the exciting part—how you can upgrade your old grow lights to LEDs without breaking the bank. 

Many local utility providers municipalities, and state agencies offer energy rebate programs to incentivize energy-efficient upgrades. These programs are designed to encourage businesses and individuals to adopt technologies that reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability.

Imagine you’re eyeing Grow Generation‘s ION LED fixture, which retails at around $575 per unit and has a power consumption of 720 watts. In a hypothetical scenario where an available energy rebate program offers $1 per watt in refund, you could qualify for an impressive $720 in rebates for each fixture you purchase. 

This means that after applying the rebate, you’d net $145 per unit, easily enough to cover the cost of installation. In essence, you’d not only be upgrading to a more efficient and productive lighting solution but also getting paid to do so. 

A Premium Option: Fluence SPYDR 2i

Here at Next Big Crop, we’re a huge fan of Fluence and their SPYDR 2i fixture. While it comes with a higher initial price tag, ranging from $1,100 to $1,250 per fixture (less if you order through Next Big Crop), its performance and features are top-notch and the customer support you’ll receive through Fluence is unrivaled. With 630 watts of power consumption, this fixture could fetch you $630 back in rebates through the same $1 per watt program.

This means your out-of-pocket cost for the premium SPYDR 2i fixture would range from $470 to $620, depending on the purchase price. Given its unparalleled performance and the potential savings in energy bills, this investment makes a ton of sense for operators with a little more in the budget.

Beyond Grow Lights: More Rebate Opportunities

It’s important to note that energy rebate programs extend beyond just LED grow lights. Other equipment used in your commercial cannabis cultivation facility, such as HVAC systems and solar equipment, may also qualify for rebates. By identifying and capitalizing on these opportunities, you can create a comprehensive strategy to enhance your facility’s efficiency and sustainability, while minimizing your out-of-pocket spend—it’s a big win-win.

Stacking Incentives for Greater Savings

The good news doesn’t stop here. In some cases, you may be able to stack incentives from multiple sources to further enhance your savings. Imagine if your local municipality, energy company, and state cannabis agency all offer their own rebates. By taking advantage of all available incentives, you could significantly reduce the cost of your cannabis cultivation upgrade and amplify your financial gains.

Maximizing Cannabis Grow Light Rebates: Partnering for Success

While the prospect of receiving rebates for energy-efficient equipment upgrades is exciting, navigating the intricacies of energy rebate programs can be overwhelming, and certain steps and deadlines (like installation dates) must be met. To ensure you capture as much rebate as possible and make the most of these programs, it’s crucial to work with partners experienced in securing energy rebates. These experts can guide you through the available programs, help you understand the eligibility criteria, and assist in preparing the necessary documentation.

Embrace the Future of Commercial Cannabis Cultivation

Upgrading your old grow lights to LED isn’t just a smart decision—it’s a sustainable choice that benefits both your plants and your bottom line. 

So, whether you’re considering the Grow Generation’s ION LED fixture or the premium Fluence SPYDR 2i, the opportunity to transition to LED lighting while minimizing your out-of-pocket expenses is well within reach.  When significant energy savings are coupled with rebates that potentially cover most (or all) of the upgrade cost, the decision becomes a no-brainer.

For help identifying the right energy rebate programs for your operation, along with support in equipment selection, sourcing and financing, reach out to Next Big Crop today.