Switch from HPS to LED Lighting

[Case Study] Harborside Farms LED Grow Lights

Harborside Farms LED Grow

At California LightWorks, we have a true passion for cultivation and for supporting dedicated growers as they nurture their crop and perfect their product. That’s why we love to check in on growers . . . find out how their grows are doing, learn about their goals and priorities, and discover how their operation has been influenced by the use of California LightWorks products. 

We recently visited FLRish Farms, a converted, 52,000 square foot greenhouse facility in Salinas, California. As a long-time major supplier to Harborside—one of the oldest and most respected cannabis companies worldwide—the team at FLRish Farms hold themselves to the highest professional standards. Their reputation and continued success depend on their ability to keep up with the latest innovations in cultivation. So we at California LightWorks were especially proud when these industry leaders chose to equip their greenhouse operation with 2,250 of our SolarSystem 550 LED grow lights.

We were even more thrilled when we visited FLRish Farms and saw how their product flourished under our supplemental lighting. And, as is often the case, we were inspired by the exceptional work the team is doing to cultivate a quality product. 

Here’s a closer look. 

FLRish Farms Greenhouse and Harborside


FLRish Farms represents the cream of the crop when it comes to greenhouse production facilities. As one of the state’s largest multileveled integrated cannabis companies, FLRish cultivates, processes, manufactures, distributes, and retails products in multiple facilities all over California. Their greenhouses rise to the highest standards for indoor cultivation, including sanitary conditions, procedures, pest management, and environmental controls. When we visited in 2018, the team was preparing to begin production in their brand new Venlo greenhouse featuring state-of-the-art glass, heated floors, rolling benches, and—of course—supplemental LED lighting from California LightWorks. Now, in 2019, FLRish has merged with Harborside as part of a reverse takeover.

The team at FLRish Farms has been supplying quality products to Harborside for quite a while. Named “The Best Dispensary in California” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Harborside has become a well-known brand within the industry. The company was originally founded in 2006 as a nonprofit dispensary and has been a pioneering force at both state and national levels. Harborside was granted one of the first six medical cannabis licenses awarded in the United States. They made the first legal cannabis sale in California. And they now serve upwards of 300,000 patients. On top of their business and economic success, Harborside boasts a strong reputation for sustainability and economic justice. Though, like any successful company, their greatest asset to customers is the top-tier quality of the products they offer.

Business and Cultivation Goals


Harborside is expanding quickly. With the reverse takeover of FLRish Farms, the company has gone public, representing another pioneering move in the industry. They are now planning to open three new stores and a new grow facility, which means their growers have to keep up. That is the challenge presented to FLRish Farms: continual expansion and higher yields while maintaining the quality, organic product that has made Harborside so successful.

As FLRish Farms general manager Doug Brothers explains, “We want to be a high yield producer but also low cost, and that’s going to be key in the next 12-24 months . . . being a high yield producer of quality, organic, boutique, high end flower. You can’t do that outdoor. You can’t do that with Mother Nature.”

Brothers and his team have clearly mastered indoor greenhouse cultivation and all the benefits it provides. They’ve carefully engineered the space for optimal environmental control, and their decision to equip their greenhouses with the SolarSystem 550 has been part of their strategy for maintaining their position within the industry.

“When you talk to some growers out there in this valley . . . they’re trying to do it without putting in the higher end stuff,” Brothers says. “But you have to look at this as growing an indoor crop.” He argues that cutting corners is a sure-fire way to become an extraction company in the long run. “We want to be a little more boutique,” he says. “Hence why I went with your lighting. I want the light to complement flower. Not complement leaves.”

So, let’s take a closer look at what the SolarSystem 550 lights do for the greenhouse operation at FLRish Farms.

Supplemental Greenhouse Lighting with the SolarSystem 550


FLRish Farms is located in the Salinas Valley, which means the operation already has the distinct advantage of access to California sunlight. But even in this ideal location, there are serious pitfalls to relying on natural light alone. Yields can decrease by as much as half when the light diminishes in the winter season, and the Salinas Valley is covered by a coastal fog almost every morning. In order to achieve even light levels and consistent production throughout the year, supplemental greenhouse lighting is a must.

By choosing California LightWorks grow lights, FLRish Farms has achieved 500 umols and gained total control over their crop. Specific benefits include:

  • 100% digital spectrum control for optimal growth and chemical profiles
  • Heavy red lighting for fruit and flower yield
  • Manual or digital controller mode
  • High efficiency Osram LEDs
  • 888 PPF light output
  • 3.3 amps drawn at 240 volts
  • Automatic voltage recognition from 90 to 277 volts
  • Maximum heat output at 1200 BTU (Compared to 2000 BTU with 600 watt HPS)
  • 50,000-hour rated LEDs
  • Water-resistant fans

But perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of California LightWorks supplemental greenhouse lighting (other than digital spectrum control) is the photosensor feature of the digital controller.

The photosensor reads the available light in any given moment and automatically balances the supplemental light to pick up where the sun is leaving off. This is the key to achieving even light levels year-round. The grower can set the desired light levels and pre-program the spectrum for the entire growth cycle. Then it’s hands-off so the team can focus on the other demands of cultivation.

The bottom line, of course, is whether FLRish Farms feels these advanced features of our LED grow lights translate to real benefits for them.

We’ll say this much: As FLRish Farms is under pressure to expand, increase yields, and meet the continuing demand to supply a top-tier product to one of the most iconic companies in the industry, they’re choosing to equip their new greenhouses with California LightWorks LED grow lights.

As far as we’re concerned, that says it all. 

If you’re interested in equipping your own greenhouse with supplemental LED lighting, we recommend taking a look at our all-new GH Pro 340, engineered specifically for commercial greenhouses. In addition to total spectrum control and photosensors for balancing sunlight, the GH Pro features an ultra-sleek design to limit shadowing. 

The team at California LightWorks is always here to support you with friendly, U.S.-based customer service. For large-scale greenhouse facilities, we work with you to calculate:

  • The average natural light in your geographical location.
  • The supplemental lighting required to maintain ideal light levels all year long.
  • The perfect spacing for the correct concentration of light levels, depending on the layout of your specific facility.

Our goal is to not only provide the best available LED grow lights, but to offer you the very best in service so you can get the greatest return on your investment.

 To learn more or discuss your greenhouse cultivation needs, please contact us at anytime.


Related Articles