Wave Rider is a 231,000 square foot cannabis facility located in Salinas, California. Formerly a greenhouse used to grow orchids and carnations, owner and manager Drew Carson converted it about four years ago. Until this year, Wave Rider has run without any supplement lighting.
As a result, Carson noticed a significant difference between the summer and winter yields. March through October resulted in peak production and high-quality flowers, but – when winter hit – Wave Rider often saw only a third of the summer yields. Carson knew, with the cannabis industry continuing to boom in California, it was only going to get more competitive. As more mixed light greenhouses emerged, he realized this was the future of cannabis production. It was time to take things to the next level with supplemental lighting.
Starting off with HPS lights would have been quicker and cheaper upfront, but Carson wanted to think long-term. As LEDs are vastly more energy-efficient, he knew they were a better investment, and that they would ultimately create a higher quality product.
Carson was able to take advantage of Salinas’s partnership with PG&E, which offers energy conservation rebates to businesses that opted for LED light fixtures. Through this program, Carson received 25% of the fixture cost refunded – a significant sum of money. This helped him finance his lights.
When Carson decided to add supplemental lighting, Wave Rider had no power systems in place. Installing the necessary wires, cables, and outlets was no small price, but the MegaDrive helped Carson save a huge sum of money. As opposed to HPS lighting, which would need an outlet for every single light, each of Wave Rider’s 5,000 square foot rooms were powered by only nine outlets.
How did they manage this? It comes down to the MegaDrive’s 10,000-watt single power supply that takes incoming 480 volts through an independent breaker. This power supply is wall mountable, eliminating the need for power drops over the canopy, and capable of running up to 27 400-watt LED fixtures. MegaDrive’s fixtures come with dual spectrum control and separate channels for red and white, which can be dimmed from zero to 100%, either manually or automatically.
MegaDrive also features a wireless Bluetooth control system. This system operates independently or integrates with most popular environmental controllers and it’s cloud-based data communication system allows you to control functions from any Bluetooth device (and from nearly anywhere in the world).
While the summer months are generally better for growing, fog is a major problem in Salinas. To mitigate this, Carson runs his lights morning and late afternoons, when fog tends to be at its peak. During the winter, he plans to run them all day, feeling the higher quality and larger yield will offset the extra costs of electricity.
While Wave Rider only recently began using supplemental lighting, the results are already promising. Both their total yields and the THC levels went up significantly with the MegaDrive system. Higher testing for THC is very important in the current cannabis market, which has become very competitive.
Wave Rider sells their flowers directly to dispensaries. High THC levels will help them stand out on the market and beat out the competition. So far, Carson and his colleagues are happy with the results and look forward to increasing their revenue thanks in large part to the MegaDrive system.