Light Adaptability & Plant Biofeedback

There are theories that hypothesize that strains which emanate from tropical latitudes grow better with a different wavelength of light compared to those from more northern latitudes, such as strains that have originated and flourished from the Emerald triangle. What evidence, if any, supports this theory either scientifically or anecdotally?

The short answer is that we haven’t proven anything when it comes to tuning and adjusting our lights. The real answer is a little more in depth. What we have learned over the years from our research squad (3rd party testers) is how to tune a light to best grow for your style and your cut of a specific cultivar. This data is currently being collected from all over the country. Instead of thinking of this application as “this light spectrum will grow the best OG kush” the idea instead, is what do you want to see for your Og Kush, in your facility, and what is best for your style of grow. Do you want your kush to have large buds with high THC? Do you want your OG to flower faster? Maybe you are concerned with overall weight or bag appeal. You may be thinking, “I want all of that!” The true goal here is how to effect 5-10% change in what your crop is already capable of, not a dramatic shift in the overall quality of a plant. Someone who grows in a living soil mix may have different lighting needs than a person growing in coco or rockwool. Maybe you are looking to improve your rooting. If so, we might suggest tuning the light to a heavier cool/blue spectrum. Or maybe you want faster flower onset? That usually results in a recommendation to tune the light to a more warm/red end of the spectrum. Time and time again, in Cannabis cultivation, we are reminded that there is no one size fits all solution.

Our lights are a tool, not a fix all. We give you the ability to adjust the lights for your needs and your unique environment. Not all growers’ needs are the same just as not all plants are the same. Communicating to a person what is best for them is a dark path to follow not to mention quite presumptuous. Scynce doesn’t know each individual growers needs, we can only provide the means to achieve them. If you have a static light without the ability for adjustment, you can still have great results. However, you are limited in your ability to adapt, expand and plan for the future. Like in any other profession, the ability to take advantage of trends in the market place along with new genetics is paramount. You can set our lights to Scynce’s recommended spectrum and (along with our unique optics for penetrating light delivery and the safety net of a sturdy waterproof light) you will also have great results. If, however, it is your desire to achieve that last nudge to perfection, then having a deep understanding of your plants and environment will allow you to maximize the tuning technology that Scynce’s lights afford you. This is the point where growing becomes an art and a science.

A common follow up question to this is, “ What “plant biofeedback or analysis” could be done, in real time, to determine the optimal wavelength(s) and quantity/strength of light on any specific plant or strain, at any point of its life cycle (with the understanding that other environmental and nutritional factors are also part of a holistic approach)?”

Spectrum adaptability is still new and is still not widely employed across the broader horticulture market. Given the lack of industry wide knowledge and standards, it is unfortunately up to each and every grower to figure what they ultimately need. All hope is not lost though! Biofeedback testing and analysis is a great starting place to learn what factors are in play to help get you that last nudge to perfection. Collecting leaf samples from your plants at different stages along the plant’s life and sending them out to get tested gets you documentable data that you can start to make sound decisions from. It’s particularly important as different spectrums of light alter plant morphology and nutrient uptake. Testing for Ca,K,Na,NH4, NO3, Mg and possibly others depending on methodology and lab services should cover most of the basics. From here we get to see where nutrient uptake correlates with data from the same strain(s) under HPS, CMH, other LEDs or a run/cycle under Scynce’s recommended spectrum. This provides for a baseline data set to start building your next level experiments off of. Everything ultimately comes down to the obvious final results of plant health, structure, weight, THC levels, and terpene profiles (which hopefully all get documented).

We encourage anyone interested in this topic to dive deep into the cannabis research going on and being peer reviewed in places like Israel. We are finally starting to get some insight into what the Canadians are working on however they are still in early phases . Currently, most other countries, including the US, are restricted by the federal legality of the plant. This means that it’s up to people like us to create opportunities to study the next evolution in lighting and plant cultivation. For now the best education on lighting spectrums and the effects are in the Plant Physiology textbooks. As of the publication date of this article, we would recommend looking at 6th and 7th editions because they have the most up to date accepted science.

The most important thing to remember about the cannabis industry is that we are a fickle bunch. We have no standard on what the perfect plant is, what the perfect smoke is or how the perfect strain should express itself. Everyone’s experience will be different and individuality is the cornerstone of the industry.

As we’ve already said, Scynce lights are a tool, no different than a painter who has different brushes. There is no one-size-fits-all solution which is why adaptability is mandatory to stay relevant over the course of time.

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