In retrospect, it's hard to believe there ever was a question about whether light-emitting-diode (LED) illumination is the future of commercial cultivation. Even three to four years ago, growers remained skeptical that the newcomer technology could outperform the high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps that have fueled indoor cultivation for decades.
In truth, it wasn't until 2018 or so that LED technology finally turned the corner and became the obvious choice for commercial growers across the United States. Even today, there are HPS holdouts—mostly on the West Coast—who aren't completely convinced of LEDs' performance, environmental, and long-term cost benefits, but the data doesn't lie. LED lights have proved to produce more light than HPS on a per-watt basis while creating less heat, and they also degrade at a slower rate and boast a much longer lifetime.
Fohse has sold many tens of thousands of lights to growers around the world. The company's lamps can be found in more than 700 indoor and greenhouse facilities across the U.S. and about twenty other countries. As chief technical officer, Alex Gerard leads the company's engineering department, keeps abreast of new technologies, consults with growers, and works on new designs to keep the company's customer base growing.
"A lot of people who tried first-generation LEDs had pretty bad experiences. In the past, people said you couldn't get the same yield with LEDs, and there was a lot of misinformation about quality as well. When companies like ours started coming along and doing research and development (R&D) the right way, we had to overcome this initial bad feedback."
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