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TitleEnergy Trust of Oregon Residential Grow Light Research Project
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Page 1


May 1, 2015

Energy Trust of Oregon
Residential Grow Light Research

Prepared by:
Evergreen Economics

Project Sponsor:
Energy Trust of Oregon

May 11, 2018

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As reported during interviews with specialty retailers, kits are generally put together by
distributors or retailers (not manufacturers) and may include lights, nutrients, small grow
tents, small fans, and timers. Twenty-seven percent of web survey respondents reported
buying their lighting as part of a kit.

Cannabis growing occurs in cycles (from seeds to flowering plants). The number of
expected grow cycles per year by respondents differed across grow type (indoors,
outdoors, and greenhouses), with the majority of growers expecting one annual cycle
outdoors, one to two cycles in greenhouses, and three or more cycles per year in indoor
settings. Market actors reported that a grow cycle generally lasts for 90 days. The 90-day
grow cycle estimate aligns with the findings regarding the indoor grow cycles where 47
percent of web survey respondents reported expecting four or five grow cycles in the span
of a year.

Given longer run times, indoor grow lights typically have a lower expected useful life
(EUL) than other traditional types of home lighting. The EULs also vary between
different lighting types. Web survey respondents had slightly different expectations
regarding LEDs, with only 41 percent of indoor growers expecting LEDs to last more
than four years (compared to the five- to ten-year range reported by market actors), but
had similar expectations with regards to HIDs (with web survey respondents reporting
that metal halides and HPS lights would last only one or two years the majority of the

• Are integrated ‘grow kits’ being sold that are designed for home growers in
Oregon (i.e., a pre-packaged option that includes all equipment needed to grow

• What is the market share for kits? How does their energy use compare to a
piecemeal setup or other configuration?

What is the expected useful life of home grow lighting products (i.e., length of
warranty and/or number of hours before equipment burns out or fails)?

How are these lighting products typically used by customers? Specifically:

• How many hours are these lighting products used per day throughout the grow
cycle, and for what duration of time is the grow cycle in Oregon?

• What is the typical number of grow cycles per year by the average home grower?
• How long do customers typically use these types of products?
• Does seasonality impact the number of grow cycles per year?

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time). The different expectations for LEDs may stem from current LEDs being a newer
technology that growers are less experienced with than traditional HID lighting.

One grow cycle includes three main stages: seedling, vegetative, and flowering. These
stages can range from two to three weeks for the seedling stage, up to two to eight weeks
for the vegetative stage, and six to eight weeks for the flowering stage.

Many web survey respondents grow across some combination of indoors, outdoors, or in a
greenhouse. Sixteen percent of respondents who grow indoors said that they grow
indoors during the non-summer months only. These respondents all have access to
outdoor grow areas that they can use during the summer months, suggesting that change
in seasons may have some influence on when and where home growers decide to grow.

Ancillary Products

The majority of indoor growers who responded to the web survey (72%) use some form
of cooling because of the excess heat produced by their lighting equipment. These
cooling products mostly included basic fans, although 29 percent of respondents
reported using some type of air conditioner. Air conditioners were less common among
growers who use LEDs, although this difference was not statistically significant. The
majority of respondents who reported using a fan for cooling also reported using fans for
ventilation. Overall, 73 percent of growers who responded to questions regarding HVAC
requirements used a fan for either cooling or venting the space where they grow.

Heating is not as common as cooling, with only 33 percent of indoor growers who
responded saying they use some form of heating for their grow operation.

Lighting timer use was very prevalent among web survey respondents, with 91 percent of
survey respondents who use lighting saying that they have timers.

Market Size

We estimate the total percentage of the population in Oregon (over 18 years old) that
grows their own cannabis is 0.45 percent. This includes indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse

• Are there ancillary products (such as cooling equipment or fans) that impact the
expected energy consumption of home growing operations?

• Are lighting timers used?

• What is the size of the home grow lighting market?
• What area(s) of the state contain(s) most home growers?

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Appendix F: Suggested Future Research
Energy Trust staff requested ideas for a second phase of cannabis research during the
study period. This section presents ideas for a second phase of cannabis research, building
on the findings from the research summarized in this report.

The goal of any future research is to provide a richer and more complete characterization
of the grower lighting equipment supply chain, a segmentation of grower types, and
additional recommendations for Energy Trust program interventions.

Task 1: Online and Specialty Retailer Research. Our preliminary web survey results
indicate that 60 percent of growers who buy high intensity discharge lamps and metal
halide lamps get them from specialty shops. For LEDs, the majority of growers (around
70%) that buy them do so online. Given this, we think it would be valuable to dive deeper
on our supply side research to better understand these retailers to inform Energy Trust’s
decisions regarding intervention points. We see three activities being valuable in this

• Online retailer research: We propose an investigation of online retail sales, which
seems to be a popular channel for growers with LEDs, based on our initial findings.
This investigation will include a cursory review of the product mix available on
websites that we learned about from growers. We will also investigate the supply
side chain beyond the online store to understand how it may differ from physical

• Market Characterization Report and Analysis: The research activities above could
be combined with the research done for this report into a report that characterizes
growers, including where they shop and what they are likely to buy based on the
purchase location, their preferences, and their demographics. This will include
integration of Phase 1 and Phase 2 research in order to produce an informal,
qualitative grower segmentation and supply-side market characterization to inform
program intervention strategies. We will also expand upon our existing knowledge
regarding utility lighting programs and include a focused review of midstream
program intervention strategies. By understanding the various paths that growers
may take in deciding on lighting purchases, Energy Trust will have the ability to
make and justify its informed choices about market intervention.

Task 2: Medical Grower In-depth Telephone Interviews

Some responding growers reported doing some or all of their growing for medical
purposes. Medical grower survey respondents were more likely to report that they grow
more than four plants. We know that medical cannabis growers can legally grow more
than four plants, but there is a wide range of how many plants they can grow depending
on location, grandfathered status, and zoning. This means that medical cannabis growers

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likely represent a significant proportion of the home cannabis grow market in the region,
but that we only gained insight from our medical cannabis growing survey respondents
on the smaller home medical growers (in terms of number of plants).

We propose to conduct 15 in-depth telephone interviews with registered medical growers
in order to help Energy Trust understand how this group makes decisions about lighting.
Because our web survey seems to only have captured smaller medical growers (but still
larger than recreational only growers), talking with a larger group of medical growers
would give us insight on what type of program they are better suited for (residential
versus commercial) and what types of decisions they are making regarding lighting.

Task 3: Additional Summarization of Lighting Coverage
Estimates provided in this report about the cost of different lighting setups in cannabis
home grows do not take into account the variety in size and number of plants that may be
in a specific home grow. Evergreen recommends future research to examine manufacturer
specifications and distributor price sheets to better understand the cost of purchasing
different lights to suit the variety of ways a home grow may be configured.

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