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RR lighting firm sees bright future in cannabis industry

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On New Mexico’s economic Richter scale, Lifted LED, with a workforce of just five, barely registers.

The grow light spectrum can be controlled with a smartphone app, a unique feature of the product, say its developers. (Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal)

The grow light spectrum can be controlled with a smartphone app, a unique feature of the product, say its developers. (Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal)

But just wait, say those energetic employees, which includes brothers and business partners Jaxon and Geoff Patterson.

“It’s all comes down to the right light,” Jaxon Patterson said of Lifted LED’s future potential, especially on the cannabis growing front.

They have ambitious plans for their lighting company, inspired by an increasing emphasis on energy conservation that’s expected to be a major factor in determining which companies survive in the fast-evolving cannabis industry.

With many states legalizing medical marijuana, entrepreneurs such as Lifted LED are looking to be vendors of choice. With new greenhouses and growing spaces come purchases for new grow lights, a pivotal tool for a healthy cannabis crop.

LEDs, which stands for light-emitting diodes, are most commonly associated with colored Christmas lights and control panels. They are an evolving lighting technology considered more energy efficient and friendlier to the environment than the more familiar bulb of the green movement, the spiral compact fluorescent.

At a recent energy summit in Portland, Ore, a few weeks ago, Jaxon learned that cannabis production will eventually consume 1 percent of the energy footprint in North America. Indoor cannabis growers often use high-pressure sodium lamps like street lights that are on almost 24 hours a day and resulting high temperatures mean greenhouses require more cooling. Taken together, that can mean costly electric bills.

Lifted LED claims to be able to cut the energy load by almost half for customers switching to its grow lights.

“The premise of our design was to make a more efficient grow light, lower the energy footprint of these grow spaces and give the master growers the ability to control the spectrum over Wi-Fi with a smartphone app,” said Jaxon.

As the Rio Rancho business scales up, it helps that it is located in the same facility, at 4341 Fulcrum Way NW, as its parent company: Insight Lighting.

“We’ve been around lighting our whole lives,” said Jaxon Patterson.

Looking to jump in and fill a niche that can play a part in cannabis growth and sales was sort of a natural progression. “There’s a lot of goodwill behind our name,” he said of the company’s standing in the commercial lighting industry. The team includes their father, David Patterson, Chris Kreuter and materials scientist Dr. Muji Mujahid.

“The company name, Lifted, is about providing a boost,” Jaxon said.

The business launched in early February after months of development and testing with a grower in Portland, Ore.

With a modest $50,000 in revenue so far, the company principals are confident the product will catch on with other buyers – especially after prospects see the results of other companies’ full growing cycles.

First-time growers are a logical market for Lifted LED because they don’t have to retrofit existing operations. The right light can make a crop mature days faster and that means more money for growers who can get that investment sold faster, said Jaxon.

While Jaxon sees a bright future with a focus on the cannabis growers’ market because it looks like the fastest path to profitability, he said the company’s LED lights can also be tailored for other agricultural growers, such as nurseries.

The company has retained a contract manufacturer in China to build the units. “There are a lot of nights on Skype with my vendor,” said Jaxon Patterson.

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