Skip to content

Stories & Features

Sugar Cane Cannabis' LED success

Staff member at Sugar Cane Cannabis
Sugar Cane Cannabis became the first business to go through BC Hydro's horticultural LED lighting incentive program.

A fantastic first year

You may remember our story from 2021 about Sugar Cane Cannabis, a new venture set up by Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN).

WLFN were very keen for their facility to have the smallest possible environmental footprint. They worked with BC Hydro during the planning and construction of their brand new farm-gate building for advice on energy efficiency. BC Hydro senior engineer, David Rogers, also worked closely with Sugar Cane Cannabis to determine the right LED lighting specifications for growing cannabis and they became the first business to go through our horticultural LED lighting incentive program.

One year later, we went back to speak to Sugar Cane's Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Penny, to see the results. "We're very excited with our decision to choose an energy-efficient LED model instead of high pressure sodium (HPS) lights," says Daniel. "They enabled us to successfully grow a high quality craft product and we're excited to continue dialing in the technology."

"The team is still finalizing yield numbers because our plants are currently drying, but we're very happy with the results so far and extremely optimistic that the industry will move towards sustainable solutions."

Cannabis plants growing under LED horticultural lights at Sugar Cane Cannabis
The installation of LEDs instead of high pressure sodium (HPS) lights enabled Sugar Cane to successfully grow a high quality craft product.

Dialed-in performance

Sugar Cane's LED lights, supplied by Signify, and installed by Lauren Brothers and MacKay Electric have definitely lived up to expectations.

"The installation went smoothly and according to plan," says Daniel. "We decided to go with a broad-spectrum LED lighting system to provide a lighting intensity that would be beneficial across many different cannabis strains."

"The lights are set up on a timing system, so depending on the given stage of the plant's life cycle, we're able to offer precise photo periods during the vegetation phase and flowering phase. Those increments are arranged by our Master Grower."

Creating multiple growing environments

So after their hugely successful first year, is Sugar Cane Cannabis planning any changes for year two? "I think one of the coolest things about indoor growing is that you can replicate any growing environment you want," says Daniel. "We'll always strive to improve our cultivation methods to ensure our customers are receiving a top-tier craft product, unlike anything else in the province."

Setting a green example

Daniel has also noticed the lights have become a talking point for Sugar Cane Cannabis visitors. "As you walk into our Farmgate store you're welcomed with a view of the first grow room through a display window. The lights are one of the first things people notice and our team always enjoys seeing the smiling faces that accompany the reveling of the grow room. The Sugar Cane Cannabis team takes great pride in our choice to move forward sustainably in the cannabis space and we're always willing to tell our story and share our experiences with others."

Encouraging micro cultivators

As an LED cannabis pioneer in B.C., Daniel is keen that others are able to follow. "I'd love to see BC Hydro incentives continue to be offered to micro cultivators in the cannabis space. There's so many skilled growers in the province, and we hope that they'll consider LED lights to create sustainable cultivation facilities themselves."

About the Williams Lake First Nation

Williams Lake First Nation, or the T'exelcemc (people of Williams Lake First Nation) have belonged to the Secwepemc Nation for over 6,500 years. Today, the community includes over 800 registered members who live on reserve in Sugar Cane in nearby Williams Lake, and across the globe. One of 17 Secwepemc nations forming Secwepemculecw, the greater stewardship land area extends from Shuswap Lake in the south, to Quesnel Lake in the north, and from Columbia-Kootenay Range in the east, to the Alexis Creek area in the west.

Is your facility ready for LED horticultural lighting?

To find out more about LED lighting for your horticulture facility, contact your Key Account Manager or Regional Energy Manager, or call 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.