Jessica McKeil   |   May 11, 2020

Grow Room Monitors for Precision Data

Regardless of the size of the grow, data matters.
Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She personally found relief through cannabis for the treatment of her panic and anxiety disorder. She is lucky…

Grow room monitoring systems are par for the course with commercial cannabis producers, large and small. With the price per pound a fraction of what it once was and the competition heating up at the global level, growers must pay attention to the details to get ahead. Data points on environmental parameters matter more than they ever have, which means leaning into room technologies like advanced grow room monitoring systems.

Grow Room Monitors – Big & Small

Cannabis Tech has highlighted several of these solutions over the years, but the cannabis industry continues to explode with growth, and technologies continue to innovate. The number of companies getting into cannabis cultivation monitoring is also seeing a rapidly expanding marketplace. The intersection of legal cannabis, improved technology, and the internet of things (IoT) is putting complete control of the environment into the hands of the cultivator.

Growers are no longer restricted to adapting technologies from other industries into the cannabis grow room. Companies like Argus are transitioning from more conventional indoor crops into cannabis. Startups, like Pulse One, are targeting small home grows and craft growers. Plus, let's not forget the companies like UrbanGro that are pushing the limits of scalability. The IoT technology means remote environmental controls for the grow room are within easy reach, no matter the size of the cultivator.

Pulse One Monitor

The Pulse One Monitor is an affordable and straightforward solution for the at-home or small scale craft grower. Compared with some of the more industrial-scale systems, its relative simplicity is one of its unique selling points. There are few if any other monitors on the market at this low price point, and especially no other monitors packed with as many useful features. It's a comprehensive monitor, but simple to set up, analyze, and grow through.

One or more Pulse monitors, placed strategically throughout the grow, feed detailed data into a centralized cloud-based dashboard for remote environmental monitoring. The device tracks temperature, relative humidity (RH), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), light intensity, dew point, power outages, and Wifi connection issues.

Additionally, a value-added benefit of the Pulse One is the connection to a growing network of other cultivators using the system. The community is a space to share notes and questions and to report bugs. For small growers, who may not get the attention they deserve from other grow room suppliers, the team at Pulse take an extremely active approach to interact with their customer base. The Pulse One system is a continually evolving solution, growing with insights from the community.

Soleil Technologies by UrbanGro

Sitting at the other end of the spectrum in terms of scope and facility size is the UrbanGro series of controls. UrbanGro is an engineering design services company that integrates complex equipment systems into high-performance indoor cultivation facilities around the world. While the focus is on complete facility design from the ground up, UrbanGro has also created Soleil, a crop management service.

The Soleil suite of solutions includes Soleil Sense and Soleil 360 Platform, which work on a subscription-based model. They are currently working in 10,000-square-foot spaces and pulling 8,000 data points a day. The team at UrbanGro has designed the Soleil Technologies to work with industrial-sized operations, which have a massive need for unlimited scalability. Under more conventional wired or wireless systems, it's impossible to grow beyond the capacity of the local network. Where other systems may get bogged down with the amount of environmental data collected on a second by second basis, the Soleil product suite is capable of processing, compiling, and pumping out detailed insights. 

BrainGrid

BrainGrid is technically four separate solutions, which all work together to inform cultivators about the minutiae of their operation. The products offered include First Response, Key Metrics, Deep Insights, and Issue Resolution segments. Based on a fully-integrated, hardware-to-dashboard solution, BrainGrid's line of products delivers powerful insights and alerts to the cultivator.

The monitors themselves go deeper than the usual temperature, VPD, and RH of smaller-scale grow room monitors. For example, the system can collate data about substrate (Electrical Conductivity, pH, temperature) as well as liquid nutrients (Electrical Conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen). Also, and importantly, the grow room environmental monitors integrate within the Key Metrics solutions to provide invaluable information about performance, quality, and financials.

For larger operations, the BrainGrid environmental monitor can also assess microclimates. Microclimates within the grow room are especially concerning for licensed producers operating within converted facilities, which were not purpose-built for cannabis. To pinpoint a microclimate is the first step to resolving it and improving the quality of the harvest.

Grow Room Monitoring Systems For All Operations

Successful cultivators these days are harnessing the power of technology to avoid grow room meltdowns, tweak environmental parameters, and ultimately produce a better product. While remote grow room monitoring may have originally only been accessible to a few well-heeled producers, today, the technology is widely available for all levels of growers.

Complete environmental control systems are more accessible than ever before. With entrants from conventional crops and startups targeting a consumer market, cultivators of all sizes can glean valuable insights about their grow room.

 

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