We love it when opportunities present themselves and turn into huge success stories! That’s exactly what’s happening thanks to another local company that we partnered with. Catoctin Mountain Growers is a well-known business that’s been growing ornamental flowers for decades. When we saw an opportunity to partner with them and help them boost yield with our grow lights, we knew something big was going to come from it.

We’ve been refining our signature grow lights for almost a decade now. The drive to help growers of all kinds see increased yields has pushed us to make a great product. With Catoctin Mountain Growers, we saw the potential to make their already-thriving business even better. But to make it happen, we still needed a little extra help. That’s where the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) came in.

The ARR Challenge

TEDCO offers the Agricultural and Rural Rebuild (ARR) Challenge. It was launched as a way to support Maryland businesses in the face of economic downturn. By encouraging collaboration between applicants, its goal was to see the development of technological improvements in the agtech (agricultural technology) field and other industries. Our partnership with Catoctin Mountain Growers was one of seven recipients of this award, which can provide funding of up to $200,000.

Our partnership focused on testing greenhouse plants with different intensities from LED grow lights and recording the yield results. The result? Catoctin Mountain Growers was able to cut their energy consumption by over 40%!

The positive outcome of this project was twofold. Thanks to the reliability of our grow lights, Catoctin is able to grow its plants during the off-season. At the same time, we were able to use it as a way to test various light spectrums and record their effects on plants. This gave us invaluable information that we’ve since used in the development of new products and the improvement of existing ones.

Our Chief Technology Officer, Matteo del Ninno, had this to say: “Light provides two key things to plants—one is photosynthesis, which we’re all familiar with, and the other is photomorphology. Plants take signals from light to understand what they need to do. In lettuce, we tested and found we could hit the leaves with different light spectra to make them not only more desirable for market, but also more nutritious. If we hit them with a high blue light ratio in the finishing growth stages, for example, they develop more antioxidants to be able to respond to the more intense, shorter wavelength blue light.”

Lasting Partnerships and New Opportunities

In the time since the collaboration, Catoctin has has expanded its capabilities and offerings even more, and continues to utilize Jumplights products. As for us, we’ve expanded our business ventures to include several different companies who have found value in things like our Prism ETS—Greenhouse grow lights for plants.

“Right now, we’re working with about six companies—our next steps are to see how our lighting could be used for fruiting plants, such as tomatoes and cucumbers,” explained del Ninno. “We’ve also been open to exploring the cannabis industry to meet the recent dispensary demand following its legalization in Maryland.”

Silver Linings: Perfecting Plant Grow Lights

While COVID-19 was an uncertain time, it provided the circumstances for communities around the globe to come together and help each other at the personal and organizational levels. We’re incredibly grateful to the Maryland Technology Development Corporation and their ARR Challenge. Without it, we may never have made some of the most valuable partnerships that are still thriving today. They set out on a mission to help local businesses, and if this project is any indicator, they succeeded. Catoctin has utilized our LED grow lights to bolster its operations, and we’ve been able to improve our products.

If you’re running an agtech business, we’d be happy to utilize our experience and products to give your operation a boost. Get in touch with us and find out how we can help increase your yield!