Intelligent Light Source LEDs Tapped In Early Round with Top Marijuana Investors

This week, Intelligent Light Source (ILS) will formally introduce its highly anticipated horticultural science-based commercial LED lighting products at ArcView, the leading marijuana industry investor conference. After winning a virtual pitch competition to become one of only three startups automatically qualified to present to top investors, excitement has been building for the company.

"Only the very best and most promising startups are invited to take the stage at the ArcView Conference," explained Emily Paxhia, founding partner of Poseidon Asset Management, the nation's leading marijuana industry investment fund. "The ArcView Group provides investors with real, viable opportunities and ILS is poised to light up this event with its disruptive technology, strong market opportunities, and big vision."

ILS's science-based LED lighting applies horticultural research to optimize the yield, potency and flavor characteristics of diverse plants, from high-margin crops like marijuana to everyday salad lettuce. Its patents-pending technology revolves around the most customizable light spectrum available in a grow light system. It enables growers to fine-tune the exact light spectrum for any plant at each stage of growth. Innovative pulse technology delivers high-intensity light closer to the plants along with dawn/dusk biomimicry, which uses far-red spectrum to simulate the sunrise and sunset patterns believed to be integral in regulating plant photosynthetic activity.

ILS Pro Series LED grow light. (ILS/LEDinside)

"It's like mother nature on hyper-drive," founder Jack Abbott explained when asked to describe the importance of the new LED technology. "Imagine being able to harness the power of the sun in a concentrated and controlled setting in order to produce plants with more flavor, more nutrients, higher concentrations of key components like THC and CBDs, while using less energy and producing more crops per year."

ILS's lighting systems have gained particular attention from the burgeoning marijuana market in part because of the trust they've gained from academics and established agricultural and food companies.

MIT's CityFarm, for example, is currently using ILS's systems to study scalable indoor agriculture with the goal to develop large-scale food production closer to the point of consumption. In addition, Nature's Source, a leading plant food manufacturer, and Sodexo, one of the world's largest food service companies, are working with ILS to promote indoor agriculture at home and in commercial applications like college cafeterias.

The application of LED lights to new markets like marijuana is part of the reason WinterGreen Research projected the indoor grow light industry to be worth $3.6 billion by 2020. Many in the industry credit the recent influx of investment and interest in marijuana for fueling the growth and innovation of companies like ILS to adapt to diverse market needs, and to eventually address major global food supply and sustainability issues.

That spillover of innovation is evidenced in ILS's recently concluded successful Kickstarter campaign for its consumer CounterCroptable-top growing system. Within the first week it exceeded its goals with the promise that "anyone can grow anything better indoors" and made the top 30 of all-time best performing food-related products on the crowdfunding site.

"If you can harness the enthusiasm we demonstrated with early adopter consumers during our Kickstarter campaign, in concert with the innovation we're seeing in the commercial LED space, combined with this concentration of investment from the marijuana industry, substantial possibilities to disrupt the model of how we grow and consume food start to become very real, very quickly," ILS co-founderCharles Gillespie said.

Numerous studies have pointed to the fact that our food production cannot keep up with projected population growth. According toScience Daily (April 2014) the world is 40 years away from a global food shortage. That crisis has both humanitarian and environmental implications as traditional agriculture relies on clearcutting land, massive amounts of water, and expensive transportation models to carry the food from production to the point of consumption.

The indoor agriculture movement, from the at-home gardener to the commercial grower, could be a solution to both the pending food shortage while simultaneously addressing many of the negative environmental impacts of traditional commercial agriculture.

"The most powerful vision that fuels the energy we need to be successful is not just about developing the next best LED light or positioning ourselves to serve the immediate need of any single market, no matter how fast it's growing," added Abbott. "It's about funneling that investment, passion and knowledge into a larger mission to change the way we produce and consume plants and food in order to improve people's daily lives and create a more sustainable future for the world."

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