A couple of weeks ago I went to Stockbridge to see science minister David Willetts open a new unit which is looking at how LED lights can be used in horticulture. (He's in the picture on the left)
There is one area of cultivation, where everyone agrees that LED lamps are a winner. The system seems to be ideal for the illegal growing of cannabis. LED lights are extremely efficient and are small enough to be hung at various heights, thus promoting growth across the entire plant. Clever use of light wavelengths could ensure that the crop is particularly potent. It could be grown in cities – close to the customer base.
And the cannabis factories would be harder to detect. Currently police often use infra-red cameras to detect heat given out by conventional cannabis factories. However LEDs produce very little heat and are therefore impossible to detect in this way. One researcher involved in LED said: ‘Obviously it would be perfect for a cannabis crop, although we wouldn’t encourage it.’
Science minister David Willetts even expressed interest in cannabis when he visited Stockbridge. During his visit he asked if the cannabis crop, which the STC used to grow, was still on the site. He was told that it had been removed. ‘So it’s not like the good old days,’ he said jokingly.