When you grow autoflower cannabis seeds, there is one difference from traditional feminized seeds: the ability for autoflowers to grow under any light cycle. That’s why autoflowers are so popular; they’re easy to grow and flexible.
You can bloom autoflowers in 12, 18, or 24 hours of indoor light. In addition, you can bloom autoflowers outdoors—regardless of how much light they will receive. Autoflowers grow like regular cannabis, their quality levels are on par with photoperiod strains, and they produce the same terpenes and cannabinoids. Sounds good, right?
Nevertheless, what is the optimized light cycle for autoflowers? How does a 24-hour light cycle compare with a 12-hour light cycle?
We will tell you in this article!
What Is The Best Light Cycle for Autoflowers?
The best light cycle for autoflowers is—in many cases—the most convenient light cycle for you. Autoflowers, thanks to their diversity, can adapt to your situation—enabling you to create the perfect light schedule to match your daily routine. However, you may want to run a 24-hour light cycle during the cold winter months (if you live in a cool climate.) The extra light will enable you to maintain a higher room temperature.
If your room becomes too hot during the summer, you may want to reduce the light schedule to a 12/12 autoflower light schedule with the lights on during the chillier evening hours. Most cultivators choose an 18-20 hour autoflower light schedule because it often gives the best results.
Here are the different light schedules:
1. 12/12 Light Cycle for Autoflowers
One of the most popular lighting schedules for growers is the 12/12 light schedule. You simply turn the lights on for 12 hours and turn them off again; it’s as easy as that! In many cases, growers will have spare space in the growing tent, so they plant an autoflower seed or two. However, autoflowers grow faster under 18, 20, and 24 hours of daily light instead of a 12/12 light schedule.
2. 18/6 Light Cycle for Autoflowers
The most common questions surrounding autoflowers are how much light you need for autoflowers and what is the optimum light cycle. In truth, the 18/6 light cycle for autoflowers is one of the most popular options. The 18/6 light cycle is 18 hours of light and 6 hours without light. Many cultivators use this for the vegetative growth of feminized cannabis seeds because it can produce harvests in 10 to 11 weeks.
3. 20/4 Light Cycle for Autoflowers
The most popular autoflower light schedule is the 20/4 light cycle. You use 20 hours of light followed by 4 hours without light for 24 hours. It almost always delivers excellent results and gives the plants a healthy autoflower schedule from seed to harvest.
4. The 24-Hour Light Cycle for Autoflowers
During the cooler winter months, a 24-hour autoflower light schedule is the most popular option. Room temperatures decrease faster than growers prefer in the winter months. As a result, autoflowers may need extra warmth—which you can achieve from a 24-hour light schedule. However, not all growers recommend a 24-hour light schedule because an hour or two of darkness can give the plants some added benefits.
The Best Lights and Light Spectrum for Indoor Autoflowers
Many professional cultivators only consider using LED lights for autoflower seeds because of their superior spectrum, reduced levels of heat stress, and greater efficiency. If you use LED lights, the best autoflower light schedule is 20/4. However, remember, autoflower seeds will grow well under any light schedule.
In most cases, the best lights are LED lights. However, HPS light also delivers fantastic results for autoflowers. The main benefit of using HPS lights over LEDs is that the initial cost is much lower. Therefore, it’s great if you’re on a budget.
FAQ About Autoflowers Light Schedule
Can You Change the Light Schedule for Autoflowers?
Yes. You can change the light schedule for autoflowers. Better still, you won’t always stress the plant. For example, you can easily change the light schedule to 12/12 if you’re using a 20/4 autoflower schedule. However, reducing the light schedule can increase the flowering time and the autoflower yield in some cases. So prepare for this.
Do Autoflowers Require a Dark Cycle?
No. Autoflowers don’t always require a dark cycle; it’s entirely up to you. You can grow your autoflowers under a 24-hour light schedule—especially during the cold winter months. With that said, some growers believe an hour or two of darkness is excellent for autoflowers.
Can Autoflowers Recieve Too Much Light?
Yes. Autoflowers can receive too much light—which may restrict your autoflower plant growth. That’s one of the biggest dangers when using high-powered LED lights to grow your autoflowers. Fortunately, many lights are adjustable, and you can switch the light intensity if it’s too strong. The best light manufacturers will recommend the best height and intensity for their LED lights.
Autoflowers give growers like you massive flexibility. That’s why they’re so popular. You don’t need a specific light schedule. Ensure you give your autoflowers between 12 and 24 hours of light per day, and you can enjoy superb results.