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Best Light Cycle for Flowering Stage

cannabis plant under LED lights

Balancing the light cycle for the flowering stage in indoor plants is a complex yet essential process. Both the quality and the chemical composition of your plants get affected by the light you provide them. 

indoor cannabis led light

Now, the light you need to provide for the plant will depend on its type. The photoperiod plants will need more precise control while the autoflower can work with various light conditions. So let’s have a look at both of them separately.

Light Cycle for Flowering Stage of Photoperiod Plants

The light required by the photoperiod cannabis plant always depends on the growth stage. It will need a high amount of light during the vegetation stage to photosynthesize and process the nutrients.

Luckily, once the photoperiod reaches its maturity and triggers its flowering stage, it can work with stable lightning. Usually, the plant will need around 12 hours of light to produce healthy flowers.

You can reduce the light, but it’s recommended not to do so. Your choice of the light cycle for the flowering stage will affect the quality of the plant and the cannabis produced. If the plant doesn’t get light for at least 12 hours, it will become deficient. The photosynthesis and nutrient breaking in the plant will reduce, resulting in low yield.

Light Cycle for Flowering Stage of Autoflowers Plants

Being genetically modified, the growth stages of Autoflower do not get affected by light cycles. The plant just needs light for photosynthesis, so you get decent flexibility. You can go for a full daylighting, 50-50 cycles, or any other lighting cycles without any problem. 

Here are the most common light cycles for the flowering stage of your autoflower cannabis plants. 

18/6 light

The classic 18/6 is the best and most preferable light cycle for the flowering stage of Autoflower plants. During this cycle, you have to expose the plant to 18 hours of light per day and 6 hours of relaxation. 

Most cannabis farmers believe this cycle to be best as it considers both your plants’ light and rest requirements. 

6/2 light

According to some cannabis farmers, the resting and lighting period of cannabis plants need not be continued. The 6/2 light cycle is a manifestation of this belief. It works just like the 18/6 cycle but with a slight difference in light exposure. In this case, you divide the 18 hours of light and 6 hours of rest into equal parts. Simply putting it, instead of providing the plant with 18 hours of continuous light, you expose it to 6 hours of light and then 2 hours of rest. 

The basic science behind this cycle is that plants are able to absorb more light if they are well-rested. So, while your plant will still get 18 hours of light, its absorbed energy will be much higher due to the 2-hour breaks. 

24/0 light

When it comes to cannabis plants, more light always means faster growth. It means that if you can provide the cannabis plant with more than 18 hours of light, the resultant plant will be bigger and better. There is not much scientific evidence to support this statement, but many cannabis farmers worldwide believe in it. Thus, they expose their plant to continuous light through their growth and flowering period.

You are free to try this cycle and check out the result for yourself. It’s highly possible that you obtain larger leaves and more growth in your plant, provided you are using a high-quality strain. Speaking of the strain, you can visit Hypno Seeds for high-quality autoflower strains for your farms. The store provides seeds for most of the top strains in the market at a reasonable price. You can also consider them for cannabis products and high-quality photoperiod strains.

20/4 light

If you want your cannabis plant to grow bigger faster but are not ready for a 24 hour light exposure, a 20/4 cycle is the option. It’s an in-between for the 18/6 and the 24/0 cycle. Basically, you get the good part of both the cycle and the risk of neither. 

cannabis bud under LED

As the name suggests, you will provide the plant with 20 hours of light and 4 hours of rest during this cycle. You can do it continuously or divide the time into two 10 hours light and two 2 hours resting periods. Either way, the exposure will be higher than the 18/6 hour cycle. Thus the plant has a better growth rate and will provide better quality yield.

At the same time, the 4 hours of darkness will keep the strain relaxed and ensure better light absorption. It will also prevent any risk of light overexposure. And of course, provide your Light enough time to cool down. 

12/12 light

If you want to provide your autoflower plant with adequate light without overspending, try the 12/12 light cycle. You can never go wrong with this Light cycle. It includes providing 12 hours of light which is enough for photosynthesis and other essential processes. At the same time, there’s a 12-hour dark period, which reduces the stress on your plant.

The 12-hour darkness also ensures enough time for your indoor lighting system to cool down. And you get time to repair and maintain any damage to prolong the life of your light and accessories. Not to mention, reduced light would lower your electricity consumption. 

The only catch here is the quality of the plant. Some plants, especially the low-quality autoflower strain, will get affected by this cycle. The low light may hinder the growth of some plants and prevent them from reaching their full potential. But again, you can balance this aspect by getting quality autoflower strains like the Juicy Pussy or Crystal Balls.  

Light Cycle for Flowering Stage In Outdoor Farm

The outdoor cannabis plants are hard to maintain and offer minimal control. It’s because, in the natural environment, you cannot control the light you provide to the plant. You can take some precautions like growing the plants indoors and then transferring them outside, but that’s only possible for growing plants. Once the plant is outside and flowering, there is not much to do. The natural light will take care of everything for you.

cannabis outdoor plant

Although, there are some things that you need to check in this case. The most important of these things is the dark period of the plant. While the Autoflowers are compatible with 18-24 hours of light during flowering, the photoperiod strains will need at least 12 hours of darkness. 

Thus for outdoor plants, your main concern is to block street lights, night lights, or any other light source near the farm. You have to shield your plants from these lights to ensure they get enough resting periods.

At the same time, you will also need some artificial light sources on your farm to compensate for low light weather.


The cannabis plants, especially the photoperiod strain, are highly light-dependent. Even a minor error in balancing light can ruin your crop quality or the whole crop. Thus, make sure you know and understand the different light cycles for the flowering stage that you adopt. You can also consider trying a couple of them before settling for the one that works best for you. And, of course, you can always alter the cycles to best suit your needs. As long as the plant gets enough light to grow, it will be fine.

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Best Light Cycle for Flowering Stage

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