There is no exact light schedule requirement for autoflowering strains due to the fact that it can automatically create its own buds even without following a certain special light schedule.
If the photoperiod strains such as the Indica and Sativa needs to get an exact light schedule to be able to begin the process of creating its buds, the auto-flowering strains are totally different from these photoperiod strains because the genetics of the auto-flowering which is the Ruderalis are purposely made to stand at strenuous environment conditions.
So if there’s no exact autoflowering light schedule, what could be the ideal light schedule to use for your auto-flowering strains? Let’s find out the different suitable light schedule that will perfectly work with your auto-flowering plants.
Different Light Schedule for Your Autoflowering Strains
- 18 Hours of Light and 6 Hours of Darkness (18/6 Light Schedule)
The 18/6 light period is ideal if you are residing at a place where hot climates are more usual. This light schedule will also allow you to save more energy since you can only turn on the grow lights during the night time.
Another thing about this light schedule is that it will provide your plants a dark period which is a requirement that should be followed when growing cannabis. Although there is still no exact evidence that cannabis plants will not survive without dark periods, the 18/6 is still beneficial to your auto-flowering strains.
- 12/12 Light Cycle (12 Hour Light Cycle)
There are many advantages and also disadvantages when it comes to the usage of 12/12 light cycle. So let us discuss the advantages first before going to its downfalls.
Advantages of 12/12 Light Cycle:
You can grow your auto-flowering strain outdoors regardless of the weather season (spring or autumn) for as long as it will get 12 hours of the light cycle.
Bad genetics of auto-flowering strains can be easily fixed with the help of a 12/12 light schedule. For an instance, your auto-flowering strain did not automatically flower regardless of getting a consistent 3 to 6 weeks light cycle. All you have to do to restart the flowering stage of your auto-flowering is to give them 12/12 light cycle.
You can save more energy with 12/12 light cycle most especially if your climate is always in hot temperatures.
Disadvantages of 12/12 Light Cycle:
Lesser yields will be harvested if you will opt for 12/12 light cycle because they are only getting lesser light. And we all know that if you will give more light to your cannabis, there’s a guarantee that you are going to harvest bigger and higher yields. That means, 12 hours of light schedule is below the minimum light requirement which is 18 hours of light.
The growth of your plants will become much slower since they are receiving lesser light. In other words, you will get smaller plants with reduced branches and leaves.
Lesser light means that you are going to deal with longer growing cycle. And of course, we don’t want to experience this one since the usual reason of other growers for picking the auto-flowering strain is because it can grow much faster and easier. In other words, you can get more disadvantages when you opt for 12/12 light cycle.
- 24/0 Light Cycle
Yes, you can give your auto-flowering strains a 24 hour light cycle because the Ruderalis, which is the ancestor of auto-flowering strains, are experiencing 24 hours of light during summertime in the northern part of Russia. Additionally, you can grow your cannabis much faster if you will provide them 24 hours of light.
That means, it is not true that you cannot grow cannabis without giving them dark periods. But it doesn’t mean that 18/6 light cycle is not effective since many can attest that 18/6 is also working at auto-flowering strains.
Light Color Spectrum for Autoflowering Strains
The color spectrum can also play a vital role in the growth of your auto-flowering strains most especially during the vegetative and flowering stage. Let’s quickly discuss the light spectrum requirement for your auto-flowering strains.
For Vegetative Stage
You need to give your auto-flowering a blue light when it is on the vegetative stage most especially if its gender traits are starting to reveal.
For Flowering Stage
Yellow light or even the red and orange ones can help in making your auto-flower to appear with thicker buds. Additionally, your plant will become taller in size if given this spectrum.
As shown above, it is very clear that 18/6 and 24/0 are the best light schedule to be used to your autoflowering strains. And if goes down beyond 18 hours of light, your autoflowering will start to encounter growing issues.
So to play it safe, just opt for 20 light hour cycle or grow two separate autoflowering strains using the 18/6 and 24/0 light cycle so you can observe which of these two can perfectly work for your autoflowering.
On balance, you can be sure that you are going to harvest good qualities of autoflowering plants if you will use the 18/6 or the 24/0 light cycle. So pick your light schedule now and discover how it can make an impact on the life of your autoflowering strains!