Running your lights 24/7 gives your plants more light. If you find they are not getting enough, this is a simple solution to increasing the amount of light they get throughout the day.
But it is not the best solution.
If your plants need more light, the best way to remedy the situation is to get more light fixtures, or to swap your existing ones out for more powerful ones. Leaving your lights on continuously is not a good idea. Let’s look at the pros and cons to find out why.
Keeping your lights on 24/7 has one advantage: it gives your plants more light (ok, there is one other advantage: you won’t need any grow light timers). More light means faster growth.
If you leave your lights on around the clock during vegging, you will see faster growth, without a doubt. And you plants will start growing buds much sooner. But this benefit is outweighed by the disadvantages.
And leaving the lights on around the clock during flowering is not an option at all. Your medicinal plants won’t switch to flowering unless you reduce the lights to 12 hours a day.
If they are already flowering and you increase daylight to 24 hours, you’ll have a disaster on your hands. Your plants will revert back to the vegging stage and it will take forever to get them to re-enter the flowering stage. Never leave your lights on around the clock during flowering.
Disadvantages Of 24 Hour Daylight
The disadvantages of leaving your grow lights on 24 hours outweigh the one advantage. The primary disadvantage is that your plants get no rest period.
Sure, you can leave the lights on all the time. Your plants will grow faster. But if you leave them on continuously for many days, your plants will get weaker and weaker. They won’t grow as strong and they will become more susceptible to disease.
Running your lights 24/7 costs more money. You need to pay for the electricity to power the lights, and also for the electricity to power fans, air conditioners and any other equipment you might have running in your grow tent. You will also have to change bulbs more often.
Leaving the lights on all night long also means that they, and other equipment, are running constantly, without any breaks. This puts additional stress on them and results in a shorter lifespan.
Running your lights constantly generates more heat. As mentioned, this means you will also need to run fans and other cooling equipment 24/7. It also means your plants do not get a cooler night time, which is something they naturally expect.
We’ll start with flowering, because there is no flexibility to increase the daylight hours during this stage. Your lights need to be off for 12 hours per day (with the exception of autoflowers, of course). Keeping them on longer can result in your medicnal plants plants switching back to vegging and then you’ll have a hard time getting them to flower again.
During vegging, you have much more flexibility. It is perfectly possible to leave the lights on overnight, but as mentioned, it is best to give your plants at least some darkness.
The most common lighting schedule during vegging is 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. This is the schedule we recommend. 20 hours on and 4 hours off works well, too.
Another interesting option is to use a 6/2 light schedule. What this means is you leave the lights on for six hours, then turn them off for two. You have 3 of these cycles per day. You still end up with 18 hours of daylight and 6 hours of darkness, but they do not all fall at once.
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