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The importance of Uninterrupted Night Cycles

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Why is it so important for plants to have defined light and dark cycles? We get this question from new growers from time to time. They figure it should be all the same, as long as plants get enough sunlight. But it turns out that there's a little more to it than that.

Diurnal Plants

Many types of plants are diurnal, meaning that they grow according to specific light and dark cycles. If you stop and think about it, this makes sense. After all, plants have grown in natural outdoor conditions for many centuries. And, the day and night cycles that they experience in the wild are completely standardized and set by the solar and lunar cycles. So it makes sense that hydroponic growers who are growing plants with artificial light would seek to mimic these conditions as best as possible.

Day and Night Temperatures

Along with creating defined light and dark cycles, with so many hours of darkness and so many hours of light per day, growers need to adjust the temperature in a grow space accordingly. That's another natural aspect of what plants experience in the wild -- after the sun dips below the horizon, temperature predictably decreases by about 10 to 20 degrees overnight. But in indoor spaces, without particular care to the plant environment, plants may not get this variation and it might stunt or harm their growth.

Sealing Out Light Completely

It might also surprise newcomers to know that a lot of seasoned growers have spent hours agonizing over the best ways to block out natural light or artificial light.

Again, just having light and dark cycles isn't always good enough. Growers have to ensure that the dark cycle will be completely dark, whether that means putting down black covers over windows and external spaces, sealing a grow box or small grow system, or taking additional measures to keep the light out when it's supposed to be dark. It turns out that providing complete darkness can be just as important as providing sufficient light during the day or light cycles of the plant's development.

Vegetative and Flowering Stages

There's yet another trick in the light book that newbies have to know. That is that experienced growers sometimes use changes in light/dark cycles to actually induce flowering in plants.

The theory behind this is that the plant’s circadian rhythms respond to changes in the light/dark cycles. So you can artificially manipulate plants into flowering early, by changing the cycles. Get details that apply to your specific grow project, to see how you can expedite plants’ growth and flowering using automated timers and other tools to manipulate light/dark cycles - take a look at everything that modern hydroponic manufacturers and retailers provide to help you toward success.

 
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