Unlike photoperiodic cannabis, autoflowers don’t need a specific amount of illumination per day to start flowering. Thanks to its ruderalis genes crossed with indica and sativa, autoflowering cannabis flowers when it reaches a certain age instead of when the light schedule changes.
When growing indoors, you can use the same schedule throughout autoflowers’ whole life cycle. This also means growers in northern areas like Canada, Michigan, or New York can grow autoflowers outside or in a greenhouse – just make sure it’s a sunny area without too much shade.
What’s the Best Light Schedule for Autoflowers?
There are several popular schedules for autos, each with its own pros and cons. Most schedules give the plants at least 18 hours of brightness a day. Some growers even give their plants constant illumination throughout the growth cycle, but energy costs can be expensive. It’s also unclear if it produces a better harvest.
The best schedules for autoflowers include:
- 18/6: With 18 hours of illumination and 6 hours of darkness, you’ll get a good yield without a sky-high electric bill. Some growers believe autoflowers need a short period of darkness to rest. You’ll need to set up a timer.f
- 24/0: This schedule is easy – simply leave your grow lights on throughout the entire growth cycle. You won’t need a timer. However, you’ll spend more on energy.
- 20/4: This schedule combines some of the benefits of 18/6 and 24/0. It allows for healthy growth but saves some energy compared to 24/0 and gives the plants a short rest period.
We recommend experimenting with several schedules to see which gives you the best results. You can try any combination with at least 18 hours of illumination – for example, 19/5 or 22/2. Unlike photoperiodic varieties, autos don’t need total darkness to flower, so you don’t have to worry about light pollution.
Another consideration is keeping your plants at the desired temperature. Grow lamps give off lots of heat, so growers in colder climates such as Canada may want to keep them on longer to keep their plants warm. The ideal temperature ranges between 65 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit during the different growing stages.
If you’re growing autos outdoors or in a greenhouse, try to position them where they’ll get as much sunlight as possible. Cannabis flourishes in direct sun rather than shade. Growers in hot, sunny locations like California, Nevada, and Florida should have no trouble.
What Type of Light Is Best for Growing Cannabis Plants Indoors?
Cannabis plants need different types of light during different stages of growth. Autoflowers have two distinct phases – the vegetative phase, where the plant grows leaves and branches, followed by the flowering phase. During each phase, your autos prefer a different part of the light spectrum.
Autoflowers prefer blue light (with a color temperature of approximately 6500K) during the vegetative phase. In the flowering phase, they need red light (with a color temperature of approximately 2700K) to encourage them to produce larger buds.
Are LED Lights Good for Autoflowering Plants?
LED lights are a popular option for growing autoflowers thanks to their great energy efficiency – they use up to three-fourths less energy than other bulbs! Make sure to use a full-spectrum LED lamp that imitates natural sunlight. This saves you the trouble of changing between different colors for different phases of growth.
What Is the Difference Between LED Lights and LED Grow Lights?
You can’t use any LED light as a grow lamp. LED grow lights contain more red and blue light that plants need for their flowering and vegetative stages. Standard LED bulbs aren’t powerful enough to meet autoflowers’ illumination requirements.
How Much Light Intensity Do Autoflowers Need?
Most LED manufacturers will recommend the correct intensity and heights to hang your lamps. Too much brightness can harm your autos, leading to stunted growth or bleached flowers. If you notice these issues, try reducing the intensity, moving the lights further away from your plants, or giving the plants a few hours of darkness per day.
Who Sells the Best LEDs in the US?
You can order plenty of high-quality LED lamps online. A few of our favorite brands include Bestva, Spider Farmer, and Viparspectra.
Grow Incredible Autos with the Right Lighting Schedule
Once you have the perfect lighting setup and schedule, make sure to pair it with the best autoflower seeds. Fast Buds’ premium feminized autoflower seeds combine the best of ruderalis, sativa, and indica genetics for amazing yields and unbelievable highs. You can order Fast Buds seeds online from Seedsplug – we offer shipping to Florida, Michigan, New York, California, Nevada, and across the US.