Light dep cannabis is a perfect technique for growing indoors or, more commonly, growing outdoors in cooler climates. Find out everything you need to know about this useful technique below.
Understanding light dep cannabis
What is light dep cannabis? Light deprivation is an outside cannabis farming technique in which growers decrease the amount of light plants regularly receive, fooling the plants into thinking fall has arrived early. This is accomplished by layering light-blocking tarps over hoop houses for 12 hours a day, activating the flowering phase early, and allowing farmers to harvest and sell their buds several months before the big fall harvest. When the plants are tricked into believing that October is just around the corner, they prepare to produce more seeds, which will fall to the ground and keep the plant alive until next year. Instead of seeds, growers get fragrant buds in half the time it takes to flower. Light deprived cannabis technique was developed in Humboldt County in the late 1980s, but it didn’t catch on until the early 2000s. Essentially, the growers realized that controlling the amount of light would cause the buds to flower on demand.
Importance of cultivating light deprived cannabis
You can use the light deprivation cannabis method to regulate the amount of light your outdoor cannabis plants receive. When you trick your crop into thinking that the shorter light durations of autumn are starting, they will blossom faster. The advantage of this is that you can force your plants to flower whenever you want. This will allow you to harvest two or more times per season! This can be even more beneficial if your plants are budding in the summer rather than the fall. The primary advantages of light dep cannabis are:
- Multiple harvests per year due to the plants’ shorter overall lifespan.
- When growing light dep cannabis vs indoor crops, energy consumption is reduced.
- More environmentally friendly than standard indoor and greenhouse setups.
If you are growing cannabis indoors or in a greenhouse, an automated light deprivation system is the best option. Outdoor growers don’t have to worry about energy costs because the sun provides light and shade cloth provides light deprivation. Let’s look closely at light deprivation and how to make the most of it for a better harvest.
When can you use light deprivation?
The time you use deprivation techniques will vary depending on whether you grow indoors, outdoors, or in a greenhouse. Indoor and greenhouse growers, unlike outdoor cultivators, are not limited by seasons and can cultivate cannabis all year. Allow your plants to grow before beginning the light deprivation techniques. If you have an automated light system for the first few weeks, give your plants 13–15 hours of light per day. You can decrease light once their branches are firm and they’re a good size. A general recommendation is to wait 4–8 weeks after vegging to turn your crops into light-deprived cannabis plants. It allows them to grow to the point where they can transport nutrients to the flowers.
Light dep cannabis vs indoor
It is challenging to compare light dep cannabis vs indoor cannabis. Different light deprivation techniques can be used in indoor, greenhouse, and outdoor environments, with varying results. Outdoor growers typically take advantage of the summer sun for up to 14 hours per day. Conversely, it would be best to plant outdoor light dep cannabis in a location that receives only 12 hours of sunlight per day. To stimulate growth, standard indoor setups require artificial lighting with a 16:8 light/dark cycle and a 12/12 light cycle during the flowering phase. Indoor light dep cannabis maintains a 12–hour cycle throughout its life.
Light dep cannabis cultivators commonly use greenhouses. Growers can make changes as needed, protect their plants, and save money on long-term energy costs.
How to automate light dep cannabis
Without a doubt, the necessity for uniformity when covering and uncovering your plants daily can make such a project quite time-consuming. After all, you will have to do it every day for several weeks. As if this wasn’t difficult enough, the plants, regrettably, don’t handle mistakes or forgetfulness well either. Skilled gardeners who use light dep to increase yields will usually automate the process.
Autoflowering strains and cannabis light deprivation
Autoflower cannabis seeds benefit from not being dependent on natural daylight cycles for flowering. Most autos can thrive with 13-18 hours of sunlight per day, and some gardeners even use a 24hour light schedule. Because autos do not respond to changes in light hours, using different light dep techniques on these strains makes little sense. However, if you want to grow outside but don’t want to rely on natural daylight hours, growing autoflowering strains, particularly “super autos,” can be a great option.
FAQs about light dep cannabis
Is light deprivation cannabis of top quality?
This is a challenging question to answer straightforwardly. Technically, light dep cannabis can be of high quality if done correctly, but it depends on the strain. When it comes to cannabinoid quality content, some strains perform better in light dep techniques, while others perform better when grown conventionally. That isn’t to say that light dep cannabis isn’t beneficial; on the contrary. It has no choice but to be good because it is grown in such a controlled environment. However, this does not make it superior to conventionally grown cannabis. We believe you should try it for yourself to see the difference.
Is light dep cannabis good or bad?
Most people ask themselves, “is light dep cannabis good or bad to the plant, the quality of the buds, or the yields.” The answer is that it is good. Using cannabis light deprivation techniques to grow your crops increases yields and potency while providing a well-balanced life cycle for the plant.
Are greenhouses better for cannabis light deprivation techniques?
Greenhouse light deprivation techniques are an excellent option for most cannabis growers. Farmers can use dark panels to minimize light exposure while providing a stable, safe crop environment. Greenhouse growers can also add lights to their setup to create a 12-hour day/night cycle.