Interrupted artificial light?

AnneCecilia z5 MIJanuary 12, 2013

My question concerns growing under artificial lights (florescent.) I work full time and so of course I like to enjoy viewing my violets when I am at home, which is early morning and evening. Since they look their best when the lights are on, would it harm them if I set the timer for a split schedule: On for about 2 hours in the early morning when I'm up and going about my morning chores, then off when I leave for work and on again in the afternoon to remain on until I go to bed? The total time on would be 11 hours, which is what they are used to now. Would that break in the lighting (there would be some natural light from the window across the room so they would not be in total darkness) confuse them and harm their development in any way? Has anyone else done this?

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Depending on the photoperiod (total time of light exposure)I suspect it would be fine. However, if your plants don't receive at least 8 hours of darkness, they will be harmed. Otherwise, I'd think that when the lights go off in the morning and the plants only get a little sun, perhaps that would be like a cloudy part of the day? I'm not sure. It would be good to experiment with, but do so with only one or two plants to start with and allow several weeks to see if there is any harm done. I can't stress this enough. Never change something with all your plants at once. I hope this helps a little.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 10:44PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

It can even be to your advantage. I think I read about experiments in industrial greenhouses on 4 hours on 4 hours off regime. The idea is - the plants accummulate energy and nutrients in high light time - and actually grow in the night until they use them up. The 4/4 regime was supposed to reduce the down time - when the accumulated building blocks are already used - but new day is not here yet.

And again - the harm of 24 hours light non stop - is not that serious. Means it still increases your electric bill, and it is not conductive to grow show plants- but they won't die.

AVs come from near equatorial area of Africa = with day and night about the same in all seasons - not from tundra - where polar night changes to polar day with almost 24 hour of light. So if we think about what is genetically programmed in our plants - good night rest - just what Mark recommends.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 12:35PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

That all makes good sense. I will adjust my timer and see how it goes. I'll report back to let you know! Thanks,

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 8:09PM
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About year ago I changed the timer on my lights . They now come on at 6:30 am , but I have them set to go off for 15 min every 2 hours and then they finale go out at 9:30pm. I made the change because I could not keep the temp down . It was some times running up to 88 and even 90 in the afternoon. Since I made the change my plant have responded wonderfully to the change. The plant room is cooler, the variegated plant are showing stronger variegation and the centers of most of the plants have even opened up a little to good effect.

This post was edited by daniel.edmondson on Fri, Jan 18, 13 at 13:21

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:18PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Thanks for sharing your experience, Daniel. That helps me feel that what I am doing will not end in disaster! ;-) Actually, so far the violets have not seemed to notice the change at all - but it is early days yet.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 7:40AM
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