Light deprivation is a method of cultivation that utilizes the advantages of a plant’s photoperiodism capabilities. This process forces the plants to flower much sooner than is natural.
Light deprivation is manually imparted by simulating a 12-12 light dark cycle, or photoperiod. This resembles the length of days and nights in late summer months and can stimulate the plants to flower, bloom, and bear fruit much earlier than they otherwise would. Due to this controlled light exposure, this method is valuable to plant growers who are looking to speed up the flowering process, or are living in wet or colder climates.
Mass cultivators harvest more crops using this technique, and some cultivators may even achieve two or more harvests per season. This is because, when plants are budding in summer as opposed to fall it is much more advantageous. A popular method for cultivators to figure out if light deprivation is right for them is to grow a group of plants the “normal” way, and then cultivate a separate group using light deprivation to compare the two yields. Light deprivation will not work for all cultivators, as multiple factors like climate, environment, amount of light exposure, and plant size are all at play.
Light deprivation techniques can be applied both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor systems take advantage of natural sunlight while providing plants with artificial darkness via tarps and canopies. Indoor light deprivation systems rely on artificial lighting to provide plants with the correct amount of darkness and light.