First I did what they said. I used the SF recommended light schedule and dimmer settings and distance from the plants. When yield underwhelmed, I added nutes. Better, but not great.
Then I started pushing the dimmer settings, throwing a few extra photons in the mix. Plants responded by stretching until I ran out of adjustment for distance, yield a bit better, but I noticed my plants were never quite as plump as others. So I chased nute schedule and dosage, and went to giant, seven gallon pots, and the next pair started out ok, same as before, stretching seedlings wanting to fall over, and I’m thinking more thin plants.
So I just watered and ran my reduced dosage trio, and started some LST in the big fabric pots. Just about four weeks from sprout, and they’re lush and going great. In days I’ve been able to get nice LST going, and the leaf volume is incredible.
Then, crazy old stoner has a BFFO. about two weeks ago, or end of week two above ground, I wanted to check my plants early one morning, so I hit the bypass on the timer to light up the tent before the regular 6AM schedule. After watering, I went about my days, more watering, vigilant nutes according to my reduced dosage, and started LST, and never gave it another thought. Last might, after adjusting LST restraints, I thought “man, I’m getting this now”. Lush, healthy leaves galore, growing like crazy. Yeah, you dummy. They’ll do that when you run your light wide open, 24 on, at more or less the recommended distance. I’d forgotten about the bypass switch. I assumed the light was on 18/6. Miracle additive for plants, light!
Takeaways include, light sellers lie about power and energy savings. Yes, modern LED arrays are very energy efficient, but you still gotta put the electrons in to get photons out. The old school six hours rest was about cost for power versus yield. Your modern LED array runs cheap enough, time to yield and tent space become the limits, not power costs or heat from lights.
Plants, like people, crave what they don’t have. I do believe the sharp cut off of an 18/6 schedule encourages stretching by cutting light suddenly. The plant responds by reaching. Leave light on all the time , maybe less plant energy wasted on stretch, and more investment in the good stuff?