The Impact of Far-Red Supplemental Lighting on Cannabis Flowering: A Comprehensive Guide

The Impact of Far-Red Supplemental Lighting on Cannabis Flowering: A Comprehensive Guide

The Impact of Far-Red Supplemental Lighting on Cannabis Flowering: A Comprehensive Guide

Cannabis cultivation has seen rapid advancements in recent years, with growers adopting innovative techniques to optimise plant growth, yield, and potency. One such technique involves the use of far-red supplemental lighting during the flowering stage of cannabis growth. This article delves into the effects of far-red supplemental lighting on cannabis plants during their flowering stage, discussing its benefits, mechanisms, and potential drawbacks.

Understanding Cannabis Flowering and Lighting

Cannabis plants undergo two primary growth stagesm vegetative and flowering. The vegetative stage is characterised by the development of foliage, stems, and branches, while the flowering stage is focused on bud production, which contains the sought-after cannabinoids and terpenes.

Lighting plays a crucial role in regulating these growth stages, as cannabis plants are highly sensitive to the spectrum and intensity of light. While blue light is preferred during the vegetative stage, red and far-red light become more important during the flowering stage, making far-red supplemental lighting a potentially beneficial addition.

The Benefits of Far-Red Supplemental Lighting

Shorter flowering time:

Far-red light (700-750 nm) has been shown to reduce the time to flowering in cannabis plants. By incorporating far-red supplemental lighting during the flowering stage, growers can potentially harvest their plants sooner, reducing the overall growth cycle and increasing the number of harvests per year.

Enhanced light penetration:

Far-red light has a longer wavelength, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the plant canopy than other wavelengths. This can lead to improved light distribution within the plant, promoting more even bud development and potentially increasing overall yield.

Improved bud density and structure:

Far-red light can influence bud development, resulting in denser and more structurally sound buds. This can contribute to higher quality cannabis flowers with increased potency and improved visual appeal.

Energy efficiency:

Far-red LEDs have low energy consumption and produce minimal heat, making them an energy-efficient and cost-effective option for cannabis growers. By using far-red supplemental lighting, growers can reduce their overall energy usage while still reaping the benefits of enhanced flowering.

The Science Behind Far-Red Light

The cannabis plant’s response to far-red light is mediated by phytochrome proteins, which regulate various physiological processes, including flowering. When these proteins absorb far-red light, they trigger a chain of events that promote flowering, bud development, and the production of secondary metabolites. This is why the addition of far-red light can positively influence cannabis flowering and yield.

Potential Drawbacks

While far-red supplemental lighting offers several benefits, it is essential to be aware of some potential drawbacks:


Excessive far-red light can lead to overstimulation, causing the cannabis plants to become too tall and lanky with elongated internodes. This can compromise the overall structural integrity and stability of the plants, making them more prone to breaking or collapsing.

Incomplete phytochrome conversion:

If far-red light is introduced too early or used excessively during the vegetative stage, it can disrupt the balance of phytochrome proteins, leading to incomplete conversion and potentially hindering flowering.


Incorporating far-red supplemental lighting during the flowering stage of cannabis cultivation can offer numerous benefits, such as shorter flowering times, enhanced light penetration, and improved bud density and structure. However, it is crucial to strike the right balance when using far-red light to avoid overstimulation or incomplete phytochrome conversion. By carefully considering the specific needs of their cannabis plants and adjusting their lighting strategies accordingly, growers can harness the power of far-red light to maximise their plants’ flowering potential and overall yield.

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