"Most green plants are classified as either C3 or C4 which represents how carbon(C) is used during photosynthesis. C4 plants temporarily store carbon dioxide(CO2) over the dark period to use for photosynthesis during the day. C4 plants slow down photosynthesis once the stored CO2 is used up and they need to gather it from the air. Which is why trees slow down photosynthesis in the afternoon even though the sun is still bright. This does NOT apply to cannabis. C3 plantsleaf:cannabis/veggies) gather CO2 only during the light period when they are photosynthesizing. During the dark period these plants only use oxygen for their metabolic life processes. They don't uptake CO2, nor do they use it. As soon and as long as the light is on, C3 plants gather and use CO2 for photosynthesis. C3 plants also have the ability to use higher concentrations of CO2 than what is found in the air. If the light is bright enough and the plants have sufficient nutes, their growth rate will accelerate from it(2000ppm vs. 400ppm of CO2), which increases yield. They can do this continuously, without a dark period throughout the vegetative stage. The dark reaction is a process of photosynthesis that takes place in both darkness and light. It uses ATP and NADPH molecules that hold energy absorbed from light to break apart CO2 into it's base components. Again people get anthropomorphic with their plant needs. People need rest, so plants must too. This is false as well. Light means growth. Scientifically. Although 18/6 will shock your plants less when you switch to 12/12, it's a personal choice whether you would rather sacrifice a little growth for a quicker adjustment or less photo confusion. If you want to save money or energy that's a personal choice too. Do what you need to do to make your growing scenario work. Another factor to consider, your ballast/starter life will be shorter the more you turn it on and off." Hope this helps.