The dinoflagellates in the Dino Pet are special because they have a circadian clock that controls their bioluminescence and photosynthesis cycles. This internal clock is on a 24-hour cycle.
Dinoflagellates (dinos) are special because they have a circadian clock that controls when they can take in light and when they can produce light. Like most of us, they follow the sunrise and sunset of the day.
Since your dinos were born in San Diego, they are accustomed to glowing 5pm PT – 5am PT. Depending on where you live, there might be a slight time difference to account for initially. Your dinos will adapt to your schedule over time.
Ideally, dinos should be placed in a location that gets 10-14 hours of moderate light and 10-14 hours of darkness each day. Dinos should not receive bright light or direct sunlight as this can heat them up. Soft artificial light will work just fine.