To investigate the effects of extended light/dark (L/D) cycle period (relative to the diurnal L/D cycle) on lettuce and explore potential advantages of abnormal L/D cycles, butter leaf lettuce were grown in a plant factory with artificial light (PFAL) and exposed to mixed red (R) and blue (B) LED light with different L/D cycles that were respectively 16 h light/8 h dark (L16/D8, as control), L24/D12, L48/D24, L96/D48 and L120/D60. The results showed that, all the abnormal L/D cycles increased shoot dry weight (DW) of lettuce (by 34-83%) compared with the control, and lettuce DW increased with the L/D cycle period prolonged. The contents of soluble sugar and crude fiber in lettuce showed an overall upward trend with the length of L/D cycle extended, and the highest vitamin C content as well as low nitrate content were both detected in lettuce treated with L120/D60. The light use efficiency (LUE) and electric use efficiency (EUE) of lettuce reached the maximum (respectively 5.37% and 1.76%) under L120/D60 treatment and so were DW, Assimilation rate (A), RC/CS, ABS/CS, TRo/CS and DIo/CS, indicating that longer L/D cycle period was beneficial for the assimilation efficiency and dry matter accumulation in lettuce leaves. The highest shoot fresh weight (FW) and nitrate content detected in lettuce subjected to L24/D12 may be related to the vigorous growth of root, specific L/D cycle seemed to strengthen root growth and water absorption of lettuce. The openness level of RC in PSII (Ψo), ETo/CS, and PIabs were all the highest in lettuce treated with L24/D12, implying that slightly extending the L/D cycle period might promote the energy flowing to the final electron transfer chain. In general, irradiation modes with extended L/D cycle period had the potential to improve energy use efficiency and biomass of lettuce in PFAL. No obvious stress or injury was detected in lettuce subjected to prolonged L/D cycles in terms of plant growth and production. From the perspective of shoot FW, the optimal treatment in this study was L24/D12, while L120/D60 was the recommended treatment as regards of the energy use efficiency and nutritional quality.