Day-night cycled light improves health outcomes in preterm infants, yet the best time to institute cycled light is unclear. The hypothesis of this study was that extremely preterm infants receiving early cycled light would have better health and developmental outcomes than infants receiving late cycled light. Infants born at ≤28 weeks gestation were randomly assigned to early cycled light (ECL) starting at 28 weeks postmenstrual age [PMA] or late cycled light (LCL), starting at 36 weeks PMA. Daylight was 200-600 lux and night was 5-30 lux. Primary outcomes were weight over time and length of hospitalization. Secondary outcomes were hospital costs, sleep development, and neurodevelopment at 9, 18, and 24 months corrected age. Of 121 infants randomized, 118 were included in analysis. Weight gain in the two groups did not differ significantly but increased across time in both groups. In PMA weeks 36-44, the mean weight gain was 193.8 grams in the ECL group compared to 176.3 grams in the LCL group. Effect sizes for weight were Cohen d = 0.26 and 0.36 for 36 and 44 weeks PMA. Infants in the ECL group went home an average of 5.5 days earlier than the LCL group, but this difference was not statistically significant. There were no group differences on neurodevelopmental outcomes. Although statistically non-significant, clinically important differences of improved weight gain and decreased hospital stay were observed with ECL. The small observed effect sizes on weight during hospitalization should be considered in future cycled light research with extremely preterm infants. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.