Scott, you do turn those lights off at night, don’t you? Plants, like us, need some “sleep” time, too. It’s a different set of necessary biological processes going on when it’s dark.
I, too, use a combo of lights throughout winter. For me that’s usually late November until some time in March. The main arrays are high output flourescents in the vegetative range. Also there are arrays of multi-spectrum led’s that are supposed to include all the wavelengths for both veg and bloom.
I think large leaves are produced under lower than optimal light levels, but I could be wrong there. Mine do put on growth during winter after they finish pouting about the change in lighting and temps. They also bloom and start setting fruit while in there. It scents the house. Sometimes I feel like it’s too perfumey in here.
Patty can probably tell you more about the when to pick than I can. I think I just get lucky on that. Either that or it’s intuitive. The fruit tends to be full and heavy for its size, colored up (though that’s not always a true indication for citrus) has the right texture, and feels right in the hand. With my Owari satsumas, the skin becomes looser and they have a puffy feel, but that isn’t the case with most others. With limes, the weight is there, the skin is lightening toward yellow in color, and becomes smooth. Like many fruit, they’ve gone through a spurt of fattening up just before and as the skin changes take place. Peels on all the ones I have get the proper fragrance when scratched.
Judging ripeness is a little more tricky with container grown. Since the trees are only carrying a limited number of fruits, I try not to sacrifice any too early by picking one to try out. But if you leave them too long, the taste can change and be a bit off. Many citrus will hold their fruits long beyond optimal ripeness.
If yours has been on there a full year and is well hydrated, I’d guess that it has probably been ready for awhile. Maybe it doesn’t affect the trees in the long run, but l prefer not to let them continue to expend effort supporting ripe fruit once it’s ready. I think that energy might be better used to produce the next round.
I don’t consider myself an expert by a long shot. Most of what I say is just relaying my own experience, which is likely to vary at least a little from the next person’s.