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Matt Soltesz: The California Lightworks Featured Grower For October

California Lightworks Featured Grower

It is with great pleasure to announce our first winner of our California Lightworks Featured Grower series.

Congratulations Matt Soltesz!

Please watch and read Matt’s winning submission for October. 

Meet Matt Soltesz

Installing the SolarSystem 550

At first sight, my SS 550 was sleek, compact, solidly built and packaged well. It had a good weight and feel to it and was easy to install in a 5 x 5 tent. Fans are quiet and the unit did not heat up above fans or beyond 72/73 degrees.

I also purchased the controller. I want to have the ability to mix the red, blues, and white during the different phases of growth while further decreasing power consumption. Also, having the view mode was an attractive feature along with the sunrise/sunset option. 

The Benefits of SolarSystem 550

I’ve used LEDs in the past and one drawback was no viewing mode – or even white diodes – in order to further inspect potential issues with the plants. It just makes it easier to see. The automatic countdown to grow mode previously set ensures you don’t forget to change back. The sunrise/sunset just makes sense to me and I’m glad this was researched and implemented by the design team.

Another choice I opted for was the UVB attachment. I’ve experimented with this on smaller grows by using a reptile light, albeit much less wattage than your version offered. So when I saw that you offered it, I didn’t hesitate to add it to my current set up.

The Results

I started from seed and initially used some 10 year old 25 watt “Glow Panels” LED panels I had laying around the basement. I soon realized that wouldn’t be sufficient and purchased an 8 light Agrobrite T5 set up, which I used until I purchased my SS 550. 

I finished the last 2/3 weeks of veg under the 550 and noticed an instant difference while my plants were only in 1 gallon cloth pots. 

I gradually weeded out any males before flipping to pre-flower mode. This is following your recommended levels for red, blue, and white for one week. This feature is not possible without the controller. After that, I switched to full bloom by bringing down blues another 10%, where I’ve been for 78 days today. I’ve been using the UVB for the past 6 weeks for 30 minute midday cycles. 

I’ve had overwhelming success in bloom both in size as well as trichome production. I’ve been able to maximize my footprint by adjusting the height of my light throughout the bloom phase. I’d say my only limitation has been user error either by over or underwatering and improper nutrient feeding schedule. 

Still though, the lights perform well and cannabis is resilient and responding well to it. The aroma is intense and I know the final product, when cured properly, will be amazing.

The Process

I use Roots Organic Nutrients in HP Pro Mix in a 5 x 5 tent and one SS 550 with UVB attachment. I have three Rez Dogs Diesel and two Strawberry Cough in 5 gallon cloth pots and three Gunk in a 3.5 gallon pot. 

I’m able to keep an approximately 4’ x 3’ footprint by manicuring well as I went along. I also topped each plant once at the end of veg.

I currently participate in the online Facebook forum and find it to be a nice aspect of buying into your company’s product and vision. Looking forward to starting my next grow soon!


Check out Matt’s submission on YouTube to learn more about his growing process. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to submit.  

Interested in being a California Lightworks Featured Grower? Apply here and get your submission in for next month! We will be giving away another $500 gift card to be used on anything on our website.


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