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What is the Difference Between the SolarXtreme and SolarSystem series from California LightWorks?

led grow lights

The SolarSystem and SolarXtreme are two of the most popular LED grow light series from California LightWorks. Both feature high-efficiency lights using the latest in LED technology. Both are well-loved by commercial and home growers alike.

That said, they’re not interchangeable. These series were designed with different applications in mind and come with different benefits. If you’re wondering which is better for your specific needs, we can help.

The short version is that SolarXtreme is tailored more for personal use, whereas the SolarSystem series is designed with commercial operations in mind. Because they’re meant for growing a commercial product in larger facilities, the SolarSystem series is higher powered and has some more nuanced features especially digital spectrum control and high power LED diodes. SolarXtreme, on the other hand, has a super simple operation and is more cost-friendly for personal use.

If you’re still not sure which one best suits your grow setup, here are a few more considerations.

SolarXtreme vs. SolarSystem: Applications

The SolarXtreme series is great for home growers who want to keep it simple. These lights work well in a grow tent, a closet, or a multi-light setup. SolarXtreme features COB LEDs with a very wide angle. This allows you to get the light closer to the plant without a light burn. Reflective walls such as a grow tent are highly recommended for SolarXtreme. All SolarXtreme lights feature an easy plug-and-play design, so you don’t have to mess with the complicated installation. Possible coverage areas include:

While the SolarSystem lights are user-friendly for growers of all experience levels, this series was designed specifically for commercial use. This is the most advanced LED light series on the market, and these lights can be used for pretty much any application, including large scale warehouse operations, greenhouses, and personal grow tents. SolarSystem features very high power Osram LED diodes with a narrow-angle. This means that the light can be mounted higher over the canopy and work great in a commercial application with high ceilings. SolarSystem also features fully programmable spectrum control. The series includes a few more models than the SolarXtreme series, with coverage areas ranging from 5’ x 5’ at the low end with the SolarSystem 275 all the way up to 8’ x 8’ with the SolarSystem 1100.

SolarXtreme vs. SolarSystem: Spectrum

One of the most notable differences between the SolarXtreme and SolarSystem series is spectrum control.

All SolarXtreme LED lights feature California LightWorks’ exclusive Optigrow light spectrum. This is a fixed full spectrum suitable for all stages of growth. These LEDs saturate plants with loads of usable light, with PAR readings at 1684 PPFD from 12” with the SolarXtreme 500. The Optigrow spectrum is specially formulated by California for great results in bloom.

The SolarSystem Controller is what sets the SolarSystem series apart from SolarXtreme. Because these LED lights are created with the goal of helping commercial growers increase profits and the quality of their product, the SolarSystem allows for more manipulation of the light spectrum and—as a result—more control over the crop. Every light in this series features a three-channel adjustable spectrum covering the spectrum ranges of blue, white, and red. With the SolarSystem Controller, growers can control the light spectrum for an unlimited number of SolarSystem lights. They can even program an entire grow cycle automatically.

This collection also includes the SolarSystem UVB, a great option for heightening the potency of your grow in the finishing stages. There is even a convenient combo option with the SolarSystem 1100 UVB. This package features two SolarSystem UVB lights and the SolarSystem 1100 with special brackets to mount these lights together. This allows you to control the light spectrum throughout the growth cycle and bring in those powerful UVB rays in the final stage without switching out lights or reconfiguring your setup.

The SolarSystem series promises high intensity, usable light, with a PAR reading of 2813 PPFD from 12” for the mid-range SolarSystem 550.

SolarXtreme vs. SolarSystem: Specs

Those are the broad strokes. Now to get down into the nitty-gritty.

Neither the SolarXtreme series nor the SolarSystem series are made with cheap LED grow lights from China. The lights in both series are built in California. SolarSystem uses highly advanced Osram LEDs, and SolarXtreme features proprietary California LightWorks “chip on board” (COB) design. COB eliminates the need for LED drivers that drive up energy usage, making ours a truly efficient model.

SolarSystem lights come with 90-277v automatic recognition. SolarXtreme lights feature fixed voltages of 110/120 or 220/240. Both collections include active cooling for efficient operation and long life span for the LEDs.

For both series, dimensions range from 8.5” x 8.5” x 4” to 18” x 18” x 4” depending on the model. Both have a power draw of up to 800w, again depending on the model.

SolarSystem lights all come with a 5-year warranty. SolarXtreme offers a 1-year warranty. And, as with all California LightWorks product, these lights are backed by friendly, U.S.-based customer service.


If you’ve been eyeballing these collections but haven’t been sure which is right for you, this should clear things up a bit. The LED grow lights in both series are of the highest quality. The primary difference is in their application and the extent of their capabilities. In a nutshell, if you want something super simple that will still yield above-average results for your home grow, SolarXtreme is probably the way to go. If you want to get a little more sophisticated with your personal grow setup or you’re a commercial grower, the SolarSystem series is a great option.

If we can help you figure out which lights are best for your space and cultivation goals, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always here and always happy to speak with our growers.



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