LED Lighting Choices-too many

Hi folks! I’ve begun my journey and have a few crucial questions about lighting. I see a few people have used some less expensive lights with good success. I see others have success with very expensive lights. Some of the ones I want to know about are the California Lightworks Solarsystem 550, HLG 550 V2 Eco, and on the opposite end of list is Viparspectra V600. I’ve got a 3x3 tent that I’m hoping to grow 4 plants in.

Obviously not apples to apples but that’s not my question. I watched the video on California Lightworks’ website for this light and noticed a comment that I’m interested in finding out more about. He said the light should not be used at full power and should be mounted around 4 feet above the canopy. My grow area won’t allow more than 30” above the canopy for the light to be mounted. And if I’m never using it at full power then why not go with a less expensive unit?

I understand the Viparspectra V600 is a less expensive unit that’s mass produced and doesn’t have the controller that the CL unit has. But it’s 260watts at the wall which is roughly 2/3 of the CL unit. Even 2 V600s would be good no?

The HLG 550 V2 Eco is less expensive but doesn’t have the controller. It also doesn’t seem to have different blue/red settings. But it looks like it’s got great light penetration.

I’m leaning towards 2 of the V600s for my tent but don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish.

Any help is greatly appreciated!


Welcome to the forums.

@dbrn32 can you help this member please. I have no clue on a 3x3 tents light setup.

Hlg is the winner in most cases. I just dont know which one is best for the size tent you have.


Do yourself a favor and take all of the lights off of your shopping list that don’t tell you correct wattage draw up front. HLG would be my first choice but not sure a 550 isn’t too much for a 3 X 3.

It does have a dimmer on the driver. They also sell a ‘far red’ kit.

Efficacy of lights peaks at about 75% power. You don’t gain many lumens but generate more waste heat. Using these lights stand alone you would have turned down all the way in veg and only turn them up during flower where light demand is at it’s highest.

Those Vipars also do not draw anything like 600 watts. More like 275. With cheaper LED’s the operative is 50 watts per square foot as a rough cut on how much light to use. The latest tech LED’s run more like 25 to 30 watts per, for comparable results.

In every measurable way the expensive lights blow away the cheaper imports. PAR, CRI, Spectrum, Power consumption etc and they are silent too haha.


Looks like your choices are HLG or some older tech blurples. Even the expensive solarsystem is an older tech. less efficient light than the HLG. The HLG doesn’t have buttons for red/blue because it doesn’t need it, it’s got a better spectrum and CRI. Do you really want to open your tent to a blurple color everyday or a nice white light spectrum that looks more natural?

I bought 3 HLG lights recently, so kinda biased.

Put a HLG 550 r spec in the 3x3 flowering tent dimmed to 440 watts

And put a HLG 260 b spec in the 3x3 veg tent


For about the same price of 2 of the Viparspectras, you could get 1 HLG 260 r spec, would cover a 3x3 nicely,


I’m not necessarily married to those options. I thought the CL light was pretty high end so I read up about it. The Viparspectra I included because it got good reviews for a low end light.

I don’t have the need for two tents as of yet, just getting my feet wet. But your setups look great! I hadn’t realized the broad spectrum would suffice for all phases. More reading is apparently needed on my end. But more input from this group is much appreciated!!


And the 260R would cover veg too?


Yes it would.

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These burple manufacturers pay people to take down bad reviews for their product. They offered me money to change my review.


And you could always add another if you go light insane like me.



Ooh, that sucks. Really sucks!

What about the HLG 300L R? It’s $100 more than the 260 but the 260 is out of stock. Unless they replenish quickly, I’d rather not wait too long.

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The 300 is the same great light as the 260 but with fancy red heatsink with a little longer spread, great light and pre-made, can’t go wrong there.

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If you wanted to save the $100 and put it together yourself, looks like growerslights has the 260 r spec in stock.

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Plants are beautiful, and a heck of a nice setup.

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Thanks, they are coming along nicely.

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Hlg 260 R-Spec will do a fine job veg and flower. @Hellraiser has got you covered.


I would go with 260 kit or 300 if you don’t want to wait.


@Pmr I’ve had really good luck with Mars hydro lights.