What’s the Difference: 10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX

With the rapid development of optical communication industry, fiber optic transceivers have been designed smaller and smaller with high diversification to cater for the need of Gigabit Ethernet. As a result, various types of standard for Mini GBIC (SFP, small form-factor pluggable) and SFP+ come out, such as 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, 10GBASE-SR and 10GBASE-LR, etc. For these different Gigabit Ethernet standards, do you know the differences among them? 10GBASE-SR vs 1000BASE-SX: the differences have been illustrated before. In this post, the differences of 10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX will be explained.

What Is 10GBASE-LR?

As its name implies, 10GBASE-LR is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard specified to transmit data over long distance (the letters “LR” refers to “long reach”) through single mode fiber, which is defined in IEEE 802.3 Clause 49. For instance, HPE J9151A 10GBASE-LR SFP+ can reach up to 10 km at a rate of 10.3125 Gbp/s with 1310 nm wavelength, which is widely used in 10GbE, SDH and SONET.

HPE j9151a 10GBASE-LR SFP+Figure 1: This photo shows the HPE j9151a 10GBASE-LR SFP+.

What Is 1000BASE-LX?

1000BASE-LX is a Gigabit Ethernet standard in IEEE 802.3 Clause 38. 1000BASE-LX SFP rates up to 1.25Gbp/s with a long wavelength laser of 1,270 to 1,355 nm. Different from LR transceiver, LX SFP is available both in single mode and multimode systems, which gives it some advantages in multiple mode application. Although LX SFP is specified to transfer data over a long distance of up to 5 km through single-mode fiber, it also supports multimode fiber system with a maximum reach distance of 550 m. It is noted that for distance over 330 m in multimode fiber, a special launch adjustment patch cable is required to reduce the differential mode delay effect. 1000BASE-LX is frequently used in 1GbE and fiber channel. For Cisco SFP 1000BASE-LX, there are different types and Cisco GLC-LH-SM 1000Base-LX SFP is commonly accepted by end users.

Cisco SFP 1000BASE-LX

Figure 2: This photo shows the Cisco SFP 1000BASE-LX.

10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX: What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, 10GBASE-LR and 1000BASE-LX both are types of Gigabit Ethernet standards for fiber transceivers. But what are the distinctions? The following table lists the differences of 10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX.

Data Rate 10.3125Gbps 1.25Gbps
Form Type SFP+ SFP
Interface LC duplex LC duplex
Fiber Type Single mode Single mode and multimode
Wavelength 1310 nm 1270-1355 nm
Transmission Distance 10 km 5-10 km over single mode fiber;
550 m over multimode fiber

Although 10GBASE-LR and 1000BASE-LX both support long distance transmission, they are distinct from data rate. The former is applied to 10GbE while the latter is used in 1GbE. Both of them play their own essential roles in different fields and can not be confused with each other.


Comparing and contrasting 10GBASE-LR vs 1000BASE-LX, we find they share some similarities in maximum wavelength and transfer distance, however, they are different Ethernet standards distinct from each other for their data transmission rate, transmission distance and fiber type. Generally speaking, both have their own leading place in the current market, people can say one standard gives an edge over others only under specific circumstance. One decide on which to choose by combining his own need and the characteristics of different standards and types.

SFP 40 km VS. DWDM SFP: Which to Choose?

Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. It is also called mini-GBIC for its smaller size, which is the upgraded version of GBIC transceiver. These 1Gb SFP modules are capable of supporting speeds up to 4.25 Gbps. And they are most often used for Fast Ethernet of Gigabit Ethernet applications. It interfaces a network device motherboard (for a switch, router, media converter or similar device) to a fiber optic or copper networking cable. SFP modules are commonly available in several different categories: 1000BASE-T SFP, 1000BASE-EX SFP, 1000BASE-SX SFP, 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP, 1000BASE-BX SFP, 1000BASE-ZX SFP, CWDM SFP and DWDM SFP. These modules support different distance according to the different Gigabit Ethernet standard. Today’s main subject will discuss SFP 40 km vs. DWDM SFP.

FS.COM Optical Transceivers

SFP 40 km

SFP 40 km transceiver is designed for highly reliable fiber optic network links up to 40 km. It is a cost effective transceiver designed to enable 1Gb for data center and core network applications. 1000BASE-EX SFP is the most popular SFP 40 km transceiver which runs on 1310nm wavelength lasers and achieves 40km link length. Except that, 1000BASE-BX BiDi SFP, 1000BASE-LH SFP and 1000BASE-LX SFP can also realize the transmission distance up to 40 km. The following will introduce these 1GbE SFP 40 km transceivers respectively.

1000BASE-EX SFP 40 km

1000BASE-EX SFP transceiver module is designed to connect a Gigabit Ethernet port to a network and has dual LC/PC single mode connectors. It operates on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 40 km in length. The SFP Ethernet module provides a dependable and cost-effective way to add, replace or upgrade the ports on switches, routers and other networking equipment. Cisco GLC-EX-SM1550-40 and Cisco GLC-EX-SMD are 1G single mode fiber SFP 40 km modules for 1000BASE-EX Gigabit Ethernet transmission. GLC-EX-SM1550-40 supports a 1550nm wavelength signaling, while GLC-EX-SMD supports a 1310nm wavelength signaling.

SFP 40 km

1000BASE-BX SFP 40 km

1000BASE-BX SFP is a kind of BiDi transceiver, which can be divided into 1000BASE-BX-D SFP and 1000BASE-BX-U SFP. These two SFP transceivers must be used in pairs to permit a bidirectional Gigabit Ethernet connection using a single strand of single mode fiber (SMF) cable. The 1000BASE-BX-D SFP operates at wavelengths of 1490nm TX/1310nm RX, and the 1000BASE-BX-U SFP operates at wavelengths of 1310nm TX/1490nm RX.

  • 1000BASE-BX-D BiDi SFP 40 km

Cisco GLC-BX40-D-I and GLC-BX40-DA-I are pluggable fiber optical transceivers for Gigabit Ethernet 1000BASE-BX and Fiber Channel communications. They support link length of up to 40 km point to point on single mode fiber at 1Gbps bidirectional and use an LC connector. The GLC-BX40-D-I transceiver transmits a 1490nm channel and receives a 1310nm signal, whereas GLC-BX40-DA-I transmits at a 1550nm wavelength and receives a 1310nm signal.

  • 1000BASE-BX-U BiDi SFP 40 km

Similar to 1000BASE-BX-D 40 km SFP , Cisco GLC-BX40-U-I and GLC-BX40-UA-I also support link length of up to 40 km point to point on single mode fiber at 1Gbps bidirectional and use an LC connector. The main difference is the wavelength: GLC-BX40-U-I transmits a 1310nm channel and receives a 1550nm signal, whereas GLC-BX40-UA-I transmits at a 1310nm wavelength and receives a 1490nm signal. A GLC-BX40-D-I or GLC-BX40-DA-I device connects to a GLC-BX40-U-I or GLC-BX40-UA-I device with a single strand of standard SMF with an operating transmission range up to 40 km.

1000BASE-LX SFP 40 km

1000BASE-LX is a standard specified in IEEE 802.3 Clause 38 which uses a long wavelength laser. The “LX” in 1000BASE-LX stands for long wavelength, indicating that this version of Gigabit Ethernet is intended for use with long-wavelength transmissions (1270 – 1355nm) over long cable runs of fiber optic cabling. Allied Telesis AT-SPLX40 and Allied Telesis AT-SPLX40/1550 are 1000BASE-LX SFP single-mode modules supports Gigabit Ethernet over single-mode cables at distances up to 40 km. AT-SPLX40 operates over a wavelength of 1310nm for 40 km, whereas AT-SPLX40/1550 operates over a wavelength of 1550nm.

1000BASE-LH SFP 40 km

Unlike 1000BASE-LX, 1000BASE-LH is just a term widely used by many vendors. Long Haul (LH) denotes longer distances, so 1000BASE-LH SFP modules operate at a distance up to 70 km over single mode fiber. Cisco Linksys MGBLH1 is a easy-to-install modules that provide a simple way to add fiber connectivity or to add an extra Gigabit Ethernet port to switches. The MGE transceiver can support distances up to 40 km over single-mode fiber at a 1310nm wavelength.


DWDM SFP transceivers are used as part of a DWDM optical network to provide high-capacity bandwidth across an optical fiber network, which is a high performance, cost effective module for serial optical data communication applications up to 4.25Gb/s. DWDM transceiver uses different wavelengths to multiplex several optical signal onto a single fiber, without requiring any power to operate. There are 32 fixed-wavelength DWDM SFPs that support the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 100-GHz wavelength grid. The DWDM SFP can be also used in DWDM SONET/SDH (with or without FEC), but for longer transmission distance like 200 km links and Ethernet/Fibre Channel protocol traffic for 80 km links. Cisco C61 DWDM-SFP-2877-40 is a 1000BASE-DWDM SFP 40km transceiver, which is designed to support distance up to 40 km over single-mode fiber and operate at a 1528.77nm DWDM wavelength (Channel 61) as specified by the ITU-T.



  • Transmission Medium

Generally, the standard SFP 40 km transceivers transmit through the single mode fiber, while DWDM SFP carries signals onto a single optical fiber to achieve maximum distances by using different wavelengths of laser light. So the DWDM SFP transceivers do not require any power to operate.

  • Wavelength

The standard SFP 40 km transceivers support distances up to 40 km over single-mode fiber at a 1310nm/1550nm wavelength. (the BiDi SFP has 1490nm/1550nm TX & 1310nm RX or 1310nm TX & 1490nm/1550nm RX ). However, DWDM SFP operates at a nominal DWDM wavelength from 1528.38 to 1563.86nm onto a single-mode fiber. Among them, 40 km DWDM SFP operates at a 1528.77nm DWDM wavelength (Channel 61).

  • Application

DWDM SFP is used in DWDM SONET/SDH, Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel applications. These modules support operation at 100Ghz channel. The actual SFP transceiver offers a transparent optical data transmission of different protocols via single mode fiber. And for back-to-back connectivity, a 5-dB inline optical attenuator should be inserted between the fiber optic cable and the receiving port on the SFP at each end of the link.

  • Price

DWDM provides ultimate scalability and reach for fiber networks. Boosted by Erbium Doped-Fiber Amplifiers (EDFAs)  – a sort of performance enhancer for high-speed communications, DWDM systems can work over thousands of kilometers. Most commonly, DWDM SFP is much more expensive than the standard SFP. You can see the price more clearly in the following cable.



1000BASE SFP transceiver is the most commonly used component for Gigabit Ethernet application. With so many types available in the market, careful notice should be given to the range of differences, both in distance and price of multimode and single-mode fiber optics. Through SFP 40 km vs. DWDM SFP, if you are looking for SFP modules over long distance and with better scalability, DWDM SFP module is the ideal choice.

Related Article: SFP Transceiver: To Be or Not To Be?

Fiber Optic Cable Handling Rules

Contaminated fiber optic cables can often lead to degraded network performance or even failure of the whole system. As such, to ensure that fiber optic cables can yield the best possible results of network performance, and it’s of great significance for network engineers to keep in mind how to handle fiber optic cables. Do you have any ideas? This text gives the guide to fiber optic cable handling rues.

Fiber Optic Cable Elements

Before delving into how to handle fiber optic cables, introduction to their makeup elements is required.

fiber optic cable fiver elements

Fiber optic cable generally consists of fiver elements (figure shown above): the optic core, optic cladding, a buffer material, a strength material and the outer jacket. Commonly made from doped silica (glass), the optic core is the light-carrying element at the center of the cable. Surrounding the core is the optic cladding, whose combination with the core makes the principle of total internal reflection possible. Surrounding the cladding is a buffer material used to help shield the core and cladding from damage. A strength material surrounds the buffer, preventing stretch problems when the fiber cable is being pulled. The outer jacket is added to protect against abrasion, solvents, and other contaminants.

The outer jacket on fiber optic patch cord is often color-coded to indicate the fiber types being used. For instance, multi-mode fiber (MMF) is usually in orange to distinguish from the color yellow for single-mode fiber (SMF) through which fiber optic transceivers realize relatively long distance, such as MGBLX1. This Cisco 1000BASE-LX SFP transceiver is able to achieve 10km link length over SMF.

Cisco 1000BASE-LX SFP, SMF

Fiber Optic Cable Handling Rules

Despite its outer protection mentioned above, fiber optic cable is still prone to damage. In such as case, a series of fiber cable handing rules are made to ensure that a cable is handled properly, so as to maintain the optimized performance, minimum insertion loss and safe working environments.

Rule 1: The exposed fiber end from coming in contact with all surfaces should be protected. If you contact the fiber with hard surfaces, then the end of it shall be scratched or chipped, causing the degraded performance.

Rule 2: It’s highly recommenced to lean the connector (plug) end each time it is inserted into an adapter, since since a dirty connector will contaminate an adapter.

Rule 3: If a fiber needs to be pulled, use the connector strain relief. Directly pulling on the fiber may result in the glass breaking.

Rule 4: It’s ill-advised to use your hands to clean a fiber work area. If you use your hands to wipe clean a work area, a piece of glass may get lodged into your hands. Considering the size of the glass, this glass may not be visible to the naked eye, bringing about eye damage.

Rule 5: If possible, always keep a protective cap on unplugged fiber connectors, because covering the adapters and connectors will help to avoid contamination and collection of residue. Besides, store unused protective caps in a resealable container in order to prevent the possibility of the transfer of dust to the fiber. Locate the containers near the connectors for easy access.

dust cap covers for protection

Rule 6: It’s suggestible to use fiber-cleaning materials only once. If optic grade wipes are used to clean the fiber end, they should be discarded immediately after the fiber surface has been wiped to avoid contamination.

Rule 7: The minimum bend radius of the fiber optic cable must be maintained. Surpassing the bend radius may cause the glass to fracture inside the fiber optic cable. Equally, to cause a twist of the cable is also not proposed.

Rule 8: Never look into a fiber while the system lasers are on. Eye damage may occur if you stare directly at a fiber end which is working. Always make sure that the fiber optic cables are disconnected from the laser source, prior to inspection.

After discussion, these handling rules may help you to deal with fiber optic cables and improve your network performance.


Proper handling procedures for fiber optic cables are needed to eliminate the possibility of being contaminated or damaged, and provide a clean environment for the network system. Fiberstore supplies many different types of fiber optic cables with high quality for various applications, like MTP cable. You can visit Fiberstore for more information about fiber optic cables.