Growing is equal parts an art and a science. With all of the different parts of the puzzle that need to come together, there’s a lot to consider when shopping around.
At first glance, it looks like Mars Hydro have a massive range of products available. While they do have a large range, a quick look will tell you that the ‘Blurple’ series that are advertised are actually from their discontinued range.
They’ve since been upgraded, so now you can buy from two ranges on their website:
Mars SP Series:
- Due to the bar-like shape of the SP series, the footprint of these lights is narrower than the TS series. However, due to this more concentrated area of light, the TS provides deeper penetration for the bottom leaves of plants
Mars TS Series:
- The TS series is a higher wattage, a more powerful series of lamps put out by Mars Hydro. With a much broader ‘board’ shape, the footprint of the TS series is an excellent choice for wide yields, but due to the less concentrated design of this model, it means it does not penetrate the lower leaves of denser plants as effectively as the SP series.
How did I come across Mars Hydro Lights?
Honestly, it didn’t take long to find Mars Hydro lights. A good quick search for good quality grow lights brings up this brand’s name, and for reasons, I’ll explore in more detail below, it’s not hard to see why.
But first, let’s talk about why I found myself searching for new grow lights.
The lights I was using just weren’t working:
I was using cheap, poorly made lights, and it showed. I was experiencing burnouts and breakages within a year of using some cheaper models and found myself replacing them over and over again, which becomes very expensive very quickly.
Another common problem others have had is the growth of the top-heavy plant – when you use a light that’s too weak or doesn’t penetrate the lower leaves properly so they can’t photosynthesize.
With weaker lights, plants will often stretch out and grow towards any light source they can – this results in weak, top-heavy plants, and lowers your yield.
The final problem I and many others have experienced is the problem of hot lights. Although LED lights don’t get nearly as hot as some alternatives on the market, like HPS lamps, cheaper LED lights can get far too hot.
This decreases their lifespan and poses the danger of drying out your plants.
So, is there a solution?
As it turns out, there is! It comes in the form of a surprisingly low-cost series of lights, from Mars Hydro – a brand based in China that focuses on mixing high quality and low cost. This company strives to deliver professional quality, innovative products to its international market base.
Proof of their constant updating and modifications of their products comes in the form of the recent move from their ‘blurple’ range.
They have recently moved from their traditional ‘blurple’ full-spectrum LED lights, updating them in the form of the TS and SP ranges. We’ll go into the important upgrade these new lights saw in a little more detail below.
So, what’s so special about the Mars?
- With their recent new overhaul, the Mars Hydro lights now contain SMD chips. These chips are becoming far more popular because they’re more efficient than their traditional counterparts.
- The other major overhaul they’ve made that puts them ahead of some competitors is the move away from traditional ‘blurple’ lights.
- The ‘blurple’ – a combination of blue and purple that give us the full spectrum needed for healthy growth – is one of the best all-round light systems to use for growing, but Mars Hydro has found a way to expand on this.
- All of their lights now boast a more natural ‘sunlike’ light spectrum. Mimicking the sunlight gives a more natural, beneficial boost to the plants, and is an impressive addition on the brand’s part.
As I said above, the Mars Hydro website markets its lights in two ranges – the TS series and the SP series. Each line carries a number of different products, each of which has its own dimensions and abilities that will be good for you depending on your needs.
We’ve listed the two lines for you down below for a useful comparison, to help decide which line is the best for you.
First up is the TS series
- This series has a wider scope of sizes than the SP series, and the wide range of lights works to the brand’s advantage.
- The relatively low entry point of this series means that Mars Hydro can cater to everyone.
- While some brands pride themselves more mainly catering to professional growers who are looking for a large yield, Mars Hydro aims to support a wide customer base.
|Product||Power consumption||Dimensions||Footprint (coverage of plants)|
|TS 600||100W||356*310*36MM||2 x 2 ft|
|TS 1000||150W||360*336*34.55MM||3 x 3 ft|
|TSW 2000||300W||539*499.5*95MM||4 x 4 ft|
|TSL 2000||300W||996*253.32*90.01MM||3 x 5 ft|
|TS 3000||450||641.5*579.2*68.63MM||5 x 5 ft|
The SP Series:
It boasts an impressively efficient output. While delivering an intense output (which translates into a higher price point), the SP series also has another feature not featured in the TS series.
The SP series features water-resistant protection to prevent damage to the lights. This is a must for high-humidity growing rooms, which makes the SP series an attractive line.
|Product||Power Consumption||Dimensions||Footprint (coverage of plants)|
|SP 150||135W||598*80*49.5MM||2 x 4ft|
|SP 250||245W||1080*90*80MM||3 x 6ft|
|SP 3000||330W||1080*103*80MM||4 x 5ft|
Before you buy
No brand is free from criticism, of course. In order to give you the best possible overview of this brand, we’ve compiled Mars Hydro into a handy list for you.
Pros of the Mars Hydro Products:
- Many brands as being for the professional growers – those who want a big yield, or are growing as a source of income, who will be more likely to spend a serious amount of money on their tools
- While Mars Hydro do have more expensive lights that will set you back a few hundred dollars, their starting point is the very affordable $79
- Considering the quality you get for the price you pay, this is seriously impressive
High quality, innovative lights
- Mars Hydro have recently overhauled their range, shifting away from more traditional LED light formats towards newer, innovative designs
- This involved moving away from the blue/purple color spectrum and towards a more ‘natural’ light that simulates the sun for optimal growth
Cons of Mars Hydro
Not all of their lights are waterproof
- Only the SP series is water-resistant, which is a downside for many
- Given the likelihood of high water levels in the atmosphere, it could be a serious downside for some growers to consider when buying
There’s no power switch on the light
- Given the serious customization available on some other brands, which allow you to remotely control the lights to mimic a day/night cycle, this is a serious downside
They can get hot
- Heat output is a common problem for growers. Mars Hydro have tried to create a silent experience for customers by not using fans in some of their lights
- This means that they can get hotter than some similar LED lights, which isn’t what you want
- Either you’ll have to invest in cooling fans yourself, or you’ll have to find another way to offset this extra heat output in the form of extra ventilation
What do other customers think?
Other reviews from customers have been very complimentary. Customers are quick to note the high quality and the low cost, which is unusual within the market.
For anyone without the money to make a serious investment in higher-end products, these are a good option.
The output is adjustable, which can be handy for those using smaller growing tents who don’t need to take advantage of the full power of these lights.
Again, this just shows that Mars Hydro are interested in catering to everyone from casual hobbyists to professional growers.
One problem that some have mentioned is the issue of heating. The lack of fans on the SP line of lights means that they are much quieter than some other versions on the market.
This is optimal for those who are growing from the comfort of their own home, who don’t want the distraction of loud fans.
However, this means that the lights can get hot. Some customers have said that this isn’t a serious issue for them and that the only thing they need to consider is making sure their plants don’t get too close to the lights and get scorched.
For some other users, this has been a more significant issue. The raised temperature can seriously reduce your yield, so you may have to invest in another way of ventilating your lights.
So, should you buy this? And if you want to, where can you find it?
Well, that depends on your growing needs. For the beginner grower or someone with a smaller yield, then this is an impressive starter to mid-range of lights.
While they don’t boast some of the impressive features of very expensive brands, for the everyday user, those features might actually not be useful at all.
Without adding these features, Mars Hydro is able to focus on the core aspects that make a grow light work well. They are constantly updating their range of available lights, improving on the lights that are already available.
The newly released SP 3000W is a great example of this – it’s being marketed as an improved version of their 250W model.
For the hobbyist or beginner, this is a great option when you consider the cost/quality payoff. Starting at just $79, these lights are surprisingly innovative, working to generate a high output.
Mars Hydro have also worked to make their lights more effective, moving away from the traditional purple/blue spectrum of lights to simulate sunlight, an unusual and unique feature.
Finally, a feature that sets them apart is the SMD LED technology, which is growing more and more popular against traditional LEDs. These LEDs allow for a fuller color spectrum, allowing the brand to give you that simulated sunlight in your grow tent.
So, if you choose to buy these lights, where can you get them from? They’re available on the Mars Hydro website, and their range can also be found easily on amazon.com.
So, what do I think of Mars Hydro?
While the market has become saturated with cheap, low-quality brands in recent years, it has also got a lot of good quality lights that are very expensive. As someone with a low budget, who can’t justify a large expense like some brands demand, those lights are out of reach.
Mars Hydro balance that desire for high quality with lower cost, to give their customers the best of both worlds. Of course, there are some features that you wouldn’t find with more expensive brands, like the lack of fans and the lack of a power switch.
For more serious, professional growers, this brand may be one that you stay away from for that reason.
However, for the average, everyday grower, or for someone who is new to growing and doesn’t want to make a large investment straight away, this is an attractive option.
Many people choose cheaper lights when they get started, and as a result, a lot of people end up getting stuck with low-quality lights that will need replacing in a year. In order to avoid going through this process, I think the Mars Hydro range of lights would be a better investment.