Our Mars Hydro LED Grow Light Review

Introduction

The recent release of both SP and TS series of LED grow lights by Mars Hydro calls for a comparison between them. They both utilize full-spectrum white semiconductors and combine bright- and yellow-white lights. While both series include IR and red semiconductors, only the SP series incorporates the ultraviolet spectrum.

Mars Hydro’s double LED lights series have a superior spectrum for greenery growth as opposed to HLG’s and COB’s grow lights. This article will discuss the features of each series which hopefully enlightens you about how Mars Hydro’s quantum boards get their best quality.

Analysis Of The SP Series

For ease of analysis, we will only emphasize Mars Hydro’s SP 250 model. 

Specifications

The model uses 245 units of power to run, halving your electrical usage as opposed to HID lights that are initially cheaper to purchase. It provides the ideal illumination for greeneries — strong red and blue light with other colors on top of infrared and ultraviolet light. Not to mention its astonishing efficiency and two by four-foot illumination area. 

Epistar supplies their semiconductors at a fair price while Meanwell supplies the adjustable driver for the LEDs. These SP series of lights supposedly last up till five years without bulb replacements and on top of the three-year warranty, there is a one-month money-back assurance.

Pros

The main advantage of the Mars Hydro’s SP series is its impressive white light full-spectrum that rejects the conventional blue-purple combination. It is just like an LED quantum board but includes red semiconductors, infrared, and ultraviolet light to complement the effects of full-spectrum white LEDs. 

The SP 250 caters to each stage of plant development and even emphasizes the red and blue light that are important to plants. Its semiconductors from Epistar are fitted with effective drivers that yield more power per unit input.

In addition, suspending the light source at various heights for each stage of plant growth allows you to adjust the level of light intensity to perfection. 

Although Mars only released data for a squared area of illumination, the SP 250 is actually rectangular in shape. This is suitable for bigger plantation areas but if your grow beds are squared and small, perhaps the TS series might suit you better.

The long-form of SP 250 maximizes coverage and wastes less light energy on empty spaces as opposed to squared lights. The bigger dimensions also provide more intense and even illumination throughout your grow bed as the light need not disperse as it does in smaller fixtures. 

As a Chinese production that recently expanded to the United States, Mars Hydro is able to improve clients’ sales experience, becoming more competitive in the industry.

In short, the SP series is best known for its ideal spectra, efficient output, and competitive prices. 

Cons

Other than the fact that it might be oversized for some squared grow beds, the lights under the SP series can heat up quite quickly as it only uses radiators and not fans. On the plus side, the light will work quietly. 

If you work indoors, ensure that there is more air circulation for these lights as they surely generate more heat than your usual LED lights.

Judgment Of The SP Series

The wonderful color spectra of the SP 250 brings the series on par with COB and Green Sunshine, the industry-standard grow light while keeping their prices more appealing. 

In terms of costs, a close competitor is Spider Farm’s LED grow lights. They are slightly pricier but are real quantum panel lights with a higher standard, although they lack the ultraviolet semiconductors. 

Mars Hydro’s customer service is also closer and more convenient for American clients now. Therefore, in terms of ratings, the SP series grow lights are deserving of a 4.7/5.

Analysis Of The TS Series

In this series, the four models are the TS 1000, 3000, TSW 2000, and TSL 2000. While the TSW is square-shaped, the TSL is rectangular. 

The specifications below will focus on the TSW 2000 but the remaining analysis of this series applies to all four models. 

Specifications

These lights use 310W to produce the same output as 450W does in HID lights. It also provides the ideal illumination for greeneries with its intense light, especially red and blue ones. Not to mention its low consumption, high output efficiency, and three by three-foot illumination area.

Once again, their diodes are supplied by Epistar while the drivers are from both Meanwell and a Chinese provider. All these drivers are adjustable and multi-purposed. These TS series of lights can last up to five years without bulb replacements and on top of the three-year warranty, there is a one-month money-back assurance.

Pros

The majority of the pros of the SP series also apply to the TS series. To prevent repetition, merely the distinctions will be highlighted.

Although the color spectra for the TS series is great, it does not have ultraviolet light unlike the SP series lights. That said, the ultraviolet light hasn’t been shown to increase production for sure, and given that it affects the later stages of growth, you might benefit more from purchasing a separate ultraviolet fluorescent light for cheaper. 

What’s more? The absence of ultraviolet light gives room for more white semiconductors that make the TS series lights brighter than those in the SP series.

Apart from TSL 2000 whose shape is similar to those of the SP series, the remaining TS series models are squared and suitable for smaller, square grow beds. You can put your mind at ease knowing that the strength and evenness of coverage are just as good as the SP series lights.  

Cons

Many manufacturers in the field, especially Chinese companies, name their products with a “1000” or “2000”, hinting a reference to wattage as a marketing trick which gives a sense of high power. Although Mars Hydro doesn’t do this for their SP series, they couldn’t resist it for their TS series. But it’s hard to find blame in Mars Hydro when one looks at the reputation of Black Dog who appropriately names their products. 

That said, unless this is done too glaringly, it will not be considered in the review since plenty of companies are guilty of it. That is not to say that this should be condoned.

Moving on, although most of the TS lights use Chinese-branded drivers instead of the higher quality ones from Meanwell, these drivers are still functional and adjustable. 

The last con is the trade-off between losing ultraviolet but gaining brighter light. In fact, this might not be a con to some. It completely relies on the customer’s demands.

Judgment Of The TS Series

Lights from both the TS and SP series are the finest LED grow lights made by Mars Hydro to date and the TS series is certainly one of the top few out there. They may be pricier than some older models but it is guaranteed to be money well spent. Furthermore, as compared to quantum board lights from HLG for instance, these work better and are less costly. 

As a result, the TS series deserves a rating just as high as that of the SP series; a 4.7/5.

Conclusion

You may have noticed that in addition to providing information on the differences between the two Mars series, I have also included factors that make Mars’s lights stand out or fade into other brands in the market. The hope here is that before diving headfirst into making an investment, consider the space available and the coverage you need to ensure that you get the grow light that best suits your needs. 

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