Light is undeniably one of the vital factors in growing plants indoors, as it ensures complete and healthy plant development.
However, the light intensity is not always favorable in different areas, which can significantly affect photosynthetic rates, shapes, flowering, and other essential factors in the growth of plants.
Yet, thanks to innovations from brilliant minds, indoor LED grow lights have been created with the appropriate intensity that caters to plants’ seedling, vegetative, and flowering stages.
I will delve into one of the known grow light manufacturers in the industry, as well as their product lines, the Mars Hydro Grow Light, and discuss its prominent features and some known models.
Let’s get started!
Mars Hydro Overview
Mars Hydro has been in the industry for more than ten years and has been producing high-quality equipment for growing plants, such as:
- LED grow lights
- Grow tents
- Grow tent kits
- The smart grow system
- Grow accessories
- Hydroponic growing system
Mars Hydro has plenty of highly efficient, affordable, full-spectrum LED grow light lines.
Their grow light products have been third-party tested, proving their advanced yet affordable plant light is one of the best on the market.
The Mars plant light models are grouped into different series, including:
- Mars Hydro FC-E series
- Mars Hydro FC series
- Mars Hydro TS series
- Mars Hydro SP series
- UV & IR LED Light Bars
- Veg and Seedling LED Light Bars
Mars Hydro has been in the cannabis growing industry, producing LED-based plant lights, ventilation systems, tents, and other accessories since 2009.
It has its main manufacturing base in Shenzhen, China. However, Mars Hydro has different warehouses across the globe to fast-track its distribution process.
To know if your country has access to their warehouses, this is the list of Mars Hydro’s distribution locations that process and ship out plant-related growing equipment:
- Australia, Canada, China
- France, Germany, Japan
- Russia, Thailand, United Kingdom
Mars Hydro offers a warranty policy for all its products. In relation to this review, here is how the warranty policy for their LED grow lights work:
- Five-year limited warranty
- You get to have a full cover warranty, free components for damaged parts, free repair service, and free shipping costs within one year of purchase.
- If more than a year (two to five years) has passed since your purchase, you will get a limited warranty with free components, but you will need to shoulder the repair and shipping costs.
Moreover, there is a notable exception for linear LED grow lights in the Ts600 and SP150 lines, as they have these warranty conditions:
- Five-year limited warranty
- If availed within one year of buying, you get a full cover warranty and a new free lamp.
- If you have had the product for more than a year (two to five years) from your buying date, you will only get a limited warranty with the privilege of trade-ins on newer models with 30% to 50% off.
Mars Hydro also offers a 30-day return period and a money-back guarantee from the arrival of the package if you are unsatisfied with the product for as long as the box is unopened.
However, the 30-day period is limited, as parcels directly shipped out of China cannot be returned or exchanged.
FUN FACT: Mars Hydro’s team ensures your orders are covered in discreet packaging for your privacy and security.
The different series from Mars Hydro hold exceptional features, especially with the control chip integrated into each LED grow light. These chips include:
- BridgeLux diodes
- Samsung LM301B chips
- Osram chips
- Cree chips
Aside from the chips, this Chinese company also provides different interesting characteristics, such as:
- Uniform Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD)
- Daisy chain function
- Reflective cover design
- Fast heat dissipation
Yet, what I find most essential is that the Mars Hydro light lines boast various certifications that establish their quality, durability, and standard in producing their items. Some of these certifications include:
- CE certification
- Restriction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) certificate
- UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking
Mars Hydro Lights on the Market
You will see different Mars Hydro light series on the market. As mentioned earlier, each line is grouped based on its specific quality, LED brand, power draw, core, max coverage, design, and added features.
For this Mars Hydro review, we will be delving into three product lines: the Mars Pro II, Mars II, and Reflector.
Mars Pro II Series
The Mars Pro II series includes the following grow light products:
- Mars Pro II Epistar 80 150w
- Mars Pro II Epistar 120 250w
- Mars Pro II Epistar 160 350w
- Mars Pro II Epistar 320 750w
- Mars Pro II Cree128 320w
- Mars Pro II Cree256 650w
These products mostly have similar technical specifications, such as draw power consumption in 110 V and 120 V, with a 100-degree viewing angle and 50,000-hour lifespans.
The Mars Pro II series has a heat dissipation feature that provides longevity to these Mars lights because it scatters the heat produced rather than letting it get stuck in a particular area, causing overheating.
Also, Mars Pro II features noise reduction for a silent operation. Although it does not completely block out noise, it provides great sound stimuli for increased plant growth and development.
For an in-depth review, here are brief descriptions of some of the products from this grow lights series.
Mars Pro II Epistar 80 150w
The Mars Pro II Epistar in 80 to 150W is made of alloy steel, which reassures growers with its corrosion resistance and high build efficiency.
More than that, it has Epistar diodes and an infrared-light emitting diode that significantly improves the development of plants, specifically enhancing the latter’s ability to quickly and efficiently stretch.
Additionally, it has a uniform PPFD that provides a sweet spot for even light-intensity distribution on plants. It accurately measures how much light output your plants are receiving.
Another vital feature to bear in mind is the fact that the Mars Pro II was created with a reflection cup design for the LED lights, which produces these benefits:
- Great light intensity (increased light; stronger)
- Optimized energy-saving
- Fewer light bulbs used but more even distribution for higher yields
Mars Pro II Epistar 120 250w
Another Mars Pro II product in the series is this 120 to 250W variant with silver build construction, which ensures high efficiency in terms of conductivity.
What separates this Mars Pro II variant from the previous is that it has five Epistar diodes in each reflection cup to elevate the light intensity on plants through its higher output.
The other difference involves its core coverage area, as this larger variant can cover approximately a 2-inch by 1.5-inch area. At the same time, the previous one has a core coverage of only 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches.
Mars Pro II Epistar 320 750w
If you want a Mars Pro II model that can cover as much area in your grow tent as possible, this one, priced at approximately $800 to $900, is the best suited as it has 4 inches by 4 inches grow tent coverage.
For this model to work efficiently, it needs 90% humidity and the following hanging height:
- 12 to 18 inches for bloom
- 18 to 24 inches for growing
- 24 to 30 inches for seedlings
REMEMBER: Bringing the light closer or farther will depend upon the development stage the plants are in. But, you must move the light up (away from the plants) every two weeks.
Mars II Series
Aside from the Pro, Mars Hydro also presents the Mars II series, which is home to these specific products:
- Mars II 400
- Mars II 700
- Mars II 900
- Mars II 1200
- Mars II 1600
- Mars II 900 Veg Spectrum
- Mars II 1600 Flowering Spectrum
The grow lights embedded in the LED board from this Mars Hydro lineup have a coverage area ranging from 2.5-inch by 2.5-inch to a massive 4.2-inch by 4.2-inch for better light output at the preferred hanging height for your plants.
Moreover, the LED grow light series has perfect light proportions considering the wattage per square foot equivalent of 250 watts to 800 watts.
The mentioned range gives the plants enough light output without burning or bleaching.
Here are some of this series’s best-sellers to complete this grow light review.
Mars II 400
The Mars II 400, made of hard plastic epoxy resin for its cover, is an LED grow light with a two-switch design: one for the growth stage and another for the flowering stage.
Switching modes for this full-spectrum LED grow light is easy, as you only need to tap the on and off buttons designated for growing and flowering.
Aside from its accessibility, all the reviews point out that this variant can help out produce the following advantages:
- Highly efficient light spectrum
- Lesser heat
- Bright LED light output
- Silent operation of cooling fans
Mars II 900
Another version from this light spectrum series is the Mars II 900, which has a high-quality circular cooling fan that prevents overheating by removing excess heat.
It is also made of hard plastic epoxy resin, has a two-switch feature, and has an efficient light power supply that is bright enough to cover 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches plant area in your grow room.
It is also equipped with surface-mounted diode (SMD) technology, which is known for its efficiency in light production, managing heat, and durability.
Based on reviews, the word most growers use to describe this Mars Hydro light is “powerful.” Power can refer to anything from its light strength, scope, longevity, and even its features.
Mars II 1600
Speaking of sought-after, another product in this lineup is the Mars II 1600 with a massive 1600 watts, approximately 2 watts for every one light, and is of good value. It can exert full power on a 4-inch by 4-inch area.
It also has similar features to its sister products, such as:
- Cooling fan
- Cooling holes
- SMD technology
- Two switches
To use it properly, here are what you need to observe in terms of hanging height:
- 18 inches for flowers
- 18 to 24 inches for veg
- 24 inches for seedlings
- 24 to 30 inches for germination
If you are on a budget, this reflector series capped at an affordable price range can help the new growth in your grow room through these features:
- LED lights’ spectral ratio design from red diodes to blue-violet
- Daisy chain function
- Reflective sheet
- Noise reduction system
This daisy-chained series has several individual products in its roster, including:
- Mars Reflector 48
- Mars Reflector 96
- Mars Reflector 144
- Mars Reflector 192
- Mars Reflector 240
- Mars COB 100w (with Meanwell driver)
These reflectors have a watt range of 150 watts to 450 watts and have viewing angles of 90 degrees to 120 degrees.
More importantly, each full spectrum reflector is powered by Epistar chips. These chips are known to power plants with their bright light.
To get to know this product line in-depth, I will go through some of its stand-out products.
Mars Reflector 48
This variant of the Reflector series is equipped with two options for growing and blooming, which you can utilize to power through the specific stages of your plant growing cycle with the appropriate light.
With the proper light power and maximum control over the plants, and ambient temperature, you are guaranteed healthy development and even efficient Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) production.
Out of all the models from this series, this is the most affordable, with 48 LEDs that can power a 2-inch by 2-inch grow tent area.
Mars Reflector 144
Similar to the previous Reflector LEDs, this variant also has grow and bloom options for light power, an Epistar HI-LED chip, and a 350-watt capacity.But what is more impressive with this one is its 144 LED count that can cover 2 inches by 4 inches of your grown tent.
Alternatives to the Mars Hydro Grow Light
When the Mars Hydro TSW, SP series, FC series, TS series, and other models are unavailable, you can always look for alternatives that are also efficient, budget-friendly, and durable.
Spider Farmer LED Grow Lights
Spider Farmer is a horticulturist-founded company that was created in 2009 and is known for its knowledge and expertise in hydroponics.
Similar to the Mars Hydro (TSW, FC, etc.) lines, this company has different certifications under its belt that ensure high-standard and quality production, such as:
- CE marking for health, safety, and environmental protection standards
- Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) certification in the EU market for the protection of human and environmental health against toxic chemicals and materials in electronic products
- ETL and UL certifications for guaranteed nationally-recognized third-party tests
Moreover, this LED grow light company provides models equipped with Samsung diodes for powerful and versatile light spectrum and uniformity in canopy penetration for better plant growth.
As expected, it is similar to Mars Hydro (TSW, FC, etc.) in terms of warehouse accessibility/ locations and warranty duration. It has distribution centers in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
For its warranty, the company offers a 5-year after-service and a full refund after meeting certain specifications.
- Four LED grow light series: SE lights, SF lights, G lights, and garden lights, allowing you to choose the most appropriate option for your grow tent.
- Full-spectrum lights: 380nm-740nm with multiple linear designs to closely resemble sunlight and its usability without the hassle of needing to constantly change lights for different stages
- Water-resistant design to prevent water from entering the lights, contributing to grow light longevity and durability
- Passive cool bars dissipate heat and prevent it from staying in one space which can result in overheating and grow light breakage.
- Aluminum heat sink that absorbs the heat produced by the grow light to maintain ambient temperature
- With water and heat-resistant features
- Full spectrum light source
- Lacks internal light cooling equipment (e.g., fans)
PRO TIP: Check out some of the best LED grow lights you can use as an alternative for the Mars and Spider variants in this review.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
With everything stated in this review, I know you still have questions you may want answered. I went through some of your related FAQs in this section!
Which Mars Hydro Light is the Best?
The best one among the LEDs is the Mars Hydro TSW 2000, priced at $215.99.
It has 300 watts of power and can cover a grow tent’s space over a 3-inch by 3-inch flower space and 4-inch by 4-inch in veg space with its powerful light.
It also has the following features within its light realm:
- Full spectrum light
- Highly reflective hood design
- Daisy chain function
- CE marking, and ETL, RoHS, UKCA certifications
Is Mars Hydro Better Than Spider Farmer?
Yes, specifically when you talk about these factors:
- Affordability in pricing
- Warranty (i.e., 30-day money-back guarantee)
- The efficiency in control and light with 2.2 micromoles per Joule
You can check out my take on Mars Hydro vs. Spider Farmer for a more in-depth comparison.
Now that you know what Mars Hydro (TSW, FS, etc.) can offer in terms of LED grow light for plants, you can surely take better care of your plants when it comes to germination, seedlings, and veg and flowering.So, don’t hesitate to buy Mars Hydro (TSW, FS, etc.) LEDs that suit your finances, grow tent requirements, and plant needs.