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Are LED Lights Better than HID?

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Mars Hydro LED TS and SP series – HID killers?

LED grow  lights have only lagged behind High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights in not providing full white light. Mars Hydro has killed the last argument for expensive and hot HID lights with its TS 1000 and SP series LED lighting systems, two new series of High Output Full Spectrum Grow Lights at very attractive prices.They are cheaper to buy and run, provide exactly the right spectrum for all stages of growth, and last a lot longer than HID lights.

Full spectrum LED Grow Lights basically provide all the light energy a plants needs for all its growth phases, with better adjustability and other characteristics.  MaryJane Farmer always uses and advises LED Grow Lights and with the advent of Full Spectrum lights, we have more than enough choices for out Best Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights review.

Read more about the difference between HID and LED lights here Could this be the final nail in the coffin for HID lights?  MaryJane says “Yes” and we suggest you look at some of these new Mars Hydro lights for your grow operation.

Traditional LED vs HID lights

LED lights used to be expensive and deliver lower quality growth than HID lamps. Their ‘blurple’ color limited the vegetative growth of the plants they were designed to grow.

However, for your extra money you bought lights that were a lot longer-lasting (typically 50,000 hours) and cooler, reducing the amount of cooling and overall energy required for an effective grow. You will need cooling for grows using these lights but nothing like as much as using HID lights.

For a a slightly higher initial price than using HID lights you produced a cheaper product overall in terms of energy use.

Full spectrum LED lights

Mars Hydro has moved into full spectrum white LED grow lights with its TS 1000 and SP series lights. These have the advantages of traditional LED lights but go two steps further: they are cheaper than HIDs and produce the same quality light spectrum. As such, this means the last arguments for using HID lights have now fallen.

As with traditional LEDs you will still find a lifetime rating of 50,000 hours, and they use as much as 50% less from your electricity supply than the HIDs they now out-compete.

Let’s now focus in on the two lighting systems, the SP series and the TS 1000.

Mars Hydro SP series – new for 2019

Slightly more expensive than the TS 1000 rack, the new SP series has mostly white LEDs with a number of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) spectrum LEDs. With the added spectrums, this setup makes for a very similar light to that provided outdoors in strong sunlight.

MARS HYDRO SP 250 Led Grow Lights Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower Hydroponic Greenhouse Water Proof Dimmable Commercial LED Growing Lamps 2x4ft Two for 4x4ft Coverage
118 Reviews
MARS HYDRO SP 250 Led Grow Lights Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower Hydroponic Greenhouse Water Proof Dimmable Commercial LED Growing Lamps 2x4ft Two for 4x4ft Coverage
  • WATER PROOF: IP65 water proof standard for the Mars SP 250 growing lamp, no worry about high humidity greenhouse growing environment, 50% longer lifespan compare with other brand lights.
  • BOOM YIELD: NEWEST SMD led technology and MEANWELL power solution, can get max yield at 2.5g/watt (power draw), 2.7μmol/J increase your yield 50% compare with other 2000W old led grow lights, uniform PAR value at average 490umol at 18''height.
  • PAY LESS BILLS: Consuming only 230W with 684 LEDS! It saves up to 70% energy than other led plant lights. One perfect for 2x4ft grow tent and two for 4x4ft grow box.
  • SUPERIOR COOLING: All casing is heat sink and Fanless design will make your growing life easy and quiet. NO ANY NOISE. Suitable for indoor plants growing.
  • LOCAL SERVICE: 3-year authentic warranty plus 30days no reason money back guarantee. Local service center in USA.

The Mars Hydro SP series are unapologetically for larger grows. They are long and thin, and designed to be racked in parallel lines. There is little light wastage between the plants beneath, so you can have rows of plants and space to work between them without excess energy being shone beyond the vegetation.

Keeping the heat down even further, the removable Meanwell driver unit can be kept outside the canopy area. Though you will still need a cooling system for the vegetation this won’t be as heavy duty as you would have using HID systems.

Chip On Board Comparison

‘Chip on board’ (COB) lights are more expensive again than the Mars Hydro SP series lighting systems and many of these also have an element of UV and IR. In doing this, Mars Hydro are competing with the indoor lights used by professional growers and beating them on price.

Though white light has been proven to be better than the ‘blurple’ output of traditional LEDs, there is no hard evidence that added UV or IR helps growth. Many experienced growers however take the view that an added ‘jolt’ of UV and IR improves the quality of vegetative growth. This means that it is a question of personal choice as to whether to go for the TS series without extra IR or UV, or the SP with the added diodes.

TS 1000 – a light for smaller grows

The 150 Watt, Mars Hydro TS 1000 light replaces a 250 Watt HID lighting system. With its 3ft x 3ft coverage this is a light best suited for smaller, discreet personal grows and unlike its SP series cousin should not be considered for larger grow operations.

MARS HYDRO TS 1000W Led Grow Light Sunlike Full Spectrum LED Growing Lights for Indoor Plants Greenhouse Veg Bloom with Updated 342 LEDs Hydroponic Led Growing Lamps with Hanger Actual Power 150Watt
177 Reviews
MARS HYDRO TS 1000W Led Grow Light Sunlike Full Spectrum LED Growing Lights for Indoor Plants Greenhouse Veg Bloom with Updated 342 LEDs Hydroponic Led Growing Lamps with Hanger Actual Power 150Watt
  • EXTREMELY HIGH YIELD: NEWEST SMD LED technology provide highest PAR/LUMEN output(709umol@18"), MARS HYDRO TS 1000W Plants Growing lamp makes you get 30% higher yield compare OLD led lights. Max 2.2g yield per wattage (power draw).
  • PAY LESS BILLS: Consuming only 150W with 342 LEDS! It saves up to 50% energy than other led grow lights. Perfect for 2.5x2.5ft,Max coverage 3x3ft. Over 90% light energy can be absorbed by plants.
  • SUNLIGHT SPECTRUM: Infinite close to natural light, best for all plants seeding, growth and bloom. Dimmer on the power supply easily adjust brightness by yourself.
  • NOISE FREE-Fanless design will make your growing life easy and quiet. Perfect for indoor plants growing. No worry about heat disspation for the large size aluminum board.
  • LOCAL SERVICE: 36 months warranty plus 30 days money back guarantee. If you have any needs, please contact us at any time. Local customer center in USA.

As with the Mars Hydro SP series the TS 1000 is a new release and provides a white light spectrum that is largely similar to pure sunlight. Unlike the SP series, the TS 1000 does not have UV or IR LEDs. Connoisseurs and experts may draw back from this but that said, for a small added investment you can shine small IR and UV lights onto the vegetation as well.

Is White Light Better?

Given the scientific evidence we discussed above that white light is better than separate spectrums, one can argue that having a full board of white LEDs, the TS1000 is actually better than the SP series!

The small form factor makes is another big selling point for this lighting system and this makes the TS 1000 stand out as one of the best small grow lighting systems on the market today.

Like the SP series, the TS 1000 is more expensive than the other lights made by Mars Hydro. Put head to head with Mars Hydro’s competitors’ equivalents like NextLight and HLG however, the TS 1000 is cheaper and provides a better spectrum so is a no brainer for those considering a small white LED grow.

Mars Hydro customer centers in the US

Reviews of Mars Hydro’s products are consistently high thanks to its excellent customer service. The Chinese company offers 30 day no-quibble guarantees on its lights, which while not enough for a full grow is at least enough for the buyer to see the quality of the product themselves.

The Mars Hydro customer service centres in the US and Canada allow you to get replacement parts and repairs done very quickly and efficiently. This has directly led to the company getting excellent reviews.  The company also keeps stock in the Americas so when you place an order for the lights you will see very fast delivery and not have to wait for the sort of time that you would for many of Mars Hydro’s direct Chinese rivals.

With its excellent products like the TS 1000 and SP series lights combined with industry leading customer service, Mars Hydro justifies its place as a market leader.

Last Word From MaryJane Farmer

Although we try to avoid bias, Mars Hydro has consistently delivered on its promises and still develops high-quality LED Grow Lights at competitive prices.  Nonetheless, everyone’s grow practices and budgeting constraints are different, so don’t forget to look at other lights that I have recommended here.

Check back often for reviews of the best products for enjoying marijuana to the maximum. Check out our Best Lights and Tools page with comprehensive tables of our reviews if you’re a grower.  If you are new to growing, get our free Beginner’s Guide here. And if you have some great photos of your garden, pop them into the electric post office and send them to me: MaryJane@420Beginner.com.

Last update on 2019-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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