I’ve been using the Mars Hydro TS 1000 LED grow light recently to grow vegetables indoors, and this article is all about my experience using it. I’ll cover the pros and cons of this light, how my plants grew and whether this is an LED grow light you should consider too.
I use LED grow lights to grow vegetables and salad greens indoors. I’ve got a grow room setup in my garage that I use to grow my own fresh produce all year round. Harvesting fresh vegetables straight off the plants for the kitchen is a fantastic way to enjoy great food all year round. This just wouldn’t be possible where I live without growing food indoors.
I’m always keen to choose grow lights that are highly efficient, cost effective and reliable. As a result, I knew that the Mars Hydro TS 1000 was well worth trying.
Thankfully, I’ve had a great experience using the TS 1000 and feel that it is a great option for a lot of people. You can check it out the technical specification and buy it here.
Specifications Of The Mars Hydro TS 1000W LED Grow Light
Here is the basic information about the TS 1000w grow light that you may want to know.
- Core Coverage: 2.5ft x 2.5ft = 76cm x76cm
- Max Coverage : 3ft x 3ft = 90cm x 90cm
- Par Value: 552umol
- Lumen: 22216Lm±5%@AC120V 22181Lm±5%@AC240V
- LED Brand: Epistar
- Power Draw: 150W±5%@AC120V 148W±5%@AC240V
- Noise: 0dB
The Mars Hydro TS 1000W LED grow light comes in two variants. There is a kit that comes with the light, a timer plug, thermometer/hygrometer, soil moisture/PH meter and the necessary hanging kit to get you up and running. The other option is cheaper but just comes with the light and hanging kit.
I got the basic kit with light and hanging kit, which was great as I already had the other things needed to get me growing. If you are just starting to grow plants indoors, the TS 1000 kit is really good value and will get you up and running with a lot of essential equipment to monitor your growing plants.
Pros And Cons Of The Mars Hydro TS 1000W LED Grow Light
- Highly efficient.
- Silent operation.
- Uses SMD LEDs for increased efficiency and lifespan.
- Adjustable wattage allowing great control over light intensity and power use.
- Easy to setup and use.
- White, full spectrum light.
- Manual only covers technical specifications and safety instructions.
- Only came with one ratchet hanger, making it more difficult to hang the light in stable position.
- Does produce some heat, so it will raise the temperature in your growing space or grow tent a little.
The Mars Hydro TS 1000W LED grow light came well packaged. It was in a sturdy cardboard box and well taped up. After opening the box, I found the light itself was held in place with two pieces of foam and there was a wooden board protecting the front, to avoid damage to the LEDs in transit.
The light itself is very compact. The LEDs are lined up on a PCB, which is surrounded by a reflector, to maximize delivery of light to the plants. On the back of the TS 1000 you will find the power supply and driver. This has a power cable which connects to the LED board and a mains connector cable.
One cool feature that I didn’t notice immediately is the ability to adjust the output of the light. There is a small rubber plug on the back. Remove this and insert a Philips screwdriver to immediately adjust the output of the light. This could be handy if you don’t need the full output of the light.
For me, as I was using an appropriately sized grow tent, I kept the light on full power.
Also in the box was an instruction manual and a warranty leaflet. The instruction manual was short and to the point. It didn’t really give much instruction regarding setup, but provided plenty of technical detail for those interested and suitable warnings and guidance regarding safe use.
Setting Up The Mars Hydro TS 1000W Grow Light
Despite sparse instructions, it was very easy to setup. After removing the packaging, I just had to attach the hanging kit to the back of the unit.
There are four clips to attach to the four holes on the back of the unit and then these are clipped onto the ratchet hanger, which you use to hang the light from wherever you are placing it. I’ve included plenty of pictures in this article to show you how I set my unit up.
Once I had the light hanging nicely in my grow tent, it was time to test it out. I setup some planters in my grow tent and sowed seeds for a range of vegetables and salad greens. Once I was done, I turned the light on and let the growing begin!
The first thing I noticed was the fantastic color of the light, which is a warm white/yellow that is really very close to daylight in color. The light covers the entire photosynthetic spectrum, with a more balanced spectrum than some other grow lights on the market.
Most of the LEDs are white, but there are some red ones at intervals through the board and a larger number of pale blue ones. The combination of the different wavelengths produces a sun-like color to the light which is really pleasant to look at.
The light was really very bright. Perfectly comfortable when not looking directly at it, but the manufacturer advises not to look directly at it and certainly, it was a bit uncomfortable if you happen to glance directly at it.
Another thing I really like about this light is the passive cooling. There is no cooling fan for the unit, and this probably accounts for the slimline look of the Mars Hydro TS 1000W. As a result, there is virtually no noise at all from the unit when in operation.
For anyone worried about heat buildup, I’m glad to say that this hasn’t been an issue. While the power supply and the metal reflector becomes moderately warm with use, it is still fairly comfortable to put your hand on the back of the unit without it being too hot.
The Mars Hydro TS 1000W has a core coverage area of 3 feet by 3 feet. This reduces to 2.5 feet by 2.5 feet (76cm x 76cm) when used at lower hanging heights, or when growing plants in the blooming stage. My grow tent has floor dimensions of 70cm by 70cm, so it’s really an ideal size to get the most out of this light.
I’m currently using this Mars Hydro grow tent, which has been perfect for my needs.
In operation, I was impressed by the even distribution of light across my grow space. While I’m not technically minded enough to measure individual PAR values, I feel that the entirety of my grow tent is receiving plenty of light and the initial results from the growth of my plants is very encouraging.
Light Intensity And Quality Of The Mars Hydro TS 1000W LED Grow Light
I don’t claim to be a lighting expert, but the TS 1000W compares very favorably with other LED grow lights in terms of the light output and coverage. The newer LED lighting technology, with SMD LEDS are more efficient, so the power usage is less than many other LED grow lights with the same light output.
Also bear in mind that there is no active cooling, which further reduces the power consumption.
Whilst I am less particular about the light spectrum of my grow lights, it is certainly an important aspect that the more technically minded growers will be interest in. Here is a picture of the spectrum test report from the manual which outlines things in some detail.
Hanging The Light
The Mars Hydro TS 1000W came with one ratchet hanger. Initially I tried to hang the light just using one of the clips, but this led to the light swinging round, and it was difficult to align it perfectly above my grow space.
Ratchet hangers are inexpensive and it would be easy to purchase another so that you could hang the light more securely. Thankfully, I modified my setup to use both ends of the ratchet hanger and create a more stable position for my light.
Mars Hydro may want to look into adding a second ratchet hanger into their kit, as this would make life easier for most people.
Hanging height was easy to adjust, particularly as the TS 1000W is light and easy to lift and maneuver. I set my light to 24 inches above the soil initially, as I was starting my plants from seed.
I adjusted the hanging height as my plants grew, slowly bringing the light closer to the tops of the plants, to give them the full benefit of the light.
As my plants grew rapidly, I had to be careful not to let them get too close to the light, as this would cause leaf scorching. The lighting unit gets warm, not hot, but the delicate growing leaves wouldn’t like this too much.
Recommended Hanging Distance Above Plants:
- Seeding: 24″ Germination: 24″-30″
- Veg: 18″-24″ Bloom: 12″-18″
Lighting Hours Per Day
I set my light to run for 18 hours per day using a mechanical timer. I had initially thought about using a smart plug to control the light, but my growing area was just out of reach of my WiFi, so I resorted to a reliable mechanical timer plug.
If you opt for the TS 1000W kit, it will come with a mechanical plug timer, but the bare bones model does not, so bear this in mind when choosing which package to go for.
Recommended Lighting Time:
- Veg: 18/6 (on/off) or 20/4 (on/off)
- Flower: 12/12 (on/off)
I was very impressed with the temperature performance of the TS1000W. For a passively cooled LED grow light, it only raised the temperature of my grow tent by 5°C (9°F) above the ambient temperature in my garage. The temperature in my grow tent is currently sitting at 27°C (80°F) while the ambient temperature is 22°C (71°F).
My grow tent is setup in my garage, which is generally fairly cool, so the extra heat produced by the grow light is undoubtedly having a positive effect on the growth of my plants. As the autumn and winter approaches, and the temperature in my garage dips significantly, the grow light will help to keep my grow tent at an acceptable temperature.
Of course, if your growing area is warmer, or if you live in a hot climate, you may need to provide supplemental ventilation to reduce the temperature.
I do actually have a fan in my grow tent, but I use it for ventilation purposes, to keep air moving and reduce humidity a little, rather than to regulate the temperature of my setup. I use a 4 inch inline fan that moves 100m3/hr, which is more than enough for the size of my grow tent.
A really nice feature of the Mars Hydro TS 1000W is the ability to decrease the power output of the light thanks to an adjustable wattage driver. Although the instruction manual didn’t explain how to do this, it was very easy to find out by looking for instructions online.
There is a printed dial on the top of the LED driver/power supply, with a rubber plug in the centre, which can easily be removed with your fingers. This reveals a hole. You just insert a Philips screwdriver into this hole and turn the screw at the bottom and you can adjust the wattage of the light from 38 watts to 165 watts.
This would be really handy if you didn’t need the full power output of the light and wanted to use the light in the most efficient way. I personally haven’t used this option for my plants, but it is a nice feature to have.
How Did My Plants Grow?
I prepared three planters inside my grow tent. I managed to get two large square planters that fitted perfectly across the width of the grow tent, and one long trough planter. The two large planters have a built in drip tray, which is ideal to help me avoid overwatering my crops.
The trough planter has no drainage holes, so I’m going to have to be very careful with watering the plants in this one. I may resort to making a few drainage holes if I get concerned as the plants grow.
I used standard potting compost to fill my planters and pre-soaked it with water before planting my seeds.
I chose to grow a range of salad vegetables. Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, oriental salad mix and rocket. I divided my planters up so each crop had a section. I carefully spread the seeds evenly over the soil and then covered them with about 0.5-1 cm of further potting compost. I added a little extra water to ensure that the top of the soil and the seeds was nice and damp and them gently firmed up the potting compost.
I started the light at 24 inches above the surface of the soil as per the instructions and was amazed when the first sprouts of lettuce and rocket started appearing just 48 hours after planting.
As the plants have grown I have adjusted the height of the TS 1000W. I like to use the growth of my plants as a guide to how much light they are getting, rather than using a hard and fast rule about the height of the light.
One issue I am going to run into is the variable heights of the plants I have chosen to grow. As I am growing cucumbers and tomatoes which will grow fast and tall alongside lettuce, I will need to train the tomatoes horizontally around my grow tent to ensure that all the plants get adequate lighting.
It will be interesting to see if I can balance the light requirements of all my plants and enjoy good results. I’ll look forward to posting further results as my plants grow.
Although I’m only part way through growing my plants, the results so far are very encouraging. My crops are growing strongly and all the plants look healthy so far. I haven’t encountered any significant issues with the Mars Hydro TS 1000W which have hindered my progress.
Should You Buy The Mars Hydro TS 1000W LED Grow Light?
Overall I’ve been delighted with the Mars Hydro TS 1000W. It has performed really well, was easy to setup and use, and delivers better and more efficient light output than a lot of other grow lights.
Whilst there are most expensive options on the market, with more features, the value and efficiency provided by the TS 1000W is hard to beat. I think the majority of home growers would be really pleased with this model.
If you want to check it out further or pick one up yourself, here is a link to the Mars Hydro TS1000W.
If you have a similar sized grow space to me, another good model to take a look at is the Mars SP 150. It has IP65 water resistance and slightly higher PPE output and yield per watt, but for a slightly higher price.
There are other options in the TS series of LED grow lights if you have a different size of grow space.