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Mars Hydro FC3000 Review – Full Spectrum Grow Light [2022]

Mars Hydro FC3000 Review – Full Spectrum Grow Light [2022]

In this article, I am reviewing the Mars Hydro FC3000. A fantastic full-spectrum grow light I have been using in my 3×2 grow tent for the past 4 weeks to test it. It is optimized for a growing space of up to 3×3 feet. My grow tent itself is 3×2 feet.

The tent is filled with rare aroid houseplants such as Philodendron spiritus sancti, Monstera thai constellation, Philodendron Luxurians, Monstera Esqueleto, and many more.

Since my apartment is south facing (the sun is very strong in the summertime) and I am living in the northern hemisphere (little light in autumn and winter), I rely on potent grow lights to grow my beloved houseplant collection across all seasons.

Without further ado, let’s now dive into what the FC3000 from Mars Hydro has to offer and how it fared in the real-life plant grow test.

 

Mars Hydro FC3000 Review

The Mars Hydro FC3000 is a 300w full-spectrum plant grow light that features 896 pieces of Samsung lm301B and Osram LEDs. It covers an area up to 3×3 feet (92x92cm) and can be used in grow tents, for plant shelves as well as cabinets and closets. It contains 2x the amount of LEDs compared to similar grow lights. This allows for an even PAR distribution, a high efficiency of 2.85μmol/j, and low running costs.

 

MARS HYDRO FC 3000 REVIEW

MARS HYDRO FC 3000 REVIEW

 

 

Mars Hydro FC3000 Grow Light Video Review

 

Mars Hydro FC3000 Review

 

Specs

  • Spectrum: Full-Spectrum
  • Coverage Area: 3x3ft (92x92cm)
  • LEDs Quantity: 896
  • Chip Brand: Samsung Lm301B
  • Spectrum: 380-410nm 660-665nm 730-740nm 2800-3000K 4800-5000K
  • Voltage: AC100-277V
  • Efficacy: 2.85μmol/J
  • Amps: 2.455A@AC120V 1.230A@AC240V 1.078A@AC277V
  • Water resistance: IP65 protection
  • Lifespan: 50’000 hours
  • Dimensions: 580 x 520 x 81.5mm
  • Hangers: 2 height adjustable ratchet straps included

 

Positives

Premium Components: The Mars Hydro grow light is using premium Samsung ( lm301B) and Osram LEDs.

High Light Output: This plant light optimal PPFD values across the coverage area 

Efficient: 2.85μmol/J

Even Distribution: A great and even PAR distribution. The grow light doesn’t fall off sharply on the edges.

Full Spectrum: THE FC3000 is a full-spectrum light that uses warm Samsung white light between 2800-5000k as well as Osram red light 660-665nm. In addition, it emits UV (380-410nm) and IR light (730-740 IR). 

Dimming Feature: Daisy Chain dimming between 10-100%

Driver: Uses a high-quality driver. The driver can be placed inside and outside of a grow tent. 

Design: Very compact and sturdy design optimized for long longevity, low heat emittance, and efficiency

Daisy Chain Possibility: Use and link up to 30 lights with a daisy chain possibility from one master light

Heat Dissipation: A wave-shaped heat sink ensures the cool operation of this grow light

High Quality: Mars Hydro is one of the most respected grow light brands out there. The manufacturer uses quality components from Samsung, Osram, and Mars Hydro. it is meeting the highest standards in the industry; IP65, ETL, CE, UKCA, RoHS, DLC

Warranty: 5 years warranty as well as great after-sales service. Local repair is possible.

Special Features: Comes with 2 ratchet straps and a metal hanger/wire

 

Negatives

Manual: The manual that comes with the FC3000 was not a specific manual for this very light but a general manual to mount Mars Hydro grow lights. 

Only 2 Ratchet Straps: 2 ratchet straps are great. But 4 ratchet straps would be even better to keep the FC3000 100% horizontal.

 

Verdict About the Mars Hydro FC3000

I recommend buying the FC3000 for growing houseplants 100%.

The FC3000 from Mars Hydro is a very potent grow light that is optimal for growing houseplants. The 300w itself is more than enough to grow a decent-sized houseplant collection in a 3×3 feet space.

What I loved most about the FC300 led bar grow light is that it is using 2x the amount of lights in a small area (896 pieces of high-quality Samsung and Osram lights). This allows for even distribution and high efficacy of the light (2.85μmol/J). Usually grow lights fall off sharply at the edges and only perform well if your plants are in the center.

But as most houseplant growers know from personal experience that a houseplant collection can grow quickly and you want all of your plants to receive the optimal amount of light.

I also quite liked the fact that Mars Hydro is using a sophisticated heat sink. With many other grow lights I am having the problem that they are simply getting too hot. This is not the case for the Mars Hydro FC3000.

In addition, you can place the dimmer outside of the tent. The cable that comes with the grow light is long enough to do so. This way you can prevent heat build-up in the grow tent.

And last but not least the dimensions of this grow light are very manageable at 580 x 520 x 81.5mm. It’s easy to place in your grow tent, shelf, or closet and suits smaller spaces.

 

Positives in Detail

 

Premium Components

The Mars Hydro grow light is using premium Samsung ( lm301B) and Osram LEDs.

The great thing about the LEDs is that they do not only produce warm white and red light. They also produce UV and IR light.

The FC3000 grow light is using a total of 896Samsung and Osram LEDs

The Mars Hydro FC3000 grow light is using a total of 896Samsung and Osram LEDs

 

High Light Output

Optimal PPFD values across the coverage area. This means that you do not have to crowd your houseplants at the very center of the grow light.

It provides even high output in a 3×3 feet area depending on the height you are putting it.

I myself use it at a distance of 36” (81 cm) initially. The closer the light is to the plant’s canopy, the higher and more intense the light the plans receive will be.

At a height of 18”, you will get between 800-1100 PPFD.

As an example, the optimal PPFD value for a Monstera deliciosa is between 100-250 (μmol/s/m²).

In my initial test (distance of 36” (81 cm)), I got a PPFD value of 82 (μmol/s/m²) at the center at 50% and 162 (μmol/s/m²) at 100%.

At the edges of the Mars Hydro FC 3000 grow light, I measured 60 (μmol/s/m²) at 50% and 120 (μmol/s/m²) at 100%.

Since the distance is a whopping 36” (81 cm), I am very confident that I will be able to provide perfect PPFD values to max out the growth of my Monstera and Philodendron plants by just lowering the grow light and keeping it dimmed at 50%.

The reason I keep the FC dimmed is that it is just so powerful and more than sufficient for my houseplants. I can therefore save on my energy bill using this led bar grow light which brings me to the next topic, efficiency.

However vegetative growth for medicinal plants needs much higher values. 

Vegetative growth of medicinal plants should be supplied with around 400-600 PPFD.

Houseplants illuminated by the Mars Hydro FC3000

Houseplants illuminated by the Mars Hydro FC3000

 

Efficient

The Mars Hydro is highly efficient at 2.85 μmol/J. Compared to a regular HPS light, which is around 1.8 5μmol/J, it is 37% more efficient.

As stated I will run the grow light dimmer at 50%. I measured that the grow light is using around 140w at this level.

I can therefore calculate the yearly costs of using the Mars Hydro FC3000 for a full year on a 12/12 on/off cycle.

The full costs are 154 USD only a year based on 25 cents per kWh running 12 hours a day for 365 days.

And this means my beloved aroids get the best light possible in the ideal range!

The running costs of the FC3000 are very affordable.

 

Even Distribution

The FC3000 offers an even PAR distribution. As said I have a lot of houseplants and I want the best possible light for all my Philodendron, Monstera, and Anthurium plants.

So an even distribution of light is essential to me. I don’t have any benefit of a grow light that is very powerful and produces great light but only in the center.

I, therefore, tested the FC300o above my Ebb&Flow system where I am growing at least 40 different houseplants (aroids).

This is a picture of how the plants looked before I started using the led bar grow light:

Ebb&Flow system with Mary Hydro FC3000 grow light above it

Ebb&Flow system with Mary Hydro FC3000 grow light above it (The Philodendron luxurians have some transport damage that is clearly visible on the leaves)

 

Full Spectrum

The FC3000 is a full-spectrum light that uses warm Samsung white light between 2800-5000k as well as Osram red light 660-665nm. In addition, it emits UV (380-410nm) and IR light (730-740 IR). 

It is a full spectrum light and the light itself looks very natural. For someone using it to grow showy houseplants, this is very important as I look at my plants multiple times a day.

Anything that would look unnatural, such as these red and blue only lights would be off-putting.

 

Dimming Feature

The FC3000 can be dimmer from 100-10%. The daisy chain feature makes it possible to use 30 connected FC300 grow lights at a time using the CH1 CH2 ports.

If I understand correctly one of the grow lights will act as a master and you will be able to dim all the daisy-chained grow lights at once adjusting the master dim settings.

 

The Dimmer can be set between 10-100

The Dimmer can be set between 10-100

 

Driver

You can use the driver it inside or outside your grow tent.

The provided cable is long enough so you do not have to mount the driver on top of the grow light if you don’t want to.

The major benefit is, that you, therefore, have more control over the heat that is emitted from the driver.

In my personal example living in the northern hemisphere, we have long cold winters and shorter but very warm summers.

So I do not mind increased heat emission in the wintertime from an LED driver as I will have to heat the grow tent anyway.

But in summer I would rather not have additional devices heating up the already hot grow tent.

So the solution is that with the FC3000 I can place the driver inside my grow tent in winter and then take it out of the grow tent in summer.

This is possible due to the clever design of the LED light and most importantly because of the long cable between the driver and the LED unit.

 

Mars Hydro Led Driver

Mars Hydro Led Driver on top of LED Bars

 

Mars Hydro FC3000 mounted in 3x2 grow tent

Mars Hydro FC3000 mounted in 3×2 grow tent. Look at the nice cable between the driver and the LED unit. This will allow for the driver unit to be placed outside of the grow tent.

 

Design

Grow lights above 200w can be enormous in size and emit a lot of heat.

Not so the FC 3000 from Mars Hydro. Its design is very compact and sturdy and it fits in a small grow tent as much as under a shelf or in a closet. 

The exact measurements are: 580 x 520 x 81.5mm.

It used sophisticated heat sinks and does not get very warm. Even if you had it running for several hours you can still touch the device and the emitted heat is negligent.

 

FC3000 Mars Hydro LED Bar Grow Light featuring a compact design

FC3000 Mars Hydro LED Bar Grow Light featuring a compact design

 

Daisy Chain Possibility

Use and link up to 30 lights with a daisy chain possibility from one master light.

Provided daisy chain cable

Provided daisy chain cable

 

Daisy chain entries. Cables are provided as well

Daisy chain entries. Cables are provided as well

 

Heat Dissipation

A wave-shaped heat sink ensures the cool operation of this grow light.

 

Sophisticated heat sink design

Sophisticated heat sink design

 

High Quality

Mars Hydro is one of the most respected grow light brands out there.

The manufacturer uses quality components from Samsung and Osram (LEDs).

It is meeting the highest standards in the industry; IP65, ETL, CE, UKCA, RoHS, DLC

 

Mars Hydro is known for its high quality components and LED grow lights

Mars Hydro is known for its high quality components and LED grow lights

 

Warranty

5 years warranty as well as great after-sales service. Local repair is possible.

 

Special Features

There is nothing more disheartening than receiving a grow light only to find out that what is needed to mount it anywhere is not provided with the grow light.

I was therefore very positively surprised that the FC3000 came with

Comes with 2 ratchet straps that are included.

 

Negatives in Detail

 

Manual

The FC3000 deserves its own manual. Although it is easily mounted and operated within minutes, it would be great to get a step-by-step manual for the FC3000 delivered with the grow light.

 

Ratchet Straps

The provided ratchet straps are great and allow not only to hang the FC3000 but to adjust the height of the grow light.

This way you can control the amount of light your beloved houseplants receive using this grow light.

I think providing 4 ratchet straps instead of the two in the package would be a great idea as the grow light would hang even more sturdy in the air.

In addition, you could level the grow light better and keep it 100% horizontal.

 

Conclusion

I recommend buying the Mars Hydro FC3000 for growing houseplants 100%.

Mars Hydro is one of my favorite grow light brands and they are known to only use the best parts only.

I personally consider the FC3000 a winner and a perfect grow light for growing houseplants.

It is not too big (580 x 520 x 81.5mm) and will most likely fit your shelf, closet or grow tent well.

One thing to not underestimate is the even light distribution and the efficiency of the FC3000 (2.85 μmol/J).

You might not have to run it at 100% at all times and the cost savings of using this grow light over the course of a year can be considerable compared to comparable grow light and an HPS light.

 

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.