Mars Hydro TS 1000 and TSW 2000 – Everything You Need To Know
It’s hard to not get excited when you open up the box and see the glossy white panel and the sleek Mars Hydro logo glaring you in the face. If you’ve ever purchased and opened a piece of quality hardware you know what I mean.
The Mars Hydro TS 1000 and Mars Hydro TSW 2000 are two LED grow lights in Mars Hydro’s TS Series. The TS Series grow lights provide a great value to indoor plant growers looking for a cheap LED grow light with modern design and functionality.
These grow lights are a shot across the bow to the pricey quantum board grow lights currently leading the LED grow light market.
The design of the new TS Series grow lights differentiates them from most other low cost LED grow lights on Amazon. They don’t look that complicated, but that’s the whole point.
Cheap LED grow lights on Amazon are still heavy, less energy efficient, and many emit an unbalanced light spectrum.
The Mars Hydro TS 1000 and TSW 2000 LED grow lights are just the opposite. They’re aimed directly at indoor growers who want a cheap LED grow light that actually performs.
The features also put them on par with the smaller quantum board LED grow lights, but at a mass production price.
Mars Hydro realized the indoor growing community was moving towards quantum board LED grow lights, so they designed an entry level light that can compete with quantum boards on every aspect:
- White light spectrum,
- Fanless design,
- Low heat,
- High power efficiency (2.2 uMol/J),
- Barely any light intensity drop-off,
The aluminum reflector surrounding the LED panel is thin, and can seem a bit flimsy, but ultimately it gets the job done, especially when you keep in mind the entry level grow light market the TS Series is aimed at.
The real only difference between these Mars Hydro TS Series grow lights and quantum boards is the LED brand.
The HLG quantum boards use Samsung LM301B diodes, and these Mars Hydro use unbranded SMD diodes. Does it matter? Based on the spectrum and intensity, I’d say no.
Does the LED type matter qualtiy-wise? Probably not too much, and these Mars Hydro grow lights come with a 3 year warranty so I don’t worry much about it anyway.
Both the Mars Hydro TS 1000 and the TSW 2000 come with a dimmable ballast.
You won’t need to dim the TS 1000, as the highest intensity of about 500 uMol is exactly what’s needed for the vegetative phase, and wouldn’t require dimming during flowering either.
On the TSW 2000 you may want to dim it a bit during the vegetative phase since the light intensity gets up over 900 uMols on this light when it’s hanging at 18 inches, and that can be too strong for your young plants.
The TS Series grow lights are very bare bones. You’ll notice there are no cooling fans, but even more extreme is the lack of a power switch. The lights go on when you insert the power cord into your outlet, and vice versa.
Thankfully, Mars Hydro was kind enough to include a single outlet timer so you don’t need to manually unplug the grow light after each day’s light cycle.
How much can you yield with this light? Mars Hydro says you’ll get up to 1.5g/watt from the TS Series grow lights. Keep in mind there are a lot of factors that affect plant growth, so these are approximations.
Spectrum and Light Intensity:
The Mars Hydro TS 1000 and the TSW 2000 LED grow lights feature a white light spectrum. White spectrum has been shown to be better than red and blue alone. In fact, one study found it resulted in 12 to 16% higher tomato yields.¹
I’ve written about white light spectrum here and light intensity here. When it comes to these Mars Hydro TS Series grow lights, the TS 1000 will likely get you a moderate yield based on its light intensity.
More specifically, the spectrum on the Mars Hydro TS 1000 and the Mars Hydro TSW 2000 is made up of 660nm (red), along with 3200-4200 kelvin, and 5200-6800 kelvin white spectrum. That’s enough to get your plant through all phases of growth.
The TS 1000 emits 590 uMols at the highest point, and only fades to 400 uMol at the edge of the coverage area. It maintains strong intensity at the edges just like quantum boards, and that’s the exact market Mars Hydro is going after.
Considering the cost of these grow lights, the ability to maintain strong intensity at the edges of the coverage area is pretty impressive because the light from most other cheap LED grow lights tend to drop off long before the edge of their respective coverage area.
In addition, 400 uMol at the edge of the TS 1000 coverage area is definitely usable.
If you can, go with the TSW 2000:
If you have the extra cash, I’d definitely prefer the TSW 2000, or its rectangle shaped cousin the TSL 2000.
The higher number of LEDs on these larger Mars Hydro TS Series grow lights are able to get the intensity up to 1160 uMols at 15 inches, or 900 uMol at 18 inches. That’s approximately enough intensity to get near maximum yield out of your cannabis plants.
Compare to Quantum Boards
There really isn’t a catch with the Mars Hydro TS Series grow lights. What you see is what you get.
Quantum board grow lights will run you several hundred dollars to cover a 2×2 foot area. The HLG 300 v2 quantum board costs ~$500 and covers a 2×2 area. It’s a great light, but the Mars Hydro TS-1000 covers the same area with similar intensity (PPFD), and costs significantly less.
Let’s compare the coverage charts of each light and you’ll see what I mean:
The HLG 300 and the TS-1000 both cover 2×2, but the Mars Hydro costs less.
It’s a similar situation for the HLG 550 and the Mars Hydro TSW 2000:
Again with the larger models you see a similar situation. Same coverage area, negligibly close on light intensity, but the Mars Hydro costs significantly less.
Two Mars Hydro TS 1000 LED grow lights would each cover 2×2 for a total of 2×4 feet, without sacrificing anything on light intensity.
One TSW 2000 and get higher light intensity (PPFD), and cover 3x3ft. The Mars Hydro TSW 2000 is similar to buying a HLG 550 V2 at a fraction of the cost.
Aside from being one of the best cheap LED grow lights, these Mars Hydro grow lights actually beat HLG quantum boards on efficiency. The Mars Hydro TS 1000 pulls 150 watts from the wall at a rate of ~2.2 uMol/J. Meanwhile the TSW 2000 pulls 300 watts from the wall at ~2.2 uMol/J.
When you compare that to the closest competitors, the HLG 300 and HLG 550 v2, those lights pull 240 watts and 480 watts respectively, but they emit the same intensity of light! Compared to the Mars Hydro TS Series, the HLG lights are pulling almost double and emitting a very similar level of light intensity.
Mars Hydro has taken a clear advantage in that comparison.
Pros & Cons:
My personal thoughts about the Mars Hydro TS 1000 and TSW 2000:
I already mentioned these lights are a strong value for growers needing cheap LED grow lights that perform well. But there are a few additional features I’d like to see on these grow lights if Mars Hydro releases a new version of TS Series grow lights in the future.
The effects of ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths on cannabis plants are well documented ³, and I’d definitely like to see those wavelengths implemented on the Mars Hydro TS 1000 and the TSW 2000 in the future. These wavelengths are already included in some other cheap LED grow lights, so including them shouldn’t be a burden on the company.
I’d also like to see an on/off switch included. Admittedly it’s not totally necessary and other quantum boards don’t include this feature either.
Warranty and Owner Comments:
Mars Hydro provides a generous 3 year warranty with the TS series grow lights. I’ve dealt with Mars Hydro myself, and I can say they were always timely to respond to my emails.
For the most part owners of the Mars Hydro TS 1000 and TSW 2000 grow lights have good things to say about their experiences. A few have mentioned that their lights run a bit warm since there aren’t any fans on the light. Those people reported that adding a fan to their grow tent resolved the issue. I’d say most people have some sort of fan in their grow tent anyway.
Overall a solid and cheap LED grow light, and a true quantum board grow light alternative.
1. MARUO, Toru, et al. “Effects of Supplemental Lighting with Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on Tomato Yield and Quality of Single-Truss Tomato Plants Grown at High Planting Density.” Environmental Control in Biology, Japanese Society of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Engineers and Scientists, 11 June 2012, https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ecb/50/1/50_63/_article.
2. Mars Hydro