Mars Hydro TSL-2000 Test and Overview
Are you looking for the perfect grow light to grow cannabis in a 2 by 4 foot grow tent? Or even for a 4x4 foot grow tent? I decided to purchase the Mars Hydro TSL-2000 to see how it stacks up to competition.
The Mars Hydro TSL-2000 is perfect for growing cannabis or other flowering plants in a 2 by 4 foot grow tent. You can use two of these to light a 4x4 tent. As you’ll find out below, the characteristics I consider essential in an LED grow light are present in the Mars Hydro TSL-2000. The characteristics are strong light intensity, good spectrum, and sufficient coverage for your grow space.
This is a quantum board style LED grow light, meaning it has a simple and more efficient design compared to older grow light models. It’s made of two long LED boards, the aluminum reflector, and two drivers.
The light is about 40 inches long so it fits nice and snug into your 2x4 foot tent. I would say the length is probably one of the better characteristics for a 2x4 foot grow tent because it allows the LEDs to be directly above a majority of the tent space. Many other grow lights have smaller dimensions which affects their coverage capability.
The light doesn’t use fans. Modern grow lights like the TSL-2000 have ditched the electric cooling fans which reduce efficiency, and improved the design so heat passively dissipates off the grow light. I’ll speak a little more about heat later, but as long as you’re running fans in your grow tent you’ll be fine.
The drivers are fully dimmable, and unlike other grow lights, the dimmers are on the top of the ballast so you don’t need to unscrew the ballast to dim the grow light.
Considering the design, price, and performance of the TSL-2000, I wouldn’t even consider a pink/purple/blurple spectrum grow light after using this grow light.
Spectrum and Light Intensity:
I mentioned grow light spectrum earlier. The proper spectrum for growing cannabis is present in most grow lights. Science hasn’t exactly settled on a perfect spectrum for plants, but the grow light industry has more or less figured out that white spectrum is better than the “blurple” pink/purple color light that’s used on older grow light models.
There have been a few studies conducted that found white spectrum like the spectrum used in the Mars Hydro TSL-2000 grows plants about 10-15% better than the older purple spectrum.
The TSL-2000 does include infrared diodes. There aren’t that many because you don’t need much of infrared in the spectrum. But it’s there.
As for light intensity, I tested the TSL-2000 myself and found it to be even stronger than I anticipated. I use a lux meter app on my smart phone and convert the lux reading to PPFD using Waveform Lighting’s Lux to PPFD calculator.
In short, I found the TSL-2000 to emit about 50,000 lux (~1250 micromoles) in the center, and about 40,000 lux (~1025 micromoles) on the sides of my 2x4 foot grow tent. The readings were taken with the light hanging 18 inches above.
TSL-2000 Compared to Other Grow Lights:
Anyone looking for a grow light knows there are a lot of options out there, so how did the Mars Hydro TSL-2000 stack up? I’ve owned a few grow lights for 2x4 grow tents, and I’ve read up on just about all the others. To be honest, this would definitely be my personal top choice for reasons you’ll read below.
There are a few other high quality grow lights out there for 2x4 feet, such as the Green Sunshine ES300, or the Timber LED 4VL. The Timber costs double and the Green Sunshine ES300 costs more than double. The Spider Farmer SF-2000 is another good choice, but at the same price as the TSL-2000, the light intensity is noticeably less on the sides of the tent compared to the Mars Hydro. That’s likely due to the design of the SF-2000.
There are other purple spectrum grow lights available, but since they were designed years ago, they’re less efficient and don’t exactly perform as well. When you find one that’ll cover 2x4 feet sufficiently, you’ll be at the same price point as the TSL-2000. I’d take the Mars Hydro every time.
In terms of power consumption, the TSL-2000 falls right in the middle at 300 watts. The Spider Farmer SF-2000 consumes 200 watts, and the Timber LED Model 4VL consumes 400 watts. Power consumption isn’t a make or break deal for me, but if 300 watts is a deal breaker for you, I think the SF-2000 is probably your next best option at 200 watts.
My Video Overview:
|Specs:||Mars Hydro TSL-2000|
|Coverage Area:||2x4 feet|
|Intensity (PPFD):||972 uMol @ 18 inch|
|Spectrum:||Full White + IR|
|Voltage||120v; 240v; 277v|
|Where to buy:||LED Grow Lights Depot or Amazon|
Heat & Removable Drivers:
Does the TSL-2000 get hot? Yes. Not as much as HPS grow lights though. Every grow light emits heat. With that said you should be running an inline fan as well as an oscillating fan in your grow tent.
One huge advantage of these Mars Hydro grow lights is the removable drivers. As you can see in the image below, I was able to unscrew the drivers and keep them several feet outside the front of my grow tent without affecting the operation of the grow light.
This is a huge advantage because there are still a lot of growers who have trouble keeping their tent temperatures down. If that could be your situation, you should consider the TSL-2000.
Keeping the air cool and moving around are essential to preventing mold and maintaining a proper climate for your cannabis plants to grow.
What height should you hang the Mars Hydro TSL-2000? I wrote a whole guide to hang height, because it’s actually a bit more complicated than you’d think.
With that said I’ll save you some time and tell you how I’d hang the TSL-2000. For seedlings you’ll need this light at 28 inches AND dimmed 50%. For the vegetative phase (18 hours on/6 hours off), I’d recommend hanging at 24 inches at full power. During the flowering phase I’d recommend 18 inches at full power.
Other Notes about the Mars Hydro TSL-2000:
I noticed a few things during my experience with this grow light.
The aluminum frame is not flimsy, as some people have claimed. You would need an intentional amount of strength to bend it.
The dimmers are a nice feature, but look like they might be a pain to adjust because the hole is small and the screw is so deep inside. I personally wouldn’t want to dim the light but you may want to. You can always hang it higher.
For a 4x4 foot space I think two TSL-2000s might be more advantageous than one TS-3000. I haven’t owned a TS-3000 but simply looking at the dimensions, I’d probably prefer the 40 inch length of the TSL-2000s and place two side by side instead of one TS-3000 unit that’s only 25 inches wide. With that said I’ve spoken to owners of the TS-3000 who were very pleased with that light so I could be wrong.
The TSL-2000 comes with an outlet timer, which is a nice compliment to the product. You’ll definitely need it.
Warranty and Customer Service:
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.
Owners of the Mars Hydro TS Series grow lights have good things to say about their experiences. I talk to growers daily in the live chat, and I’ve heard from very satisfied owners of the TS series grow lights. I’m also very pleased with my TSL-2000.
- 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.
- Chandra, Suman, Hemant Lata, Ikhlas Khan, and Mahmoud Elsohly. “Photosynthetic response of Cannabis sativa L. to variations in photosynthetic photon flux densities, temperature and CO2 conditions.” Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 14.4 (2009): 299-306.
- Sharakshane, Anton. “White LED Lighting for Plants.” bioRxiv (2017).
- Eichhorn Bilodeau, Samuel et al. “An Update On Plant Photobiology And Implications For Cannabis Production”. Frontiers In Plant Science, vol 10, 2019. Frontiers Media SA, doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.00296. Accessed 14 Oct 2019.
- Lin, K., Huang, M., Huang, W., Hsu, M., Yang, Z. and Yang, C. (2013). The effects of red, blue, and white light-emitting diodes on the growth, development, and edible quality of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata). Scientia Horticulturae, 150, pp.86-91.
- He, Dongxian & Kozai, T. & Niu, Genhua & Xin, Zhang. (2019). Light-Emitting Diodes for Horticulture: Materials, Processes, Devices and Applications. 10.1007/978-3-319-99211-2_14.
2. Mars Hydro
The Mars Hydro TSL-2000 will properly light a 2 by 4 foot grow space.
Yes, all grow lights emit some heat, but as long as you’re using an inline fan in your tent you should be fine.
The Mars Hydro TSL-2000 consumes 300 watts.
Yes it contains infrared diodes.
For seedlings hang at 28 inches dimmed 50%. During the vegetative phase hang at 24 inches at full power. During the flowering phase 18 inches at full power.