Mars Hydro SP-3000: An Impressive Bar Grow Light (2020)
The Mars Hydro SP-3000 is the new and improved grow light in the Mars Hydro SP Series. It’s ideal for growing cannabis or other plants in a 3×5 or 4×5 foot grow space.
Keep reading to learn about my experience with the SP-3000, all the details about it, how it compares to other grow lights you may be considering, and where you can purchase one.
Mars Hydro generously sent me a SP-3000 to test out and showcase for 420ExpertGuide readers. Mars Hydro is a brand I’ve owned in the past (purchased with my own money), and I’ve also heard from several other Mars Hydro owners who are happy with their grow lights.
The SP-3000 is 42.5 inches long and weighs 14 pounds. Unlike the similar Mars Hydro TSL-2000, this SP-3000 has a heat sink, and it’s also IP65 waterproof. The LEDs are Samsung LM301B plus Osram 660nm red diodes.
The SP-3000 consumes 300 watts of power, which I find to be strong for a 2×4 foot area, and sufficient for a 3×5 foot grow tent.
One great feature that’s been carried over from previous Mars Hydro grow lights is the removable drivers. I haven’t seen this on other brands and I think it really helps set Mars Hydro apart.
I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me about getting grow tent temperatures under control, and being that the drivers produce a lot of the total heat, being able to keep the driver 5 or 6 feet away from the grow light (and outside your tent) really helps. You can do that with the SP-3000 as well.
Mars Hydro says they created this grow light after receiving a lot of feedback about their best selling SP-150 and SP-250 grow lights. Upon inspection, the SP-3000 is more user friendly, and more plant friendly.
Specifically, the SP-3000 includes a daisy chain capability (the ability to plug the power cord into another SP-3000 light instead of running the cord to a power outlet), an easy dimming knob, an extra 70 watts of power, and 126 extra LEDs compared to the Mars Hydro SP-250.
Most modern LED grow lights ditched the daisy chain feature that used to be popular on blurple LED grow lights. But if you’re growing in a larger area, the daisy chain capability can still be convenient.
The SP-3000 also makes use of Samsung and Osram LEDs compared to the Epistar LEDs used on the SP-250. I don’t think there’s a major difference because Epistar and Samsung are both widely used brands. Using the best brand name LEDs will continue to create confidence with growers.
Light Strength, Hang Height, and Coverage Area
|Seedlings||Vegetative Growth or Autoflowers||Flowering|
|Height (Inches)||36 inches||26 – 30 inches||24 inches|
|Target PPFD||200-250 PPFD||300 – 600 PPFD||460-925 PPFD|
Above is a light intensity PPFD map for the SP-3000, as well as my recommended hang height chart. To learn more about the mechanics of grow light hang height, read my full article here. You can also learn about the full mechanics of light intensity here.
In short, the SP-3000 is strong enough to grow any plant in any situation. If you’re using CO2 your plants can withstand extra heat and light intensity, up to 1500 ppfd. The SP-3000 is strong enough for that too.
What size space is the Mars Hydro SP-3000 good for? Mars Hydro says this grow light will cover a 4×5 foot space for plants in the seedling and vegetative phase of growth.
You can also grow autoflowers in that 4×5 foot veg space because they receive 18 hours of light at the veg light intensity for the whole lifecycle. For flowering Mars Hydro says it flowers 2×4 feet, but I think it’s strong enough to flower 3×5 feet.
Looking for a grow light that flowers 4×4 feet? Check out the Mars Hydro TS-3000, or consider two SP-3000s.
Light Spectrum Details
Another feature I did not expect to see on the Mars Hydro SP-3000, but I’m happy it’s there, is the ultraviolet wavelengths in the light spectrum. Most modern grow lights and even a lot of the older blurple grow lights, do not offer ultraviolet (UV) light as part of the spectrum.
Ultraviolet light is known to increase THC production in cannabis plants¹. Even though high THC does not necessarily make cannabis better, it’s well known that dispensaries have a harder time selling cannabis with lower THC content.
That means the Mars Hydro SP-3000 is a great grow light for people who want to grow strong cannabis. It’s also ideal for industrial cannabis growers aiming to grow top shelf cannabis, and who can also take advantage of the daisy chain capability.
Full Spectrum White Light
The rest of the spectrum is made up with 3000 Kelvin white, which contains a lot of red wavelengths for flowering, 5000 Kelvin white, which contains a lot of blue wavelengths for the seedling and vegetative phase, and 660nm red wavelengths for flowering.
In total, the light spectrum on the SP-3000 will grow your cannabis (or other plants) from the seedling phase all the way to harvest, and you’ll end up with top shelf product so long as all your other growing factors are kept in check.
How Does the Mars Hydro SP-3000 Compare to Other Grow Lights?
If you’re shopping for a grow light you know there are a lot of options out there. So how does the SP-3000 compare to other grow lights?
Looking around at other grow light options I found that the SP-3000 is a good bang for your buck priced at $399, as you’ll read below. Let’s take a look at some other grow light options.
Canagrow 300 watt bar grow light
Above is the Canagrow 300w bar style LED grow light. It looks similar to the Mars Hydro SP-3000 but when you compare the two lights, the SP-3000 comes out on top. This Canagrow grow light uses 70 watts and costs about $130. So you would need to spend over $500 to get the same light power as the SP-3000.
In addition, the Canagrow light does not allow for daisy chaining. The lower power also means you’ll need to hang the light much closer to the plants, which equals smaller space coverage.
Crecer Lighting MetriX 300
The Crecer Lighting MetriX is another similar 300 watt bar style LED grow light. This grow light uses 300 watts from the outlet, the same as the SP-3000. But there are a few differences that make the SP-3000 superior in my opinion.
First, you cannot remove the driver from the Crecer MetriX 300. Second, the MetriX does not contain ultraviolet spectrum. Last, the MetriX costs $550 compared to the Mars Hydro SP-3000 which costs $400.
Mars Hydro TSL-2000
The Mars Hydro TSL-2000 is another option you may be considering. Up until now, the TSL-2000 was my favorite grow light for 2×4 or 3×5 foot grow spaces. The improvements made to the SP-3000 have made it my new favorite grow light for 2×4 or 3×5 feet.
If you want to save a few dollars and you don’t mind going without the daisy chain, the ultraviolet light, and you don’t mind Epistar LEDs instead of Samsung, then the TSL-2000 could be a good choice to consider. I recommend you read my full TSL-2000 review if you consider this option.
I didn’t know Mars Hydro was planning a new SP series grow light. When I saw the picture on their website I thought it was probably a more powerful verison of the SP-250 with no additional features.
I have to say I’m impressed with the performance of this grow light, and as I mentioned earlier, the TSL-2000 used to be my favorite grow light for 2×4 or 3×5 grow space, but the SP-3000 is now my favorite for that size space. I would definitely recommend this grow light for people looking to grow top shelf cannabis in a 2×4 or 3×5 foot space.
What Size Grow Tent or Space will the Mars Hydro SP-3000 Light?
The SP-3000 will veg a 3×5 foot space, or flower a 2×5 foot space.
How is the Mars Hydro SP-3000 Different than the SP-250 and TSL-2000?
The SP-3000 has more power, features and better light spectrum than the SP-250. It has the same power as the TSL-2000, but different features, and different light spectrum.
How much does the Mars Hydro SP-3000 cost?
The SP-3000 cost $400, but the price changes from time to time.
Does the Mars Hydro SP-3000 grow from seed to harvest?
How high to hang Mars Hydro SP-3000 above plants?
At 100% power, you should hang the SP-3000 at the following height: Seedling – 36 inches; Vegetative Phase – 26 to 30 inches; Flowering – 24 inches