Observations growing with my Mars Hydro and Viparspectra budget LED grow lights in a small 2x4 tent

Interesting observation from my grow journal the youngest plant under the just the Viparspectra has overtaken the older plants.

November 24 : measure and re-adjust lamp height to 17 inches above canopy
November 24 : plant 1(Elvira) @54 days (FIMed) is 15 inches high (Light: 100% mars hydro reflector 480), very bushy
November 24 : plant 2(Mortica) @54 days (topped) is 16 inches high (Light: 50% mars hydro reflector 480, 50% viparspectra reflector 450)
November 24 : plant 3(Lily) @47 days (topped) is 17 inches high (Light: 100% Viparspectra reflector 450)

The Mfg Specs
Mars Hydro Reflector 480w ( AKA: Mars Reflector 96)
Weight 7 lbs
Draw power 120V: 1.54A, 185W ; 240V: 0.84A, 185W +/- 5%
Spectrum 440nm, 460nm, 630nm ,660nm,730nm(IR), 2700k-3000k
Chip Brand New SMD Epistar (96pcs)
Lifespan 50,000 hours
Dimension 66x33x14cm
Coverage: Veg:2.5’x3.5’(75x105cm); Bloom:2’x3’(60x90cm)
Compared to HPS/MH/HID:240W
LED Quantities 96pcs x 5W LEDs = “Fictitious” Power title 480W
Average Yields: 1g/W
Recommended Hanging Distance Above Plants
Seedling stage: 20"~28" Veg Stage: 16"~20" Flowering Stage: 10"~16"

Weight 8.4 lbs
Power Draw: 100v-240V; 200watt ±3%
Spectrum Full spectrum
Chip Brand High Intensity 5W Bridgelux/Epileds LED Chips (90pcs)
Life Span 100,000 hours
Dimensions inches
Covrage: Veg:2.5’x2.5’(75cmx75cm); Bloom:2’x2’(60cmx60cm)
Compared to HPS/MH 400w
LED Quantities 90pcs x 5W LEDs = “Fictitious” Power title 450W

My observations/opinions

Mfg spec vs actual measured
Mars Hydro 96 spec 185w +/- 5% actual measured unit 205watts
Viparspectra 450 spec 200w +/- 3% actual measured unit 227watts

Claimed power in title is the theoretical output limit if all 5watt leds are driven to their max output rating and nothing burns out at that level.

Mars Hydro running at ~38.5% and Viparspectra running at ~44.4% of LED maximum
to reduce heat output and extend diode & component life
(some percentage of power consumption also goes to the led driver circuit and fans,
making for the difference from claimed to measured power draw)

Conclusion, nothing unexpected
Budget lights, they work, but next time when/if I can afford it it’s time to look for something better.


The mars quantums are actually not bad for budget lighting. They make a good tent also 1690d


Yes, I am using one of their tents and it is pretty good, no complaints at all!

I’ll definitely poke around and do more homework before it is time to buy equipment again , but I keep eyeing the Electric Sky’s at a local hydro store. Bit more expensive than the amazon/ebay lights.


Well amazon is just a distributor. There is so many companies. Tell me your max price. I can give you solid choices from there.


Also depending on grow space size. That’s also a big factor. For some reason people try to cram as much light in a tent as possible. There is a thing as having more then you need. And that actually covers many things. And most of those will mess up your grow. So let me know your grow area and lighting budget.
After years of using and researching them. I know what to look for and what to avoid. I love the 2000w led lights. Yet run a meter on it from the wall. and it is pulling 250w. LED manufacturer’s tend to be misleading. That’s why you see companies like mars is putting out better products these days. They knew if they didn’t. They would be out of business very soon


Thanks, current grow is in mid veg. Won’t be looking again till maybe next batch and only if funds become available. No longer being part of working world makes things interesting sometimes :smiley:

Most space I could get in room was for a small 2*4 tent and I have the 2 lights (mars hydro reflector 480w and Viparsepctra reflector 450w) in it now. They seem to be working out OK so far .
Plus a 250w heater that might not be big enough when lights go 12/12.


When and if you want to rework your set up look me up. There are some really solid options that might work better for you.

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A quick update, plants are in their 4th week of bloom (were doing well) and the ViparSpectra 450 has failed on the veg side.
It was on for 8 of the 9 weeks of veg (18/6) and 4 weeks of bloom (12/12) before the veg side went dark tonight.
Right now the MarsHydro 480 is lighting up a 2x2 area, and whats left working on the ViparSpectra 450 is lighting up the other 2x2

So it’s a trip to the city for me tomorrow to see what I can pick up in a hurry to finish this bloom cycle.
So if things go like normal for me there will also be a snow storm of the century while I am trying to travel tomorrow. :roll_eyes:

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Hi @trippingnome
I was wondering about your thread name “obsevations growing”. There is nothing for us to observe.
Can you share some pics…Please

Sure! Here be some I just took of the girls tonight, they are into week 4 of bloom.
Some are under the blurple of a MarsHydro light side of the tent and some almost normal looking under a T5 tube temporarily standing in for the failed ViparSpectra (and hanging right under it) until a new light comes into stock early next week.
Should be interesting new light is supposed to be a full spectrum quantum board with 2.7 umol/j rating, mean-well driver and Samsung LM301B Diodes (no idea what most of any of that means),
But they said it should do the 2x2 foot space I need it for nicely, not sure about heat with it being fan less, guess I find out next week.

Only 5 weeks to go for these ladies!

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Awesome, thanks for the pictures. Your plants look very healthy and yummy. Keep it up @trippingnome

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