Recently we received the MarsHydro Reflector Series Switchable Spectrum Grow Light for our greenhouse. At under $$$* it falls in the ‘budget’ range as far as grow lights go, but that’s not always a bad thing when you’re trying to cut costs. We’ve had a few grow lights go out over the years, so we’re always trying to find a more cost-effective way to handle our problems.
As soon as the box arrived we noticed it had a fair amount of weight to it, which always sets my mind at ease. Usually, a heavier product means a sturdier product.[toc]
The MarsHydro Reflector Series: What’s in the box?
The box comes with pretty much everything you need except the plants – which is a good deal. There weren’t any instructions, but it’s a pretty self-explanatory system as long as you have a general idea what you’re doing. Plug in the power cord, attach the hangers, and plug it into the outlet. We were actually pleasantly surprised at how well-made the included hangers were – we were expecting to have to upgrade those right away.
Our first complaint is the position of the power cord. It’s positioned in such a way that it hangs right in your way if you don’t have it clipped up. Of course, we all know we should be fixing our cords up anyway, but it would be nice if the cord wasn’t right on top – could be one less step for us. Oh well though, it’s not THAT hard to work around. We managed to get it to stay behind the plants for the most part, but I could see it being a little more inconvenient if you were hanging it in the center of a room.
Veg/Bloom switch: How well does it work?
A slightly bigger complaint is that the “flower” setting singed our plants a little bit – which was a little frustrating. We could have probably prevented it by simply paying closer attention, but the lack of an instruction manual wouldn’t help a beginner. This is a budget system, so it’s safe to assume that beginners are going to buy it – the company probably should have included some type of instruction.
The heat off-put by this light wasn’t too bad, on the “veg” setting. There is always some heat put off by any light bulbs, but with LEDs the heat is minimal unless you have it turned up. There is a fan inside to help keep it even cooler, and it still doesn’t eat up the electricity too bad. Our bill didn’t really show a noticeable change since using this light. Of course, we already have quite a few lights running anyway, but I wouldn’t say this one used anything too high.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad light for the price. We could see using it while you’re saving up for something better, or as a back-up in case something happens with your main lights. You should probably do your own research on the side because this basic setup isn’t going to do most of the work for you. For a budget light in a pinch, the MarsHydro Reflector 96 480W will do just fine.