Mars Hydro FC 3000 PAR Test & Review

Mars Hydro FC-3000 Test Results

Usable PPF

  • 610.7

Photon
Efficiency

  • 0.00
    Efficiency Rating

Power
Draw

  • 295

Cost
Efficiency

  • $0.00
    Cost Rating

Harvest
Potential

  • 0.0 - 0.0
  • 0.0 - 0.0

Power
Draw

  • 295

Harvest
Potential

  • 0.0 - 0.0
  • 0.0 - 0.0

Coverage

  • 0.0
  • 0.0

Ideal Hanging Height

  • 17.5
  • 44.5

Manufacturer's Data

  • Power Draw: 300w
  • PPF: 870µmol
  • Efficiency: 2.9

Ideal Hanging Height

  • 17.5
  • 44.5

PAR Map :

PAR Test Data

Test Date: September 19, 2020
Tested By: Dr MJ Coco
Power Draw: 295 watts
Test Area: 90 x 90cm (36 x 36in)
Hanging Height: 44.5cm (17.5in)
Max PPFD: 1000µmol/m2
Average PPFD: 753.9µmol/m2
Low PPFD: 582µmol/m2
Light Distribution Score: A

PAR Test Data

Test Date: September 19, 2020
Tested By: Dr MJ Coco
Power Draw: 295 watts
Test Area: 90 x 90cm (36 x 36in)
Hanging Height: 44.5cm (17.5in)
Max PPFD: 1000µmol/m2
Average PPFD: 753.9µmol/m2
Low PPFD: 582µmol/m2
Light Distribution Score: A

PAR Map

Your Grow Space

Optimal Light For Your Grow

  • Optimal Usable PPF: 0 µmol
  • Number of FC-3000 Fixtures: 0.0
  • Total Cost for 0 Fixtures: $0.00
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Mars Hydro FC-3000 Review

The Mars Hydro FC-3000 is an awesome grow light. It is a solid one-piece four-bar array that is perfect for 3’ x 3’ grow spaces. It features top-of-the-line components with Samsung LM301b diodes and a Mean Well driver. The FC-3000 puts out a lot of light and distributes it very well across the canopy. It gets superior photon efficiency and it is offered at an excellent price.

The new Mars-Hydro FC series is an exciting product line. They are professional grade fixtures at incredible prices. The FC series follows in the footsteps of the incredibly popular SP-3000. The Mars-Hydro SP-3000 is our top recommendation for a 4’ x 2’ space. Feedback from growers has been incredible. I now have one in my 4’ x 2’ tent! This FC-3000 is certainly going to be another hit for Mars. I think it is the new top choice for a 3’ x 3’ grow light.

The FC series fixtures are full spectrum LED grow lights. They feature the industry leading Samsung LM 301b diodes. The white Samsung diodes are complemented by top-end Osram 660nm red diodes. Together they produce an ideal spectrum for both vegetative and flowering growth.

The FC-3000 is the smallest fixture in the FC product line. The larger versions of this lamp, the FC-4800 and FC-6500, are foldable. However, the ability to fold the lamps is only important for shipping and storage. There are no grow related applications for folding an LED array style fixture. The FC-3000 is small enough to ship and store without folding.

The FC-3000 is basically one solid piece with a removable driver and external dimmer box. If you run several of these fixtures in an array, they can be daisy chained and controlled by a single dimming box. Both the driver and dimmer come on a bracket that can be mounted on top of the LED bars. However, there is plenty of cable which allows you to easily locate them outside the grow space.

Removing the driver from a grow tent could help with heat management, but heat is not a particular problem with the FC-3000. I measured a peak temperature of 61c (142f) on the LED bar heat sink and 59.5c (139f) on the driver itself. Placing the driver and the dimmer outside the grow space can also allow you to have easy access to the dimmer.

The LED bar array design helps the FC-3000 to distribute the light very well across a 9 square foot canopy. In my 3’ x 3’ PAR test, the FC-3000 delivered an average PPFD of 753.9 µmol/m2, which is great. The maximum PPFD in my test was 1000 µmol/m2, while the lowest PPFD reading was in a corner at 582 µmol/m2. You can see the excellent distribution of light in the PAR maps above and below.

In my PAR test, the Mars-Hydro FC-3000 delivered a Usable PPF of 610.7 µmol. This easily surpasses our suggestion of at least 585 µmol of Usable PPF for a 3’ x 3’ space.

The FC-3000 required only 295 watts (@120v) to generate the 610.7 µmol of Usable PPF. This gives it a superior Usable Photon Efficiency of 2.07 µmol/w. In terms of both efficiency and distribution, the FC-3000 is among the top fixtures on the market.

The FC series are commercial grade lights. However, the price point puts them squarely in the reach of almost all growers. At the current list price, these fixtures cost only $0.59 per µmol of Usable PPF. This is really an incredible price! Don’t forget that we have an additional discount code! Use Code CCFC when you shop on Mars-Hydro.com and you can get an even better price.

I tested out the dimmer and ran a full PAR test with the dimmer set to 50%. The data from the dimming test and the PAR map from the 50% test are included in the images below. As you can see, the dimmer ran strong especially at the higher dimmer settings. However, the 50% PAR test shows that the dimming is very even across the canopy.

According to the Grow Light Calculator, the ideal coverage area for the FC-3000 is 9.4 square feet. It is perfect for a standard 3’ x 3’ (90 x 90cm) grow tent. Mars-Hydro makes a 100 x 100cm tent, which is about 10.5 square feet. The FC-3000 could certainly do a good job covering that. I know that some growers will ask if the FC-3000 could cover a 4’ x 4’ grow space. However, 4’ x 4’ is 16 square feet, which is a lot more space.

I went ahead and ran two 4’ x 4’ PAR tests. First, I ran a test at the same hanging height as the 3’ x 3’ test. This shows the impact of just moving the walls away. Then I ran a second test with the fixture lowered into the height that maximizes Usable PPF in a 4’ x 4’ space. The PAR maps and data from both of those tests are below. They are fascinating to consider – if you are into that sort of thing. I plan to explore some of the relationships that they illustrate in a future Grow Light Physics video.

The Mars Hydro FC-3000 features top-end components, excellent build quality, a great LED bar array design, superior efficiency and an amazing price. It easily earns my top recommendation among 3’ x 3’ grow lights.

A Coco for Cannabis and Migro Collaboration

Our Grow Light Guide is a collaboration among Dr Coco and Dr Photon from Coco for Cannabis and Shane Torpey from Migro Lighting. At Coco for Cannabis, our mission is to help growers maximize the success of their cannabis crops by providing scientifically accurate information and sharing proven growing practices. We are excited to collaborate with Shane because he has earned a well-deserved reputation for doing fair and accurate grow light testing. We created this guide to share reliable grow light data and empower home growers with the best information about grow lights.

Unbiased Testing and Reviews

We offer this guide as a resource to growers. We do not accept sponsorship or advertising. There is no financial relationship between Coco for Cannabis and Migro Lighting. Grow light manufacturers may send us lights for testing. However, we receive no compensation from manufacturers for testing or for including their fixtures in our guide. We will always report accurate information and give our honest evaluation of each fixture. You can support our work by following our links when you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. However, we have no financial interest in promoting any particular brand of light. Our recommendations are based on the science, testing and our honest evaluation. We want to provide you with the knowledge and information so that you can make the best grow light decision for your cannabis grow.

Disclaimer:

The information on cocoforcannabis.com should not be considered as financial, legal, or medical advice. You are responsible for knowing and following the local laws that pertain to cannabis cultivation, possession, and use. Decisions to grow cannabis should be made in consultation with a lawyer or qualified legal advisor. Decisions to use cannabis should be made in consultation with your doctor or medical professional.