As an avid indoor gardener, I understand the difference that high-quality, energy-efficient grow lights make. Over time, I’ve explored a wide array of brands and types, working my way toward stronger yields (and lower energy bills, especially if using a timer) by making sound choices. As part of that process, I strive to share what I’ve learned with others, which is why I’m posting this Mars Hydro FC 6500 review.
How does the Mars Hydro FC6500 stand up to the competition, and is it worth the price? If you’re asking questions like that or want to know whether the Mars Hydro 6500 is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. My comprehensive Mars Hydro FC 6500 LED grow light review includes its pros and cons, a deep dive into its features, and more.
About Mars Hydro LED Lights
Mars Hydro is a leading grow light manufacturer that’s been a part of the industry for more than ten years. The company has an expansive product lineup, including many that feature industry-leading grow light technologies.
As a global supplier, Mars Hydro has warehouses all around the world, allowing it to support customers in a slew of countries. Plus, Mars Hydro offers excellent warranties, often giving you some degree of protection for up to five years.
Mars Hydro isn’t just an LED grow light manufacturer; the company also sells a broad selection of supporting products. Whether you need grow tents, seedling heating mats, clamps, seed start kits, filters, or fans, Mars Hydro has you covered. Since that’s the case, I treat the company like a one-stop shop, and that approach can work well for anyone who wants to create an entire setup quickly.
Mars Hydro LED Lights Pros & Cons
Before diving into the Mars Hydro FC 6500 specifically, I’m going to begin this Mars Hydro LED grow light review by discussing the pros and cons of what the company offers. Mars Hydro has multiple product lines, and looking at them helps you see Mars Hydro’s primary benefits and drawbacks.
Overall, Mars Hydro has competitively priced grow lights, often slightly less expensive than similar lights from other companies. Since LEDs are typically used, Mars Hydro grow lights are highly energy-efficient, reducing your energy bills compared to traditional bulbs. Plus, you’ll see a lot of fanless designs that feature aluminum heatsinks for cooling, which leads to quieter operation and slimmer fixtures.
The majority offer wide light spectrums to support multiple growth phases, though the exact lighting composition can vary depending on the fixture. In most cases, Mars Hydro grow lights have full-spectrum LED diodes, and some have supplementary diodes for more red, IR, or UV. At times, this strategy is a better option than some quantum board spectrums, as it can compensate for certain shortcomings with quantum board designs.
Generally speaking, there are few drawbacks to going with Mars Hydro grow lights. One of the most notable ones is that the level of technology varies between fixtures. While some designs include Samsung diodes, Meanwell drivers, and dimming capabilities, others don’t, so keep that in mind.
Additionally, the rectangular shape of some of the Mars Hydro LED grow lights means you might see PAR drop-off on the right and left edges. Finally, a rectangular light might not be ideal for square tents if you’re going with a tented approach.
Solid light spectrum, with full-spectrum and specific supplemental diodes being common
Fanless designs mean quiet operation and slimmer profiles
Rectangular shape isn’t ideal for square tents and can cause edge PAR drop-off
Meanwell drivers and Samsung diodes aren’t present in all lights
Dimming isn’t a feature on every light
Mars Hydro FC6500 Review
Like any LED grow light brand, Mars Hydro has its fair share of pros and cons. However, that’s based on the company as a whole and not the FC 6500 Mars Hydro specifically.
Looking solely at the Mars Hydro FC 6500 LED grow light, you get far more benefits and significantly fewer drawbacks. As a mid-powered light, the wattage is just 730w. With that, you have up to 25 square feet of coverage in a single fixture, which is pretty substantial.
The Mars Hydro FC6500 also features many of the leading grow light technologies. You’ll get Samsung LM301B and Orsam 660nm diodes, both of which are preferred options by many growers, including myself. With those more than 2600 diodes – which is a higher quantity than you find with some competitors – you have full-spectrum whites and supplementary reds, making it easier to support bloom and veg phases fully.
Another nice feature of the Mars Hydro FC 6500 is that it’s dimmable. Since that’s the case, you can adjust the lighting levels without changing the fixture’s height. As a result, you must permanently keep the light hanging at the recommended 8 to 12 inches (depending on whether you use CO2) above the plants. Plus, you can daisy chain, letting you add more lights to increase your coverage area without having to use additional outlets.
While some Mars Hydro LED grow lights are rectangular, the FC 6500 Mars Hydro light is closer to a square. Since that’s the case, it works well in square tents, and you don’t see the same PAR drop-off as you would with a rectangular light.
With the Mars Hydro FC6500, cooling is handled through aluminum heatsinks, preventing excess heat buildup. The detachable power supply also means you can place it outside of the tent, further reducing heat buildup.
The fanless design also keeps the Mars Hydro FC 6500 slimmer and lighter. As a result, I found it very easy to hang. Plus, there’s no assembly required, speeding up installation. You can also fold the light in half, simplifying storage if you need to take it down and put it away for a while.
Finally, you can’t have a Mars Hydro FC6500 review without discussing the five-year warranty. While the coverage changes over time, you get far more protection from defects with this light than you do with many competitors.
As for drawbacks, some people find the generic manual – instead of one designed explicitly for the light line – a bit confusing or frustrating, particularly if they aren’t overly familiar with grow lights. Additionally, while you get two straps to hang the fixture, many people prefer to have four. If you’re in that group, you may want to get additional straps before installing the Mars Hydro FC6500.
Other Mars Hydro LED Grow Light Products
For many people, the Mars Hydro FC 6500 is an excellent choice. However, some may benefit from other Mars Hydro lights. The FC 3000 or FC 4800 could better fit if you have a smaller grow. For more coverage, consider the FC 8000 instead.
For similar coverage at a lower price, the Mars Hydro FC-E6500 is worth considering. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have Samsung diodes, though it still performs very well overall.
If you prefer a rectangular bar design, consider the Mars Hydro SP6500. It can handle up to 18 square feet of growing area. Plus, the SP6500 features Samsung and Osram diodes, is dimmable and can be daisy-chained.
Hey! I’m Scott, and I am dedicated to finding and reviewing the best LED grow lights available on the market. I've been growing indoors for 30+ years now and while I might not consider myself an expert I have plenty of experiences to share. Follow my site for new reviews and tips as I find new and alternative ways to grow plants for maximum production.