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By francisfaustino
Posts:  187
Joined:  Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:46 pm
#388064
I received two Mars Hydro SP3000 in the mail today for my indoor setup. Yes, I know indoor setups are typically frowned upon in the carnivorous plants forums but hear me out. Most of my plants are still staying outside year-round. I mainly did this setup to try to color up my cephalotus Eden Black. Since I got the Eden Black a few years ago, I've used those bulb style with heatsink LEDs from Amazon. At only 19w each, they're struggling to color up the Eden Black unless I have one LED bulb per pot at less than 6" away from the plant. I've also gotten tired of the pink/purple colored light. It's so hard to work under them and I have to take the plants to another room if I want to accurately observe them. Also, all that light and none of it can be used for photography!

This setup is also for the VFTs that I want to skip dormancy. From my previous experiences, when I allow plants that are currently struggling to enter dormancy fully exposed outside, it really sets them way back for the following season. Many of my VFTs last season struggled when I was trying to figure out the over heating issues of the plants when we first moved to our new house. I let them all enter dormancy (some in very weak conditions especially the ones I bought new in spring of that year), and it's only been in the last 2 months that some of them have fully recovered. Just in time to enter dormancy again!

These Mars Hydro are really bright. They are rated at 300w max but they come out of the box set at 270w max for 110v outlets. I had to set an adjustment screw under the driver to give a max 295w. Right now, I have the power dial set at 37% with each light fixture drawing 117w from the wall. I'll see how the plants react to the bright lights and see if I need to turn them up more after they've acclimated.

In researching this LED lights purchase, I also learned a lot about the cultivation of a certain medicinal plant in the process. It seems like most people who buy these bright plant lights are focused on the cultivation of that particular plant. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Last edited by francisfaustino on Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By Panman
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Posts:  2246
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#388071
I don't think anyone around here is anti inside setups. Flytraps in terrariums, maybe. Many, if not all of us, have some level of indoor setups, especially for specific conditions or winter set ups. What you have looks nice. I look forward to hearing how it does for you.
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By francisfaustino
Posts:  187
Joined:  Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:46 pm
#388086
I love these lights for photography! I typically have to wait for an overcast day to take detailed shots such as these. I took these two quick photos for a potential buyer. :D
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By LunaticGazelle
Posts:  16
Joined:  Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:45 am
#388097
Yeah of course, "medicinal"! :mrgreen: Very nice setup. I'd love to have such a setup but space is an issue in my case. Although I've got my vfts inside as well, under a SANSI lamp and waiting to see how it goes. It's only been 3 days now. Keep us in the loop as to how it goes!
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By francisfaustino
Posts:  187
Joined:  Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:46 pm
#388576
So I ended up returning the Mars Hydro SP3000 and bought the HLG 350R. There's nothing particularly wrong with the Mars Hydro but for some reason it just didn't do it for me. One thing that really turned me off about the Mars Hydro is that all the marketing materials says 3 years warranty. Once I got it and looked at the manual, it is indeed 3 years warranty, however, they will only pay shipping for the first year. It's a bit misleading when that important information is only found inside the box.

I was also turned off because many reviews states that the SP3000 has UV and IR diodes but apparently, Mars Hydro had recently changed the design and got rid of the UV and IR diodes. Yes, there are no mention of the UV and IR diodes in the current Amazon listing but surely they know that customers who watch and read their early release sponsored reviews will reasonably assume that the UV and IR diodes will still be there. I'm not gonna go into whether UV and IR benefits plants, my point is, I was expecting something and got something else. I'm aware that the HLG 350R does not have UV and IR diodes but I bought into it knowing that.

It looks to me that the 350R has better coverage on the corners of the shelves. I do not have a PAR meter and I'm just going by what I see but It makes sense since the 350R is almost twice as wide as the SP3000. I'm aware that these fixtures are designed to be used inside reflective tents where this issue is minimized but that is not my application.

I was also a bit annoyed at Mars Hydro because the light is rated at 300w power output. From the factory though, it is only running at 270w. This is because they set the 300w to the higher outlet voltages in other countries, so by default, USA's 110v outlets only powers the lights to 270w. It is a relatively easy fix; there is a small potentiometer under the driver that is covered with a rubber plug and is accessed using a small screwdriver. It's just a bit annoying because it still required me to remove the ballast from the fixture to access the screw. They could have set it properly from the factory because I'm sure they know which regions their inventories will ship to. These are not shipping from China when ordered by the customers. The potentiometer screw is also super sensitive. Small turns results in massive changes in wattage. There is no way to properly set it to its rated power specifications without a power meter. Luckily, I have one handy but not everyone does. You will know when you turn the potentiometer too high because the light completely cuts out at around 315w to 320w. I'm not an electrician but it seems like an over current protection for the system.
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Comparing the 2 fixtures, the 350R, at the top, is a much crisper white while the SP3000, at the bottom, is noticeably warmer in tone. The SP3000 is, I think, 3500K color tone while the 350R is 4000K.
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HLG 350R's installed on both shelves.
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By francisfaustino
Posts:  187
Joined:  Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:46 pm
#388834
In the interest of increasing the grow space, I tried to reconfigure the shelf to fit 3 levels instead of just 2. I know the HLG 350R's are not designed to be very close to the plants (in regards to spread) but I just had to see it for myself. With the shelf spaced evenly for 3 levels, there were a lot of shadows and harsh lighting on the plants located at the edges of the 2' x 4' shelf space. With the 7" Hydro pots that I'm using, there is only 10" between the light and the surface of the pot. Even the 4" pots located at the edge of the growing space were experiencing very uneven lighting. The 2 level shelf configuration seems to be just about perfect for the 350R's spread. This also gives enough headroom to fine tune the hanging height of each fixture.

If my propagation increases, I think will just get another shelf and buy the much cheaper 4' shop lights that will evenly light a level of the shelf even down to less than 12" from the plant. That way, I can have 4 levels on the propagation shelf to maximize the space. My current 2 level shelf with the 350R's will be for displaying the bigger mother pots.

My Eden Black has also started to color up nicely under the new lights. This photo was taken only after 11 days (2 of which are under the 350R's) under the more intense lighting. At first, I set the lights to 145w for each fixture. I will turn them up to 180w starting tomorrow.
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By davinstewart
Location: 
Posts:  48
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
#389303
Hey francisfaustino, great looking setup.

You might try using a lux meter app on your phone to get an idea of the relative brightness at various points in your setup. There is a method to convert that to DLI which I detailed in another post if you want to take that to the next level.

Hope the lights are working out well for you!
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By Apollyon
Location: 
Posts:  1316
Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#389304
Dude that Ceph pot will be legendary if you plan to fill it out. I legit was thinking of wanting to do that with my Hummer's Giant the other day. I saw a stellar one grown in a terrarium that had "hills" and hundreds of pitchers lol. It was inspiring
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By francisfaustino
Posts:  187
Joined:  Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:46 pm
#389334
davinstewart wrote:Hey francisfaustino, great looking setup.

You might try using a lux meter app on your phone to get an idea of the relative brightness at various points in your setup. There is a method to convert that to DLI which I detailed in another post if you want to take that to the next level.

Hope the lights are working out well for you!
Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I actually used an app like that which estimates lux into PPFD and DLI if I input how many hours the lights will be on per day. Going by the 350R's recommended hanging height, the app was correctly reporting a PPFD of around 1000 micro mols at the center which is the same as the light's tested specification.

I used the app to fine tune the hanging heights of the fixtures to maximize the light spread to the outer edges of the grow space so that I don't have to turn the power on too high just to get acceptable PAR in those areas. At my current power setting and hanging height, the PPFD reading directly at the center of the shelf is around 600 micro mols while the readings at the dimmest parts at the corners of the grow space are at around 250 to 300 micro mols.


Apollyon wrote:Dude that Ceph pot will be legendary if you plan to fill it out. I legit was thinking of wanting to do that with my Hummer's Giant the other day. I saw a stellar one grown in a terrarium that had "hills" and hundreds of pitchers lol. It was inspiring
Yes, those huge ceph hills setups are very inspirational!
Assistance please.

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