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Mars Hydro Smart FC-6500 730W LED Grow Light Review

Mars Hydro Smart FC-6500 730W LED Grow Light Review

In this review I'll be going over the Mars Hydro Smart FC-6500 730W LED grow light.

The FC-6500 Smart light is part of the FC series, which also includes the FC-3000 Smart, FC-4800 Smart, FC-8000 Smart and FC-1000 Smart. All of these lights use Samsung diodes. There is a less expensive FC-E series which uses Bridgelux diodes, and a more expensive LM301H EVO series which uses the new Samsung LM301H EVO diodes. 

You might be wondering what happened to the FC or FC-E series that are not the Smart version. Well, Mars Hydro upgraded the regular dimming box on these with bluetooth and WiFi control to interface with the Mars Hydro app. This enables the user to control the light with an iOS or Andriod app. Other than that, the fixture is exactly the same.


The FC-6500 Smart light contains of 8 passively-cooled bars connected to a sturdy aluminum frame. The Mars Hydro branded driver and upgraded dimmer box snap onto the middle of the bars. This power and control box can be remote mounted via the included DC extension cable to remove some of the heat from the grow space. The dimming box dims the fixture smoothly down to around 10% intensity and allows you to daisy-chain up to 30 lights on a single daisy-chain.

A NEMA 5-15P 120v style plug is included with the light. You will need to purchase a plug adapter if you want to use the light on a 240V circuit since one is not included in the box. The light folds in half for easy transport and installation and full extends to measure 44.5" x 44”



This fixure contains Samsung LM301B 3000K warm white and 5000K cool white diodes. Mars Hydro rounds the spectrum off with Osram 660nm deep red diodes. There are not any UV or far red diodes in this fixture

You may consider the add-on Mars Hydro UR45 UV & IR bars if you are looking to add some UV and Far Red to the spectrum. The UV and IR can be turned on and off independently. These are sold separately. The full spectrum on the FC Smart series will bring your plants from seed to harvest.


The FC6500 Smart fixture is listed at drawing 730W at the wall. When I measured the wattage draw at 113.5V, I received a reading of 731W and 6.42A. The light can be used in up to 277V applications.

The heat output of the fixture is 2490 BTU/Hour.

All FC series lights feature a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty and are ETL and DLC listed and IP65 waterproof / dustproof.

The total light output is 2079 umol/S and PAR efficacy is 2.85 umol/J.

Mars Hydro recommends using this light in a 4'x4' to 5'x5' space. Based on the light output, it will flower a strong 4'x4' or less intense 5'x5'.

The recommend hanging height for flowering is 12-24”. Dim the light down to 50% at these same heights during vegetative growth. CO2 is recommended when hanging the light at closer distances to get the most out of the light.



Mars Hydro has two published PAR maps on the FC-6500 Smart. They tested the light in a 4'x4' grow tent. Overall, the readings look great! 



This is a great light, but it's not perfect. There are two downsides that I want to address. The first con is the plastic parts. The new dimming box and the plastic plate and arms that the driver and dimming box sit on are both constructed of plastic.

While it is unlikely that these break unless you apply a good amount of force to them, the plastic parts bring down the overall appearance of the fixture. I just wish Mars Hydro designed a slightly higher quality dimming box and used a metal driver plate and arms. 

The second con about this light is the app. It's fairly straight forward and simple to use, but I wasn't a fan of the interface and according to the app store, it doesn't have the greatest reviews. If you don't want to use the Smart control, you can just connect the light to a smart outlet or a simple wall timer.

Now what are some positives about this light? I like how you can chose to place the driver on the light or remote mount it. Also, the spectrum is quite good, especially when you add the optional UV/IR bar. Finally, I also like how there essentially three versions of this fixture, the FC-E, FC, and FC EVO series, which gives you three different price ranges and diode options for each model in the series. 

Did you know that this light was featured in our recent Best LED Grow Lights of 2023 video as best grow light made by an overseas company? Well, it was!

In summary, the FC-6500 Smart is a great buy given the high efficacy and light output. Check it out here.

You can use code marsh10 for 10% off this light or any other Mars Hydro bar light at

Thanks for reading!

-Erik, Owner/Founder

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