Grow Lights

Black Dog LED Review – PhyoMAX-2 Series

Black Dog LED is a popular grow light brand available on the market. Their upgraded PhytoMAX-2 series features more efficient diodes and increased light output. If you are considering purchasing a grow light, here is a Black Dog LED review covering the entire series, with mentions of the specific models. Let’s find out if the PhytoMAX-2 LED grow lights are right for you. 

About The Black Dog LED Brand

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Black Dog LED entered the grow light market in 2010. This means they have been around for a long time and had sufficient time to develop and test their products innovatively. They also have staff with horticulture and electrical engineering degrees as well as over 80 years of combined indoor growing experience. 

The company’s philosophy involves not cutting any corners to create the best grow lights available, even if they aren’t the cheapest lights on the market. They conduct research and development in their own labs and focus on processes being done for the first time ever. Additionally, they are also one of the few brands that manufacture grow lights in the U.S. 

PhyoMAX-2 Product Information Overview

Black Dog LED grow lights customers rate the products highly, making them popular among indoor growers with heavy-flowering plants. Although an upgrade from the PhytoMAX series, Black Dog LED offers the same light models in their PhytoMAX-2 series. These include the PhytoMAX-2 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000.

The PhytoMAX-2 series is a noticeable update from their popular PhytoMAX series by staying on top of new LED technologies. This series has:

  • Higher-quality and more efficient diodes
  • Better light transmission with removed glass plate
  • 60% more light per wattage
  • Quieter cooling fans

Compared to other grow lights on the market, Black Dog LEDs are priced on the higher end. However, most customers feel that better performance is worth the extra cost. With your purchase, you get an easy-to-use, heavy-duty 8-foot ratchet hanger and a standard 120-volt power cord. You would need a separate power cord to run the light at 240 volts. 


  • Powerful 5-watt diodes 
  • Great spectrum for veg and flower stages
  • Large coverage area with even distribution 
  • Great heat management that increases LED lifespan
  • Energy-efficient performance


  • You can’t change the spectrum 
  • One of the higher-priced grow lights in the market

Black Dog LED Review – Design and Construction 

Black Dog LED Review

The five different models in the PhytoMAX-2 series have the same basic design and construction. The main variance is the light intensity. While the products are sturdy and heavy-duty, this upgraded series has removed the glass plate for better light transmissions. So, you want to make sure you don’t put excessive force on the diodes. For all their models, the heat dissipation system relies on cooling fans and aluminum heat sinks. 

Black Dog LED grow lights use 5-watt diodes. This provides a better balance between intensity and efficiency compared to 3-watt diodes. Osram manufactures their red LEDs and Cree manufactures their blue ones. The lifespan of their diodes is 50,000 hours and below are the diode counts for each model.

ModelDiode Count
PhytoMAX-2 20084
PhytoMAX-2 400168
PhytoMAX-2 600252
PhytoMAX-2 800336
PhytoMAX-2 1000420

Light Spectrum 

Black Dog LED grow lights offer full-spectrum light to optimize plant growth. The company has optimized and refined its Phyto-Genesis Spectrum® over the years. This includes UV-A and NIR. However, they operate on having only a single spectrum for a healthy transition from vegetation to flowering. Some people prefer the ability to adjust the spectrum, but this can be a pro for most. One downside is there isn’t UV-B since the company does not recommend it. 

You can find a boost in blue light in the range of 440nm to 460nm. This increase directs more of the plant’s energy to leaves and flowers instead of stems, making it suitable for heavy-flowering plants. 

Black Dog LED Review - Light 

Intensity and Efficiency 

As previously mentioned, the light intensity depends on the model you purchase, with PhytoMAX-2 200 having the lowest and PhytoMAX-2 1000 having the highest. 

The efficiency of Black Dog LEDs is almost 1.4 μmol/J. To give you a better idea of the light intensity and power consumption, below is information on each model’s average PPF measurements and wattage.

PhytoMAX-2 200297210
PhytoMAX-2 400594420
PhytoMAX-2 600891630
PhytoMAX-2 8001188840
PhytoMAX-2 100014851050

Coverage Area

The PhytoMAX-2 series offers a larger coverage area compared to the original PhytoMAX series. The mounting height you select will depend on the light intensity you want for the coverage area, with lower PPF’s at higher heights and higher PPF’s at lower heights. The maximum recommended mounting height for each model based on plant growth stage are as follows:

PhytoMAX-2 2003.75 x 3.75 feet3 x 3 feet
PhytoMAX-2 4005.25 x 5.25 feet4.25 x 4.25 feet
PhytoMAX-2 6006.5 x 6.5 feet5 x 5 feet
PhytoMAX-2 8007.5 x 7.5 feet6 x 6 feet
PhytoMAX-2 10008 x 8 feet6.5 x 6.5 feet

Compliance and Rating 

The PhytoMAX-2 series is safe to use in commercial or home applications within the U.S. and Canada. It is ETL certified to UL safety standards and also CE certified for the E.U. The fixtures on their products also have an FCC certification for electromagnetic interference limits as well as being RoHS (hazardous substance) compliant.

Warranty Information

Every Black DOG light comes with a 5-year warranty. For the first 3 years, the company pays for all repair costs. During years 3 to 5 they will pay for the parts but not for labor costs. After the 5-year warranty, they will repair your unit if parts are available; however, you have to cover all costs associated with the repair.  

There is also a 90-day money-back guarantee with your purchase. However, this is only available for one light per customer and you have to pay the shipping costs and a 15% restocking fee.


Black Dog LED PhytoMAX-2 series models are on the higher end compared to other grow lights on the market. However, considering the upgraded features, durability, and light power, they are worth the purchase. The company also claims a 6 to 12 month average return on investment, especially with the additional revenue increased yields provide. Depending on the model, prices range from around $600 to $2,000. Check the prices for each model with the links below. 

Black Dog LED Review: Conclusion

The Black Dog LED PhytoMAX-2 series offers quality grow lights with the power to grow any light-demanding plants, especially those with heavy flowering. They are a great brand for hobbyists looking to expand their garden or commercial growers seeking a profitable setup. The lights are also fully manufactured and assembled in the U.S. While you can probably shop around for deals to cut down the higher price tag, Black Dog LED grow lights are a good choice for anyone seeking a professional brand.

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