PhytoMAX-3 Knowledge Center
This guide to PhytoMAX-3 LED grow lights is a brief overview, filled with links to a lot more in-depth information.
SP versus SC Models:
Our PhytoMAX-3 SP professional series of grow lights are identical in every way to the PhytoMAX-3 SC commercial lights, except that they do not include the ETL certification sticker which is required for commercial grows. This allows us to pass the savings from the certification sticker along to customers that do not need it.
- Inspect the light for shipping damage, including any missing or broken LEDs. Do not plug in a light that has suffered shipping damage without consulting us first here or call us at 720-420-1209
- NEVER look directly at the LEDs while they are on; eye damage may result. They're very bright!
- We recommend wearing any UV-blocking eye wear such as sunglasses when viewing or working with plants under our lights. PhytoMAX-3 contains UV LEDs, which just like natural sunlight can irritate and damage your eyes.
- Don't over-load your electrical circuits- two PhytoMAX-3 16S, 20S or 24S lights won't fit on a standard 15-amp, 110V household circuit!
- For more information and advice, consult your electrician and see our LED grow lights per circuit calculator here.
Issues and Questions
Black Dog LED wants you to be satisfied with your PhytoMAX-3 light!
- Please note that our LED growing lights contain infrared and ultraviolet diodes that are outside of humans' visual range, so it is normal for some of the LEDs to appear dim or unlit.
- Our lights have a soft-start feature that takes up to 1 minute to achieve full brightness. This is a safety feature to protect your eyes in case you’re looking at the LEDs when they first turn on.
- If you have any questions or issues with your lights' function, please contact Black Dog LED, not the store it was purchased from. You can:
Hanging your Light
- We recommend tying a stopper knot at the lose end of the rope to prevent over-extension of each of the ratcheting rope hangers.
- Ensure that the structure you'll be hanging the light from can support its weight plus some extra for cords, etc.
Light Weight PhytoMAX-3 2S 8 lb3.6 kg PhytoMAX-3 4S 17 lb7.7 kg PhytoMAX-3 8S 20 lb9.1 kg PhytoMAX-3 12S 23 lb10.4 kg PhytoMAX-3 16S 39 lb17.7 kg PhytoMAX-3 20S 42 lb19.1 kg PhytoMAX-3 24S 45 lb20.4 kg
- Insert a metal hanger clip into the hanging bracket either side of the back of the light. Ensure that both ends of each clip are secure.
- Clip one end of each of the ratcheting rope hangers to the hanging/anchor point on the ceiling, and the other end to the metal hanger clips attached to the light. The ropes should be hanging straight, not pulling the hanging brackets toward or away from the center of the light.
- Adjust the ratchet to hang the light at the recommended height.
- Ensure there is always a minimum of 6 inches / 15 cm15 cm / 6 inches of clearance on both sides of the light that have vents. Failure to provide adequate clearance can cause the light to overheat. The sides without vents and the top of the light do not require any clearance.
Recommendations for Footprint Sizes
The footprint recommendations given here are created for photoperiod-sensitive Cannabis or other high-light plants in a square growing area. If your situation is any different (larger, smaller, different crop, etc.) you may need a different footprint size and hanging height.
For a complete guide to footprint issues, see our guide to the ideal LED grow light setup.
|Light Model||Maximum Recommended Vegetative||Maximum Recommended Flower||Medium Recommended Flower (without CO2)**||Smallest Recommended Flower (with CO2)**|
|PhytoMAX-3 2S||3 x 395 x 95||223207||2157||2.5 x 2.575 x 75||321331||1845||1.75 x 1.7555 x 55||655616||1333||1.5 x 1.545 x 45||892921||1127|
|PhytoMAX-3 4S||4.5 x 4.5135 x 135||198205||3280||3.5 x 3.5110 x 110||328308||2566||2.5 x 2.575 x 75||642663||1845||2 x 265 x 65||1004883||1439|
|PhytoMAX-3 8S||6.25 x 6.25190 x 190||206207||45113||5 x 5155 x 155||321310||3792||3.5 x 3.5105 x 105||655677||2563||3 x 390 x 90||892921||2154|
|PhytoMAX-3 12S||7.75 x 7.75235 x 235||201203||55140||6.25 x 6.25190 x 190||308310||45113||4.25 x 4.25130 x 130||667662||3077||3.5 x 3.5110 x 110||983925||2566|
|PhytoMAX-3 16S||8.75 x 8.75270 x 270||210205||63161||7.25 x 7.25220 x 220||305308||52131||5 x 5150 x 150||642663||3689||4 x 4125 x 125||1004955||2974|
|PhytoMAX-3 20S||10 x 10305 x 305||201200||77182||8 x 8245 x 245||314311||57146||5.5 x 5.5170 x 170||664645||39101||4.5 x 4.5140 x 140||991951||3283|
|PhytoMAX-3 24S||10.75 x 10.75330 x 330||208205||77197||8.75 x 8.75270 x 270||315307||63161||6 x 6185 x 185||669654||43110||5 x 5150 x 150||963994||3689|
* Average PPFD measurements are over the entire footprint, edge-to-edge and corner-to-corner, based on reflective surroundings or adjacent lights.
** When growing in an area smaller than the Medium Recommended Flower Footprint, CO2 supplementation is generally required to make full use of the additional light.
- Vegetative vs. Flower
- The Phyto-Genesis Spectrum® in each PhytoMAX-3 light is ideal for both vegetative and flowering growth; only the largest recommended footprint size differs between stages, due to the different daily periods of illumination. You can use the flowering footprint sizes for vegetative growth, although you may need to increase fertilizer and CO2 to make full use of the extra light.
- Maximum Recommended Footprint Size
- This is as much as we recommend stretching our LED growing lights for photoperiod-sensitive Cannabis, but running them over a smaller footprint (to a point) will give a higher yield per square foot. Other crops (including auto-flowering Cannabis ruderalis strains) may have different ideal footprints.
- Hanging Height (H.H.)
- This is the recommended height of the bottom of your PhytoMAX-3 light, measured above the average top of the plant canopy. The higher you hang the light, the bigger (and weaker) its footprint will be; hanging it closer makes the light more intense but also decreases the footprint. To determine the ideal hanging height for any size footprint, use our convenient hanging height calculator!
PhytoMAX-3 Growing Tips
There are two important differences when growing with PhytoMAX-3 LEDs:
- We recommend keeping your growing area 9-10 °F5 °C warmer than you would with other lights (85 °F29 °C for Cannabis) to maximize yield.
- If not growing hydroponically, we recommend using fabric pots with our lights; they allow soil to dry out more quickly since our lights aren't heating it as much. This allows faster nutrient cycling and encourages a better root system.
- If you are going to burn sulfur in your growing area, remove the lights from the area, or turn lights off and seal in plastic during the sulfur treatment. Failure to do so will void your warranty!
Cleaning and Maintenance
If your light requires cleaning:
- Turn off the light and disconnect the power cord.
- Spray water or a mild glass cleaner onto a soft lint-free towel (NOT onto the LEDs on the bottom of the light!)
- Gently blot the LEDs with the moist towel until clean. DO NOT RUB THE LEDs!
- Allow to air-dry, then plug your light back in and turn it on.
- NEVER spray any liquids directly on or around the LEDs!
If you are going to burn sulfur in your growing area, remove the lights from the area, or turn lights off and seal in plastic during the sulfur treatment. Failure to do so will void your warranty!
Common to All PhytoMAX-3 Lights:
|Dimming||0 - 10V, 15% - 100%|
|Acceptable voltage range||100 - 277 volts AC|
|AC frequency range||50 - 60 Hz|
|Operational temperature range||-4 to 104 °F-20 to 40 °C|
|Spectrum||Phyto-Genesis Spectrum® covering 365-750nm, including UV and IR|
|Certifications||CE, FCC, RoHS (the SC models are ETL certified, the SP models are not)|
|Power Cord Connection to Light||Locking, waterproof, no tools required|
|Standard Power Cord Length||8 feet2.4 meters|
|Power Cord Options||NEMA 5-15, NEMA 6-15, NEMA 7-15, Pigtails|
|M.T.B.F||> 70,000 hours|
|Power Factor||> 0.98|
|Fans||70,000 hour minimum expected life|
The Phyto-Genesis Spectrum®:
|Light||Wattage (average)||Total Fixture Photon Flux (μMol/s)||# LEDs||BTUs||Size (LxWxH)
|Amps (average) at|
|PBAR (280-800nm)||UV (<400nm)||PAR (400-700nm)||IR (>700nm)|
|PhytoMAX-3 2S||100||219||7||201||11||56||341||8.5 x 8.5 x 4.522 x 22 x 11||83.6||1.000.910.830.480.450.430.420.36|
|PhytoMAX-3 4S||205||437||15||401||21||112||699||15 x 15 x 4.537 x 37 x 11||177.7||2.051.861.710.990.930.890.850.74|
|PhytoMAX-3 8S||410||874||29||802||43||224||1398||15 x 15 x 4.537 x 37 x 11||209.1||4.103.733.421.971.861.781.711.48|
|PhytoMAX-3 12S||615||1311||44||1203||64||336||2097||15 x 15 x 4.537 x 37 x 11||2310.4||6.155.595.132.962.802.672.562.22|
|PhytoMAX-3 16S||815||1748||59||1604||85||448||2779||19 x 19 x 4.548 x 48 x 11||3917.7||8.157.416.793.923.703.543.402.94|
|PhytoMAX-3 20S||1020||2185||73||2005||107||560||3478||19 x 19 x 4.548 x 48 x 11||4219.1||10.209.278.504.904.644.434.253.68|
|PhytoMAX-3 24S||1220||2622||88||2406||128||672||4160||19 x 19 x 4.548 x 48 x 11||4520.4||12.2011.0910.175.875.555.305.084.40|
Total flux numbers from integration sphere tests of the entire fixture. Note that total photon flux is the entire photon output of the light (PF / PPF, in μMol/s), and not the measurement at a particular point under the light (PFD / PPFD, in μMol/m2/s). When measured at a particular point, the PFD / PPFD can be much higher or lower than the total photon flux.
Transitioning Plants From Other Lights
When switching plants grown under other lights to PhytoMAX-3's Phyto-Genesis Spectrum®, some shock and/or stalling can occur, as with moving plants between any other different lighting situations. Our LED grow lights are very intense and contain UV light (unlike many grow lights), either of which can shock plants not used to such lighting.
To adapt plants to our lights with as little shock as possible, hang the light at twice the recommended hanging height to start. Each day for about a week you can lower the light by 3-4 inches15-20 cm until it is at the recommended hanging height and your plants have adapted.
When starting seeds under our lights it is fine to use the normal footprint and hanging height; when seeds germinate they adjust to the lighting conditions they first experience. Raising the hanging height of the light higher than normal during germination can lead to leggy, weak seedlings.