pvc pipe as a reflector - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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pvc pipe as a reflector

I am trying to redo the lighting on my fluval edge tank. I have everything ready to go except for the light reflector. I was wondering if white pvc would be reflective enough work. I have a piece of 6" pvc lying around. Also, I'm super cheap and would love to avoid spending money. Any opinions would be very helpful.
Thanks,
Jack
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 09:56 PM
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Put some aluminum foil on it (shiny side facing the light).


In Amber Clad a 40g reef
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 02:39 AM
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Let us know how that works! not a bad idea at all
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 02:48 AM
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Painting it with a gloss white would be even more effective, and almost as easy as foil.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
Painting it with a gloss white would be even more effective, and almost as easy as foil.
We seem to have this discussion about every 2 months Based on the testing I did, aluminum foil is the best commonly available material to use as a reflective surface. Flat "ultra white" paint is very good too, but spreads the light out more than aluminum foil does. That can be good or bad.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 03:59 AM
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Well, I had always pictured a gloss white (trim or exterior) rather than a flat white (ceiling) as the better reflector. I always think of blinding myself looking at a freshly-painted building on a sunny day. I guess in this case, if the OP was to not use the PVC, painting might be more effective (more spread?), and if he were to use the PVC, foil maybe.

Am I correct in remembering that the dull vs. shiny side of aluminum wasn't different enough to worry about?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 04:02 AM
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Long story short, in terms of shape it will do fine. If terms of reflectiveness it'll do okay. I would think covering it in foil would be sloppy. I would personally leave it bare.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacketherington View Post
I am trying to redo the lighting on my fluval edge tank. I have everything ready to go except for the light reflector. I was wondering if white pvc would be reflective enough work. I have a piece of 6" pvc lying around. Also, I'm super cheap and would love to avoid spending money. Any opinions would be very helpful.
Thanks,
Jack
I think this is true. If this is a thin wall 6in. pvc what will happen went you cut length wise it is it won't hold it's shape, but will curl in on itself.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help. I've decided to figure something else out. There isn't enough foretells under the hood. Time for plan B. Whatever that is.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
Am I correct in remembering that the dull vs. shiny side of aluminum wasn't different enough to worry about?
I believe others have done that experiment and found that either sides works about the same. I have used thin aluminum sheet, which was somewhat shiny and it worked about the same as aluminum foil. The reflectivity is from the aluminum properties, more than from the surface polish.

A DIY reflector made from thin aluminum sheet, shaped like \_/, with the bulb down the middle, of course, doubles the amount of light you get from the bulb. Just bend the legs until you see a good image of the bulb on each side of the bulb.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 07:24 PM
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this kind of topic makes me wonder about a maybe dumb idea I thought of.

Could automotive mirror tint be applied and used as a reflector on the PVC? I dont know if they even sell it anymore. But everytime I see a lexus SUV with it on the rear side windows, I think reflector.
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