Aluminum foil effective material for DIY Reflector? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Aluminum foil effective material for DIY Reflector?

I want to do a do it yourself reflector for my 10 gallon tank. My question is are Aluminum foil (the ones for ovens and baking) effective material to use? I heard it isn't but this website recommends it.

http://web.telia.com/~u86438141/arti...g_lighting.htm


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Reflective Materials
Polished metals make the best specular materials, silver is the most reflective but is not suitable for aquarium use due to its tendency to corrode. Aluminum is probably the best choice and very good specular reflectors can be made using very fine grit sand papers and Tripoli polishing compounds and buffing wheels. Aluminum foil with a minimum of wrinkles and aluminized mylar are also good choices. Mirrored glass is often cited but not a great choice because it uses silver (corrodes) and glass (refracts light and is heavy and brittle) Waterproof flat white paint makes a very good reflective surface for divergent reflectors. It needs to be refreshed every few years due to yellowing from UV radiation.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 01:53 AM
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Trying to keep foil flat enought to be good is next to impossible. You are most likely better off with a coat of nice white paint on a smooth surface.

If not that, mylar, but it is plasticy, so you may have heat/melting issues.

A cut and bent rain gutter would most likely be better than the foil. A painted rain gutter...now that might work even better.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:56 AM
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White glossy paint.

John P.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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So is it wise to paint the entire bottom of my tank's hood white ( including my reflector)? Or would light just bounce off everywhere and nothing would get into the tank?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John P.
White glossy paint.
Does glossy white paint adhere to aluminum? Been meaning to try that but I'm afraid that it won't stick.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 12:03 PM
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You can purchase specular aluminum reflectors from HelloLights and AHSupply for a reasonable cost. DIY is usually to make something you can't get or to make something cheaply that is super expensive. In this case I think you can't match the AHSupply reflectors with any DIY method. You might want to consider that route.

Just my humble opinion,

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 12:30 PM
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No matter how flat you get the aluminum foil it's a lousy reflector. While it might look shiny the surface is very uneven. A flat board with white paint on it is actually a better reflector than aluminum foil.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 10:21 PM
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If heard of some people, who grow more nefarious things... paint the top of the bulbs themselves.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 01:14 AM
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Hmmm.. i wonder if that would work?

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 01:28 AM
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Not really. Take a piece of glass, paint it. Now look at the underside.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 01:40 AM
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What if you paint it silver?

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 01:51 AM
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Tell ya the truth RK i dont see anything wrong with it. Seems to me that all the light that would normally come out of that side of the bulb would be reflected back. Them guys, the reefer guys, been doin it for years, and you know they like their light as much as we do.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 01:53 AM
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Yeah, thats what im thinking. Energy just doesnt disappear. If light cant find a way 'out' from the painted side, it will go elsewhere, i.e. out the unpainted side. thats my way of thinking anyway.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 04:14 AM
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Sorry. It will be absorbed as heat in the paint. The paint doesn't form a reflective surface.

Some bulbs are mirrored on one side. They do reflect the light. But just slopping paint on one side of the bulb is not going to help. And just because someone else does it doesn't make it right. Note the fact that several places say that aluminum foil makes a good reflector.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-14-2005, 06:50 AM
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Ah yeah, creating heat would make way for losing the energy.
doh! oh well, my bad. hehe

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My 24gallon - 2.8wpg, Pressurised Co2 (45ppm), Black Silica gravel with Flourish root tabs, EI dosing, filtered by an Eheim Ecco 2236.
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