DIY LED strip reflector? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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DIY LED strip reflector?

I have a 20 inch LED strip and was thinking on putting a reflector over it. Are there any ideas that you guys know of? I do have sheet metal and aluminaum tape.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 10:48 PM
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You shouldn't need a reflector since the leds should point straight down

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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However, I do need one. Any tips?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BulletToothBoris View Post
However, I do need one. Any tips?
Have you heard of Mylar Sheeting? Never used it myself, but I've heard it is an excellent reflector. Search it on Google. Many (if not all) hydroponics shops sell it, as well as Amazon.

Also, I have heard that Aluminum is a light diffuser, rather than a light reflector, so beware.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 09:59 PM
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Just use any spray or contact glue to adhere the dull side of aluminum foil to some posterboard. Then you can bend it into a parabolic type reflector.

Eric, whoever was saying that aluminum was a diffuser and not a reflector is out of their mind. All the light we see is reflected, and the less smooth the surface is the more the reflected image is blurred. The smoother the reflecting surface is, the less diffusion there is.

People are too often merely stating an assumed truth from flawed observation.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 04:58 AM
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Not really a suggestion but rather added information for Erichenderson02 Mylar suggestion. I have bought emergency blankets (that I used for backpacking) made from Mylar sheet at camping/outdoor shops before (here's what the package looks like). Just throwing that out in case you have trouble finding the stuff. I personally can't remember how good it can reflect light but it sure can reflect body heat.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
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Not really a suggestion but rather added information for Erichenderson02 Mylar suggestion. I have bought emergency blankets (that I used for backpacking) made from Mylar sheet at camping/outdoor shops before (here's what the package looks like). Just throwing that out in case you have trouble finding the stuff. I personally can't remember how good it can reflect light but it sure can reflect body heat.
I tested one of those emergency blankets. First, they let a lot of light go through - you can see through them. So, they can't be very good reflectors of light. The material is very thin and hard to work with. I don't recall the results of my testing other than that I threw away the rest of the blanket, feeling it was worthless as a reflector of light.

LEDs have a lens built in, that serves to protect the junction from the environment. They can't send out light to the rear, only forward in a cone that is about a 100 degree cone. A reflector behind them does nothing at all.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 02:54 AM
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How much light gets reflected off the surface of the water?
With some of these high light tanks, I wonder if a reflector would provide any measurable gain. I've looked down into some reef tanks running LEDs and thought I was going to burn the retinas right out of my skull. Haven't seen any planted tanks in person that were running worthwhile LED lighting.

Like Hoppy said, LEDs are directional light sources. They should point down into the tank, there normally shouldn't be a need for a reflector.

I usually feel kind of guilty using the quick reply... my replies are rarely quick.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 03:21 AM
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There was a noticeable difference in the smoothness of light when I repainted the underside of my hood from black to glossy white. I'm sure it would be more significant with a more mirror like surface.

People are too often merely stating an assumed truth from flawed observation.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 03:22 AM
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There was a noticeable difference in the smoothness of light when I repainted the underside of my hood from black to glossy white. I'm sure it would be more significant with a more mirror like surface.
An LED hood?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 04:11 AM
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I have a used 17 inch reflector you could have. PM me an address.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 04:46 AM
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if you want to make a reflector make sure you get good aluminum like they make the solatubes from. it is easy to cut and work with. i am considering making small reflectors to fit around some diy light cannons using several different leds.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 05:07 AM
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if you want to make a reflector make sure you get good aluminum like they make the solatubes from. it is easy to cut and work with. i am considering making small reflectors to fit around some diy light cannons using several different leds.
Would 7 inch reflectors be useful? I have a couple of those, used and no intention of using them again.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 07:25 AM
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An LED hood?
Yes

People are too often merely stating an assumed truth from flawed observation.
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