DIY Lighting Reflector - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Lighting Reflector

I looking for a way to put a reflector behind the light in my new aquarium. I have a Jebo R375 tank which has the filter and lighting built into the hood. It is a 35 gallon tank with 2 CF 36W bulbs inside a plastic enclosure, almost identical to a Eclipse hood in design. It has no reflector only having white plastic behind the light. There is room to insert a reflector but it would have to be made custom to fit in the available space. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 10:02 PM
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You really have several options here. Just to list a few reflective tape, cut to fit(and polished) aluminum can's, and my personal fav an emergency blanket cut to fit and glued straight onto ur hood. I'm sure i've missed some but this should give u a couple of ideas to start with.

Hope this helps
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll look into those, reflective tape appears to be the easiest solution at first look.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 02:38 PM
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DISCLAIMER: I've not done this before, Just thinking...aloud.

Get yourself some of this...



one of these...



and one of these...



Step 1 - Cut open balloon and cut mylar to size needed
(depending on size of project, you may need more than one balloon)

Step 2 - Spray 3M adhesive on project area following the manufacturer's instructions

Step 3 - Apply mylar to project area and work with squeegee/fingers until smooth and flat

voilà! DIY reflector

As an after-thought...since we know, from our good friends at AH Supply that this shape gives us much more reflected light, we could probably purchase some thin gauge sheet metal, put four bends in it until we come to that shape, apply the mylar and have one heck of a DIY reflector.

I don't know why I haven't ever tried this, I might have to give it a shot.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 03:50 PM
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Ordinary aluminum foil is a better reflector than mylar, especially thin, cheap mylar. Even good quality white paint is better than mylar.

Hoppy
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Ordinary aluminum foil is a better reflector than mylar, especially thin, cheap mylar. Even good quality white paint is better than mylar.

Really? I backed a few old t8 fixtures with aluminum tape, and then after about a month I replaced it with mylar and to my eye it appeared to be much brighter. I could be hallucinating though.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by g33tar View Post
Really? I backed a few old t8 fixtures with aluminum tape, and then after about a month I replaced it with mylar and to my eye it appeared to be much brighter. I could be hallucinating though.
I tested a two light fixtures with aluminized mylar, household aluminum foil, and ordinary spray can white paint. The highest light intensity was with aluminum foil, which was slightly better than white paint, and much better than mylar. I didn't believe the results until I repeated the test a few times. And, this was with a PAR meter to measure the light intensity. One fixture was an AH Supply fixture, and one was with screw-in CFL bulbs and curved reflectors.

Hoppy
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 01:55 AM
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Neat. Now I know you said you had those aluminum clip-on shop lights...do you think the aluminum reflectors on those are as good as aluminum foil...or should I throw some aluminum tape on the inside of the clip on lights.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2010, 04:48 AM
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Those cheap clip on lights have pretty good reflectors. Because they are aluminum they start out with the advantages of aluminum - the best wide spectrum reflective material known, as far as I know. They are pretty shiny too - another advantage. And, they have ribs around the circumference, which makes them diffuse the reflected light quite a bit. I would just use them as they are, as I now do. And, my PAR measurements were good, almost what I expected, based on the data in the sticky in the lighting forum.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2010, 05:23 AM
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Thanks for the info! Ill keep them just the way they are then.

I guess psychologically...seeing an actual reflection of a bulb in a material like mylar makes me think "hey, it looks like 3 bulbs even though its only 1.

With the aluminum, I dont see a perfect reflection of the bulb which makes me think...looks like one bulb...probably not as efficient.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2010, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by g33tar View Post
Thanks for the info! Ill keep them just the way they are then.

I guess psychologically...seeing an actual reflection of a bulb in a material like mylar makes me think "hey, it looks like 3 bulbs even though its only 1.

With the aluminum, I dont see a perfect reflection of the bulb which makes me think...looks like one bulb...probably not as efficient.
That had me fooled too. Finally I figured out that a reflector and a mirror are two different things.

Hoppy
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 02:31 PM
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In all my DIY wood light fixtures I use a high gloss acylic white cabinet paint for a reflector. Cheap and seems to work.
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