Gutters as reflectors. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Gutters as reflectors.

( I realise this has been done before - just wanted to share with anyone thinking about cheap, and very cheerful, DIY reflector solutions. )

I just lined a length of 4" shallow plastic guttering with reflective film. Drilled two holes and held to the wooden lid by the tube clips. One gutter per tube. Job done.

Judging by eye and the plants reaction this has produced a dramatic improvement in light distribution for very little effort and cost - including obtaining the materials!

The reflector profile might not be optimal but I suspect it isnt far off.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 01:50 PM
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If you are using Mylar reflective film, that can be a very good reflector. Any other type of foil or apparently shiny surface won't be much better than the white paint already on the gutter.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Yes! (it is mylar). As it happens my gutter (left over from house) is black so I didnt have much option but to cover it.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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In any case wouldn't a specular white drastically compromise the effectiveness of a parabolic reflector?

I.e. It isnt just the % reflectivity that matters but the direction in which light is being reflected.

Even Kitchen foil might be better than flat white 'cos there would much lower % restrike and internal reflection within the reflector.

Last edited by Ianice Berg; 10-21-2004 at 03:33 PM. Reason: (added para on restrike)
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 03:51 PM
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yes, reflectivity and shape of the reflector are important, as restrike reduces lighting, and the life of some bulbs.

kitchen aluminum is not a good reflector...worse than gloss white paint. kitchen foil isn't meant to reflect light, but rather, heat, and thus if you magnified the surface you'd see its not smooth. aluminum foil is more of a diffuser than a reflector. mylar is the wiser choice, followed by a polished, specular aluminum reflector, like what AHsupply.com sells.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Do AH sell the reflectors alone?

( Its funny they make such a song and dance about the restrike perfomance of their canopies - and then fit them with U-tubes! )
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 04:38 PM
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Yep they do. Click on easy ordering, then one of the bulb wattage ranges, then scroll to the bottom. They are designed for CF bulbs only, if that changes anything.

I suppose this thread partly came up from the DIY miro 4 one. Bending metal sheet remotely close to perfect shape is not so easy. *sigh* They will work just not as perfectly as thought. When I do some for NO tubes best off to buy gutters and flare them out a little more if needed.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 05:16 PM
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how are the white "shop light" reflectors that come from LHS for like 7 dollars. I odno'd 6-T8 bulbs and use 3 of those reflectors.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 12:59 AM
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Didn't Wasserpest do something like this a while ago??

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 01:14 AM
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I could take a 96w bulb in an AHSupply Reflector and then nail a 96Watter to a flat black piece of plywood and they will BOTH grow plants... LOL
The smaller the tank, the more the quality reflector is needed, on them big watt bulbs... it dont think it means a hoot
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnappy2
how are the white "shop light" reflectors that come from LHS for like 7 dollars. I odno'd 6-T8 bulbs and use 3 of those reflectors.
IMHO they suck. They are not reflectors but diffusers. At best with shop lights you might be getting 40% of the light into the tank.
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