how to make DIY reflector? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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how to make DIY reflector?

what metal would I make a good reflector out of? I would like to use something shiny and reliable. And how would I go about making it?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 01:43 PM
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If you call around to some electrical supply places you might find some high-bay T5HO replacement reflectors. They are parabolic and usually 4" wide, and about the best reflector you can get.


As for making it from raw materials, I couldn't really say.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 02:08 PM
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aluminum roof flashing is good...but not great


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 02:32 PM
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Aluminum foil is good, and so is white paint.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I'll give them a try, i just wanted one that was a little more bend over each light as i read that those were better at not wasting light. I have a nova extreme 4xT5HO fixture.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 04:40 PM
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First, you need room for a reflector. The Nova Extreme, I believe, has too little room around the bulbs to allow for a great reflector. The best reflective material for visible light is aluminum. The best reflective aluminum surface is a highly polished one, but the difference between really highly polished and just shiny isn't all that great. Using thin aluminum sheet, instead of foil, allows you to bend it and have it hold the shape, and it prevents the wrinkles you get with foil. A parabolic shape is the best only for point or line sources of light, which don't exist in any usable form. A reflector with flat reflective surfaces, such that you can see multiple images of the bulb when you look at it, is the best reflector of all.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 12:35 AM
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How well would mirror work if u could cut and line the inside of the fixture with three angels?


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optix View Post
aluminum roof flashing is good...but not great
This was my attempt with aluminum flashing. I bought a roll of it for about $10 and cut it up with some heavy duty scissors.



Attached it with screws to a shoplight fixture.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 03:00 AM
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How well would mirror work if u could cut and line the inside of the fixture with three angels?
Ordinary mirror glass is a very poor reflector. If you spend a lot more and get front surface mirrors they are very good reflectors, since the coating is aluminum. Just using aluminum is a lot easier, safer, and very effective. A shape like \_/ (just two bends), made from barely polished sheet aluminum, doubles the light you get from a one bulb light.

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