A guy at work retired recently, and after the party, I noticed sitting in the garbage was a foil banner that said "Happy retirement" or something. I asked if I could have it, and decided to see if I could make a simple reflector out of it.
I taped it down to a piece of pvc pipe:
I coated it in epoxy, then took a white piece of corrugated cardboard and scored all of the ribs so it would curl nicely. I coated it with more epoxy and glued it down.
Once dry, I cut the tape holding it to the pipe, and I had a rather neat looking reflector happening
I hooked up a fluorescent tube and slowly lowered it into my reflector to see what kind of light it would produce. It blinded me! I couldn't believe what a difference my simple, crappy little reflector made!
I took a video which didn't exactly turn out perfectly, but it's still kind of neat.
Watch my cheesy video here!!
You can see as the light gets brighter, my camera tries to compensate by turning down the exposure, and the effect is significantly diminished. In real life it is much more dramatic. Watch the video anyways, and then just take my word for it I guess :P