diy reflectors?... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-23-2007, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb diy reflectors?...

i was wondering if tin foil would work as a good reflector because the reflector that came with my hood doesnt keep the light down...thx for the ideas

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 02:57 PM
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Well it would if you had something to make it more ridgid. The heat from the lighting will make it to flexible, but attaching it to some plastic or wood (anything that can handle the heat and humitity) should work.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 04:34 PM
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Tin foil is a horrible reflector. If you don┤t have specially shaped reflectors, white paint is the best.

What do you mean by Ędoesn┤t keep the light downĘ?


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 05:08 PM
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actually mylar is the best option out there...
even better then white paint in terms of reflectiveness


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by strizzi16 View Post
actually mylar is the best option out there...
even better then white paint in terms of reflectiveness
Only if you manage to attach it wrinkle-less-ly to a properly shaped reflector. Even then, after a while exposed to the lights, the Mylar degrades and starts to twinkle down as little silver stars into your tank.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2007, 01:32 PM
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And please don't forget, It's not only about reflection, It's about angle of entry into the water. To shallow, and the water reflects it, hence the specifically shaped refletors.

Walter

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Tin foil is a horrible reflector. If you don┤t have specially shaped reflectors, white paint is the best.
What do you mean by 'white'? The scientific definition of 'white' is that it reflects all colors. I do not know of anything that is 'white', even the most 'white' white paint that you can think of is not 'white'. Also keep in mind that 'white' paint diffuses the light---that is, it gets scattered in all directions.

If we are concerned about the color of our fluorescent lights, then we should also be concerned about the color of our 'white' reflectors. With our 6500K to 10000K lamps, this could be very significant. You could actually be hurting the situation by using 'white'.

'Tin foil' (actually aluminum) is an excellent reflector at all electromagnetic frequencies up to Xray. As far as the wrinkles are concerned, unless you are building an optical telescope, they are probably insignificant, IMHO. (telescope mirrors, by the way, are usually aluminum on a glass surface.)

What is important for getting the best distribution of light, however, is the general shape of the reflector and, given the same shape, a bare aluminum reflector will reflect more light than one that is painted 'white'.

Ok, now how many toes did I step on?

Jim
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 03:02 AM
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why not just have someone cut a mirror for you in three peices and silicone @ /-\ type of pattern?, more effective than aluminum foil IMO

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 12:45 PM
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What do you mean by 'white'? The scientific definition of 'white' is that it reflects all colors. I do not know of anything that is 'white', even the most 'white' white paint that you can think of is not 'white'. Also keep in mind that 'white' paint diffuses the light---that is, it gets scattered in all directions.

If we are concerned about the color of our fluorescent lights, then we should also be concerned about the color of our 'white' reflectors. With our 6500K to 10000K lamps, this could be very significant. You could actually be hurting the situation by using 'white'.

'Tin foil' (actually aluminum) is an excellent reflector at all electromagnetic frequencies up to Xray. As far as the wrinkles are concerned, unless you are building an optical telescope, they are probably insignificant, IMHO. (telescope mirrors, by the way, are usually aluminum on a glass surface.)

What is important for getting the best distribution of light, however, is the general shape of the reflector and, given the same shape, a bare aluminum reflector will reflect more light than one that is painted 'white'.

Ok, now how many toes did I step on?

Jim
Agreed I use foil for about 6 months so far and it's doing an awesome job. Angling the foil was the key to my light setup.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by hojimoe View Post
why not just have someone cut a mirror for you in three peices and silicone @ /-\ type of pattern?, more effective than aluminum foil IMO
Most mirrors are made by depositing Aluminum on a piece of glass IIRC!

The only reason for using the glass is to get a perfectly smooth surface that will not scatter and distort the image. It is entirely possible to do away with the glass and use a highly polished piece of aluminum or stainless steel for a mirror, but aluminum-on-glass is a lot cheaper.

For use as a reflector on an aquarium having a 'mirror' finish is not essential. And a role of aluminum foil is a lot cheaper than having mirrors custom cut.

Jim
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 04:46 PM
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The glass layer on the mirror will slow down light and bend it a bit.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 05:45 AM
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I'm considering options for a micro tank i'm building, just finished silicone on the main walls, letting sit now.... but the tank will just have one light, CF, and have come to three options, white paint, steal a reflector out of a 10G and cut to size, or take a peice of rain gutter (eaves trough) and bend to the correct angles and paint or cover in foil/mylar.... which to choose?

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