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I mean no disrespect here, and we all agree...anything is better than allowing the light to escape the imediate area.
In the words of the late "Sgt Joe Friday"...."just the facts Ma'am". Do some research on light reflectivity materials, you may be surprised.
"the memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of a man in his prime"
Carnivorous plants paludarium:
Before my current setup, I used mylar. They sell different thicknesses, and I used a thicker kind. It let no light through that I could discern, plus it was very resistant to crinkling and was easy to work with. I got it for cheap from some online hydro store (don't remember who now..been a few years).
That's what I was told to do, that way I wouldn't get hotspots.
Wrinkling your reflective surface has the effect of making it a diffuser. Personally when i used mylar/foil/etc I went through great pains not to have any wrinkles.
IMHO the risk of burning from the reflective surface forming a paraboloidal shape with the angle of incidence equal to the angle of reflection is a non issue. The odds of that much light energy being focused on one tiny, highly concentrated spot is extrememly low to impossible without considerable effort in design.
Personally, I want the focal point to be concentrated across the plant surfaces, otherwise it is wasted energy. Especially with the low canopy height we typically deal with.
So IMHO focus those photons, I do...... and I think i get decent performance out of my lights ;-)
As far as mirrors go, most mirrors are "second surface" which means the reflective surface is on the back side. So when these are used the light energy has to travel through the glass twice before it can be used. This is why most high dollar lights use 95% effecient, highly polished faceted aluminum surfaces.
You can get first surface mirrors but the cost is very high and they are very susceptible to scratching. Telescopes and Binoculars are probably the most common application for those.
All of this is just my 2 cents of course, so your mileage may vary... I can only speak of what works for me.
Be aware that there is a whole lot of "tribal knowledge" floating around when it comes to plant lighting
Last edited by Av8tor1; 01-27-2011 at 02:08 PM.
On a side note in regards to my terrarium, I was making a glass top for the terrarium and I cut my finger on the broken glass. I almost needed stitches
I've used panda film for years and it works for me w/ T5s.
"And this is what happened, and this is why the caribou and the wolf are one; for the caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong."
— Farley Mowat