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Thread: What is the best reflective material for indoor terrariums?

  1. #25
    Agent of Chaos Wolfn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seedjar View Post
    What properties do you want? In terms of reflectivity, mylar is probably the best choice, or foil of the two options you mention. If you want something that looks nice, a matte white is likely better. If you want something that will last a long time without problems, I suggest covering a hard surface like plywood with a product called panda film - it's bright white on one side, and black on the other, and is pest and disease resistant. If you're trying to improve light availability to your plants, a shiny metal surface is better, but you want something that's textured and not smooth, so that it will spread the light more evenly. In all likelihood, you'll need to go to a hydroponic supplier to do this right.
    ~Joe

    Can I take a piece of aluminum foil and crumble it up and then flatten it out again (with all the wrinkles) and then place that on the walls of the terrarium?
    "I may be on the side of angels, but do not mistake me for one."

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  2. #26
    Monkey's Avatar
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    That's what I was told to do, that way I wouldn't get hotspots.
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  3. #27
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    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


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    Last edited by Av8tor1; 01-27-2011 at 02:08 PM.

  4. #28
    Agent of Chaos Wolfn's Avatar
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    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 may be on the side of angels, but do not mistake me for one."

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  5. #29
    Grow Pitcher Plants! DroseraBug's Avatar
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    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

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  6. #30
    SirKristoff's Avatar
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    Boxofrain - sorry I didn't mean to sound upset or anything, was just stating that there is a major difference between growing cannabis and growing CPs, at least most of the time haha.

  7. #31
    does this rag smell like chloroform to you? boxofrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKristoff View Post
    Boxofrain - sorry I didn't mean to sound upset or anything, was just stating that there is a major difference between growing cannabis and growing CPs, at least most of the time haha.
    no worries, I am very in tune to "screenitis" and take much of it in stride. The biggest point is, we are learning something in this thread. I appreciate all input, right, wrong, good or bad....it all leads to a better understanding of the subject at hand.
    "the memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of a man in his prime"

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    Here i got two different opinion about the reflection and the usage. As aluminum foil would reflect best.But white cardboard will probably look nicer and will be easier to manage. so depends upon your conditions and choice.
    grow tent and be healthy

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