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Thread: Best reflective surface

  1. #1

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    I think I read somewhere that a flat white surface was a better reflector (for plants) than tin foil and similar mirrored reflectors. Something to do with light dispersion I think. Any truth to that? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img]



    There's a tunnel at the end of the light...

  2. #2
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    Now where is my ex the professional photographer when I need him.. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] All I know about reflecting light is what I learned working as an assistant to a photographer. I know that white is better than most things (tinfoil for example). I've actually tested this with a light meter [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] I often use a piece of white poster board to remove shadows in a studio shot. Try it, it really works [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    However in my experience, for growing plants, nothing can compare with Mylar.

  3. #3

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    Hi,

    you use white (or silver/golden) reflectors in photography to get a "softer" (=more diffusive) light and not harsh light spots.

    I never made any experiments with lightmeters, so I don't know which one is better. (If it is the white paper I would be very surprised)

    Martin

  4. #4

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    I actually made a room for growing plants many years ago using a metal halide light and flat white walls. It worked quite well. I think the flat white not only disperses visible light but reflects IR a little better. I just can seem to remember the light principles... must've been those plants I was growing. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    There's a tunnel at the end of the light...

  5. #5
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Diffusing and reflecting are two different things. Yes a flat white wall will diffuse the light more. Which will give you a more even light over a broader area. It will however not reflect as well as highly polished metal. You will lose light intensity at the plant surface by bouncing light off a flat white surface compared to the polished metal. However the light will be more even with less shadow and sharp areas of light and dark.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  6. #6

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    After some searching it appears mylar is the best reflector for your terrarium. I read that you shouldn't use tin foil because it can create hot spots.
    There's a tunnel at the end of the light...

  7. #7

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    What about using mirrors instead of tin foil? Wouldn't that give a more even dispursion of light?

    Isn't Mylar the stuff they use on kitchen/bathroom counter tops? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    DOH!

  8. #8

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    Mirrors would probably be best as they would reflect the most energy, they are however quite heavy and not the most fun to cut and install. A very efficient and well directed reflector around the bulb itself provides the easiest solution. I bought a hood for my ten gallon that has 2 t-36 bulbs and a descent reflector, I can't complain most of the light hits the plants.


    joe
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