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Re: Reflectors

Bill Wichers> 
> >PS. I have found that polished aluminum reflectors are actually
> worse than
> >potato-chip bags (metallized poly) shaped properly, for use over
> small tanks
> >with PCFs. :-) 36W PCF over a 10G tank really zings! Fantastic algae
> blooms!
> Maybe metallized acrylic (commonly used as mirror tiles in drop
> ceilings)
> would be a suitable material to try? The 1/8" thick stuff is
> relativly easy
> to form using a heat gun or, preferably, a strip heater. It can be
> had in
> 2' x 4' 1/4 sheets from http://www.usplastic.com if anyone is
> interested.
> It should be easily obtained from a lot of building places too.

The Miro material that AH Supply uses is really very very good and ASH
will sell you a reflector without the rest of the kit.

Flourescent lighting is so diffuse as it leaves the bulbthat it is
important to get a refelctor that focuses the light at narrowly as
possible towards the desired subject.  That's why a a true parabolic
reflector, which points light straight out, is the best choice.  But
getting a smooth curve in thin metal-plastic materials is difficult and
expensive -- there's no decent substitute for a good brake for bending
thin metal.  The very next best thing to a true parabolic is a series
of angels that approach parabolic -- that's what the AH Suply
reflectors are.  It would be hard to beat that material, bent to shape,
at a cost lower than AH Supply offers.

Scott H.

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