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Re: [APD] AHSUPPLY's Reflectors

To be honest about it, I started my project to build a light fixture with the idea of saving money over buying something like the AH system. And, I might possibly do so, but it will be less than $10 saved. Now it is just a fun project, with the added bonus of avoiding the $20 per bulb cost for CF replacement bulbs. The percentage of light lost to reflection at the water surface, reflection from the cover glass, and absorption by the water and cover glass will be the same for any light system, so that doesn't enter into it. The reflection losses at the reflector surfaces will be greater than with AH's excellent reflector, but now I am wondering why not use actual glass mirror strips for the reflector - that should get closer to the AH reflectivity. So, for me, this hobby is about the fun of DIY as well as the fun of growing beautiful plants. Being retired gives me the time for this, and it does keep me out of trouble!

On Wednesday, February 9, 2005, at 08:29 AM, Liz W wrote:

On Wed, 9 Feb 2005 07:11:19 -0800, Vaughn Hopkins <hoppy1 at surewest_net> wrote:
I don't have one of AH's reflectors, but from their website it seems
that they consist of flat surfaces, not a parabolic surface. So, there
is no exact focal point. I am going to make a version of what it
appears to be, using wood and aluminum or stainless steel tape as the
reflective surface (J.C.Whitney has stainless steel tape), and use it
for a set of three parallel T8 bulbs. I think I can increase the light
output from the two outer bulbs in the set by as much as 50% over what
a single white painted flat surface behind the bulbs would give. This
will be a subjective experiment since I have no means of actually
measuring the light. With any reflector you can just look at the
light and if you see a nearly uniform, but wide area of light you are
successful to some degree. (Plus, look at all the fun you get by doing
it this way!)

IIRC, the beginning of this thread was someone asking a question as to whether installing these reflectors was a good way to raise light levels vs. investing in different bulbs, etc. I have an AHS retrofit kit installed and like it quite a bit.

Their reflectors appear to be flat surface approximations of a
parabolic surface.  I have no doubt that measuring output with your
eye, or at a particularly wavelength through a detector, will show
increased light levels.  What I do doubt is that after the light
travels through 1 or 2 reflective surfaces (the surface of water in a
tank and a glass cover if one is in place) that the light intensity
will be much greater at a 3" water depth than it would be with a
cheap, rectangular reflector.  Better?  Probably.  Enough better to
make a difference in plant growth?  Don't know but I'd lean towards
not a whole lot.  As much difference in plant growth as installing
better lights? I really doubt it.

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