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Thread: Do I really need a reflector?

  1. #1
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    Do I really need a reflector?

    Hi All,
    Just another quick question, planning a small grow (2 plants) in a 1m x .5m cabinet with intake/exhaust fan and 1CFL , in my noobie excited state I went
    and bought some sheet hammered alu to make a reflector with, but looking around at some people's set-ups, most dont use reflectors??

    Thanks,
    Shaq.

  2. #2
    420 Member Racefan's Avatar
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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Most who use floros don't use reflectors. Almost every grower who uses HID's uses a reflector.

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Oh right Ok cheers, any particular reason not to use a reflector with Flouros,
    even if im trying to grow two plants with one lamp?!

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    The overhead, what ever is over the fixtures is fine
    and close enough to reflect what is there back at the plants,
    unless it's black

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Yes I was going to make one like this


    As I have the sheet metal and tools to do it :D
    Cabinet will be all white inside .

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Boss; 05-16-2008 at 10:34 AM. Reason: non 420 image

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Oh yeah, height adjustment and all?

    Very Nice

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    Cannabis Connoisseur Boss's Avatar
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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    I hang mine in such a way that the ballast and fixture block most of the light that would be going up anyway. For me, side reflection is more important, because the the way CFL's coil in the vertical position.

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Yep, I got two of those EZ roller thingy's aswell :D

    I dont have ballast with these, seller's website said It didnt need it for 124W bulb ?!

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Quote Originally Posted by Racefan View Post
    Most who use floros don't use reflectors. Almost every grower who uses HID's uses a reflector.
    Agreed.

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Ok cool, I'll see what works best on my set-up. Thanks everyone really helpfull this place :D

    Just another quick question if I may on here instead of starting a new thread?
    Do you guys run both fans on all the time, or is there a quiet period?

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    You mean, ventilation or plant fans?

    I use fans right on my plants, so they wiggle a littl'.
    I've played with that,
    fans 24/0 and set to what ever the lights on cycle is,
    ones with 24/0 seemed to be shorter and stouter than the others.
    Which is what I expected to see.
    *But* the difference was so small you won't know it
    unless you were testing it/looking for it

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Using a reflector is even more important with cfls due to the relatively low output. Any light that is traveling upwards is wasted and it is not intense enough to be reflected back from the ceiling and still be usefull. If you have 10000 lumens output @ 1 foot, at 2ft you only have 2500, @ 3 ft = 625, 4 ft = 156. That is why you keep cfls as close as possible and MUST use a reflector and even then your lower buds will be struggling for light. Boss i know you didnt use a reflector on your grow and got plenty bud, but you had loads of bulbs in there and would have upped your light by about 40% using reflectors, finished sooner and yeilded more. Or you could have taken some bulbs out and kept the heat and electric bill down, .

    A 23w cfl has about 1300 lumens, if light has to travel 2ft to the ceiling you get the initial 1300 lumen to the canopy from the bulb and the reflected light has to travel 4ft back to the top of the canopy so the intensity is only 20.3 lumens (assuming 100% reflection) total = 1320 lumen. With a reflector 6 inch away the light travels 1ft back to the canopy and contains 325 lumen. Total = 1625 lumen. Add to this the fact that most reflectors are closer than 6 inch to the light and have a higher percentage of reflection than most ceilings and you can start to see how important they are. The more light you use without reflectors, the more energy you are wasting.

    All bulbs (hid + cfl) also emit more light from the sides as they have the greatest surface area releasing light. If a bulb is vertical it gives most of its energy to the walls to be reflected back (again losing intensity) A horizontal bulb with a reflector is by far the most efficient. And a matt white painted reflector beats ANY OTHER relector, polished, hammered, steel or aluminium. so get that reflector made and a tin of matt titanium white paint and you will be doing the best you can with the light you have.

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    And btw 125w envirolights are self ballasted same as a household cfl. and are good lights but the 200w can be bought with seperate ballast for not much more money and then you get more power and only have to buy the bulb when you need to replace. (which is cheaper than a 125w self ballasted) If you havent used it yet i would consider returning it for a 200w. It wont cost much more and you get more lumens and can keep the hot ballast out the grow space.

    I think the reason most people dont use a reflector for the cfls is because normal fittings will hold the light adequately and cheaply so will work without one. Hid growers are working with higher temps, wattage and tend to be more serious about there grow so know the importance of a reflector. Plus hid have a e40 screw fitting and need to be well supported and safe due to the heat. A reflector does this perfectly whereas a mgyver style bodge up is just too dangerous for hid temps and current. Plus the bulbs cost more, like your 125w, so people take better care of them. Household cfls are so cheap people just add more rather than making/buying reflectors to make them more efficient
    Last edited by crazy george; 05-21-2008 at 05:35 PM. Reason: To add to the post

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    420 Member POTential's Avatar
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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaMagoMan View Post
    You mean, ventilation or plant fans?

    I use fans right on my plants, so they wiggle a littl'.
    I've played with that,
    fans 24/0 and set to what ever the lights on cycle is,
    ones with 24/0 seemed to be shorter and stouter than the others.
    Which is what I expected to see.
    *But* the difference was so small you won't know it
    unless you were testing it/looking for it
    On a scale from 1 to 10 how effective was leaving the fans on 24/0.

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    Re: Do I really need a reflector?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazy george View Post

    I think the reason most people dont use a reflector for the cfls is because normal fittings will hold the light adequately and cheaply so will work without one. Hid growers are working with higher temps, wattage and tend to be more serious about there grow so know the importance of a reflector. Plus hid have a e40 screw fitting and need to be well supported and safe due to the heat. A reflector does this perfectly whereas a mgyver style bodge up is just too dangerous for hid temps and current. Plus the bulbs cost more, like your 125w, so people take better care of them. Household cfls are so cheap people just add more rather than making/buying reflectors to make them more efficient
    Yep. Agreed. I had reflectors up, but they just didnt fit right, got in the way of keeping the lights close, so I just added more light.

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