Tin foil as a reflector...

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by Dane, 23 May 2010.

  1. Dane

    Dane

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    Hey guys,

    Don't shoot me down on this one. But has anyone use aluminum foil as a reflector?
    I am thinking of either painting the inside of my DIY light unit white, or gluing in tin foil. Cheap and easy. :p

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. robertkukla

    robertkukla

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    i used it and it worked fine
     
  4. Trev

    Trev

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    So did I but Ihave to ask how the hell would you know if its working Robo can nyou measure the uv?
     
  5. Evo R

    Evo R

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    Just a thought.The smoother the surface,the beter the reflection.
     
  6. Dane

    Dane Thread Starter

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    Cool beans, i was planning on gluing it in place so it stays as smooth as possible... Will see if it works otherwise I might just go the alanod route.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  7. Trev

    Trev

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    Not quite but I understand why you may think this.

    The reflection effect stems from the material not absorbing any light but rather reflecting is and yes a flat smooth surface does make for a better reflective surface but in an aquarium you dont want light bouncing up then straight down off the reflectors a more effective reflector is one which stpeads the light it refelcts through as many angels as possible without loosing the intencity of the light, this is why if you are going to use foil give it a little ruffel first so that the foil reflects in all different directions
     
  8. Trev

    Trev

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    Dane if you figure out how to measure the effectiveness of your reflectors please let me know its something I have been playing arround with but unable to measure the change
     
  9. Dane

    Dane Thread Starter

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    Hey trev, unless theres someone in CT with a PAR meter, don't think I'll be able to measure anything... Sorry. Maybe the 2oceans has one but I doubt it... I'll ask tho
     
  10. Trev

    Trev

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    Yeah I doubt it I dont think they worry much about lighting
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    believe it or not, but a white painted surface reflect more light than tin foil.

    It is about the wrinkles, they reflect it in more directions, not in a uniform line. So it act more like a diffuser than a reflector.

    There is a thread on a freshwater planted aquarium forum (from Australia I think) where the guy did a lot of experiments with same light and different reflectors, with PAR readings etc, pity, I cannot find it again.
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    From http://www.thekrib.com/Lights/reflectors.html#15

     
    PeterL and Dane like this.
  13. Dane

    Dane Thread Starter

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    Great post riaan, thanks a mil! Think i'll go with a high gloss white paint then...
     
  14. PeterL

    PeterL

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    This was a very inforamtive read - thanks.
     
  15. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Why do you say that? His figures show white paper at 760 lux and a reflector at 1560 lux.

    I also heard that matt white reflects better than gloss white. Not sure how true that is.
     
  16. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    tin foil reflects well, but it becomes omni-directional due to the crinkles etc, if it stayed smooth it would be perfect and called alanod.

    the point of reflectors is to take a 360° light source and turn it into a focused 32° light source for our tanks.
     
  17. PeterL

    PeterL

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    From reading all the different posts, and information given, this is my conclusion:
    It is like buying a cheap skimmer, you wouldn't do that, you won't use sub-grade equipment on your system anywhere for that matter - so if you want the best of your lighting, why use second grade reflectors or a DIY setup which might not work well. Just get the reflector for the job and then there is no questionig if it is going to work or not.

    If you have a flat head screw, you wouldn't use a knife to fasten it, sure it will work, but now we can debate if a sharp knife would work better than a blunt butter knife. At the end of the day, just use the correct tool for the job and you won't be left wondering...

    There is a certain level of DIY which one can apply and achieve great results in a marine aquarium, with light reflectors, not so much. M2CW
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Well Viper I did saw your new play area with the nice carpet.

    You got multiple tanks who needs lightning, so white paint is a lot cheaper that a lot of reflectors. So yeah, DIY is the thing.

    Gloss vs Matt, do not know, maybe do a experiment.

    I want to take alanod to a metal bending shop. And ask them to bend it like a reflector.

    Next week project.... Will keep you posted
     
  19. PoPe_G

    PoPe_G

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    Any one know of a place to buy some decent t5 reflectors in jhb? Been searching the forum for a while now and can't find anything.
     
  20. neo

    neo

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    Idol marine, R120 for 900mm and it is gullwing shape for 2 tupes.
    If you buy the reflective allu and have it cut and bent then it will cost you R80 each for one tube.
     
  21. PoPe_G

    PoPe_G

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    Thanks Bud....

    Now to do the great trek north!
     
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