Chrome/Mirror vinyl film as reflector?

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by zed, 18 Jan 2009.

  1. zed

    zed Member

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    I want to increase the efficiency of my lights, and although the light units have white reflectors built in (Fluval Venezia 350 tank), there are 3 black plastic access panels (front, middle, and back) on the hood inbetween the 2 light units.

    The plan was to add some kind of reflective film to the underside of the black panels and maybe cover the white reflectors too, but I'm a little concerned about the adhesive on the film leaching any chemicals into the tank water:

    Option 1:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0046927716

    The other option is to use a film that isn't adhesive backed, and stick it on with a suitable silicone:

    Option 2:
    http://www.hydrogrowsystems.co.uk/store ... asp?spc=DI

    or

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0099778701

    Should I steer clear of the adhesive backed stuff?

    Thanks.
     
  2. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

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    TBH the difference in cost between buying reflectors and using film will be pennies!!!

    I would just get some Arcadia Clip on ones which will be £5ish each and will be much much better than film.

    AC
     
  3. zed

    zed Member

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    I hear what you're saying, and I already have reflectors above the lights. Its the surrounding panels of the hood that I want to reflect any light that escapes to the sides down into the tank.
     
  4. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

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    You don't have proper reflectors. you have white bent pieces of card that clip into the hood.

    'Actual reflectors are angled in such a way that they don't let light escape sideways or upward and redirect it downward.

    Obviously there are better quality and better angles as with anything you buy but for a cheap £5 reflector that just clips onto your tube then you can't really go wrong. will be many many times better than using the film on your hood and not cost much more than the film!!!

    AC
     
  5. zed

    zed Member

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    Got ya now! Not sure if there's enough room on the light unit to replace the white plastic card with a full-on reflector, so I'll take a look at see what I can fit in there - thanks for the pointer.

    The question still stands; is the adhesive on these mirror vinyls likely to leach anything nasty into the water?

    Thanks!
     
  6. mr. luke

    mr. luke Member

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    i use tinfoil on the inside of my hood to do the job :D
     
  7. zed

    zed Member

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    :D Mr Luke, I've used tin foil in the past on my home-made hood, but that was when I was hard-up and still at school :lol:

    Those were the days ;)
     
  8. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    Tin foil isn't actually that good, painting the inside of the hood brilliant white is actually far more successful.
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    i would paint it matt white as this is the most reflective
     
  10. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    I'll post you some if you like for a donation to UKaps? Matt white is more effective though, i can send that too if you like.....
     
  11. zed

    zed Member

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    That would be great Dan!

    Are we saying a matt white reflector is more effective than the polished metal type reflectors like this http://www.seapets.co.uk/gallery/956785.jpg ?

    Thanks.
     
  12. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

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    The top metal reflectors look almost white. This is not to say that white card is better than that polished reflector or we would all just paint the inside of the hood white.

    That reflector will have a much 'smoother' surface which will reflect better and also it will be angled to 'maximise' the amount of light directed at the tank.

    A flat piece of card which although looks smooth will actually be quite rough in comparison to polished metal and light will refract at angles that will not necessarily be redirected toward the substrate.

    AC
     
  13. jolt100

    jolt100 Member

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    Hi all, FYI the adhesives used on pressure sensitive films will not leach any harmful chemicals into the water,most are food contact approved, if you are using flexible vinyl I would worry more about the contents of the film. I have a "temporary" polyester mirror finish film which has given good service for 12 months but ideally you need a parabolic reflector or the light just gets bounced around inside the hood and wont give much improvment in intensity. :(
     

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