Contributed by: Green Tao
In a shop light
type fixture, the bulbs are usually space a few inches
apart. This type of reflector creates light "stripes"
when used close to the plants. The hood on a shop light
helps to widen the light by reflecting the light coming
from the top of the bulb. When you use this style
reflector the light never leaves the top the bulb,
instead its reflected back through the bulbs and sent
out the front. If you doubt this works check with any
aquarium shop and ask them. The foil
: when you want the bulbs close to one
OK, all you need is a bulb and some 2
wide foil tape. Now, cut the tape so it is a couple of
inches shorter than the bulb. This is for two reasons.
First, the bulbs get hottest on the ends (heat can make
the glue release and the ends of the tape will pull up).
Second, it keeps the conductive foil away from the power
at the end.
Before you start sticking the tape
on, make SURE you have the bulb laying where the pins
are horizontal to the floor. If your pins lock at an
angle in the fixture, make appropriate compensations.
* Make sure you get the tape oriented with the
correct florescent pin position when installed!*
Now start the tape about an inch from an
end, and let the center on the tape stick to the very
top the bulb. Keeping the tape straight, slowly run it
down to the end. Tear off any excess at the end before
sticking it past the last inch. Be sure to keep tension
on the tape as you lay it - it helps to keeps the tape
straight and centered (stops wrinkles).
the center of the tape is stuck, start at the middle of
the bulb and slowly make the tape touch a little more
from the center out so that the tape is starting to take
shape of the bulb. Work from the middle to end of the
bulb. Dont try to get all the tape to stick in one try.
The tape will not lift once set in place.
trying to stretch a full length of foil tape and trying
to lay it all-at-once onto the bulb is extremely
difficult; if the tape touches anything it'll stick
hard, and it tends to curl when you peel off the
backing. The results
I took a comparison picture. The taped
bulb is brighter and the light is focused downward. You
still have some side lighting but as you can tell it is
much less. The last picture is of a bulb that is over 30
days old and it shows no sign of phosphorous burning,
stress or damage.
Using this technique you can
literally create a wall of light. Floro's are not known
for their power, so be sure to get all the light you can
get out of them. Editors Note:
your foil tape doesn't have clear adhesive, mylar can be
used in it's place.