View Full Version : DIY reflector

11-22-2007, 06:30 AM
A guy at work retired recently, and after the party, I noticed sitting in the garbage was a foil banner that said "Happy retirement" or something. I asked if I could have it, and decided to see if I could make a simple reflector out of it.

I taped it down to a piece of pvc pipe:


I coated it in epoxy, then took a white piece of corrugated cardboard and scored all of the ribs so it would curl nicely. I coated it with more epoxy and glued it down.

Once dry, I cut the tape holding it to the pipe, and I had a rather neat looking reflector happening


I hooked up a fluorescent tube and slowly lowered it into my reflector to see what kind of light it would produce. It blinded me! I couldn't believe what a difference my simple, crappy little reflector made!

I took a video which didn't exactly turn out perfectly, but it's still kind of neat.

Watch my cheesy video here!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSVVpvIhX4I)

You can see as the light gets brighter, my camera tries to compensate by turning down the exposure, and the effect is significantly diminished. In real life it is much more dramatic. Watch the video anyways, and then just take my word for it I guess :P

11-22-2007, 06:43 AM
Very cool!

Do you plan on using it for a tank, or was it purely for tinkering purposes?

11-22-2007, 07:42 AM
Wow! You just gave us a good idea for a new light on our planted tank!

11-22-2007, 01:13 PM
Very snazzy

and good to see some Dave action again!

Edit - ACK! wrong dave!

but still good work

11-22-2007, 01:58 PM
Nice job! Those balloons are made of mylar, mylar being one of the best reflectors.

11-22-2007, 04:21 PM
Awesome job! i wish i had made one of those. i had retro fluroescent fixtures on my 55g before, so it was just the fluorescent bulbs and starters, no reflector.

great job!

11-23-2007, 01:10 AM
I don't have an immediate use for an 18" light fixture right now, so I was kind of just tinkering. I am planning on building a light fixture for 48" tubes though

and good to see some Dave action again!

Edit - ACK! wrong dave!


Lady Hobbs
11-23-2007, 01:13 AM
Very smart idea. Nice job.

11-23-2007, 01:42 AM
Excellent idea, and a very cheap refelector:thumb:

11-23-2007, 02:22 AM
Very cool idea! :thumb:

11-26-2007, 05:09 AM
I'm glad you guys like it, thanks for the compliments. I mounted some fluorescent endcaps on a piece of wood, and attached my reflector to it, I also wired in an electronic ballast, so now I have an actual strip light.

It may be cheesy, but the concept is sound, and I'm pleased that I am able to build lights. This will come in handy pretty soon, as I'm almost finished up the 4' tank stand I've been working on for ages.