reflective material?


Premium Member
I was wondering if any body knew were to get any reflective material or what ot use in my hood? Metalized mylar(polyester)? polished aluminum sheets? I was trying to figure out a cheap but effective way of creating a reflector in my tank that would last. I appreciate the responce in advance.
When I had just vho bulbs on my tank I just went to home depot and got one of those cheap mirrors that are meant to be put on the back of doors and cut it to length and mounted it with the clips that are normally used to hold it to a door.

I've heard mirrors aren't very good for some reason...possibly because they have to pass through glass. I remember asking this question on the DIY forums or something a long time ago.

Mylar might be a good option(97% reflectivity) and lots of local hydrophonics stores sell them. I believe there is one in FT Colllins just look it up on the local yellow pages. If not there are plenty of Hydroponic Stores in Boulder(figures) and there is also one on Highway 36 and I-25 if you need slightly closer. Most will sell you a 4' * 25' roll for $25 if you need it ASAP otherwise I suggest ebay or something. The hydrophonic stores also sell metal reflectors although they don't come cheap.
I used aluminum flashing for my VHO, and it's not bad, but also not spectacular. On a lark I bought a roll of that aluminum sheet you use in the attic to insulate during summer and winter. It's reflective on both sides and has a cloth core. It's more reflective than the aluminum flashing, and should hold up to the high temp all right, while also resisting transfer through it to the less heat-resistant components of the hood. Since it's flexible I think it will work out just fine in just about any configuration I need. I think I may buy vinyl gutter lengths to create the proper shape for a cheap reflector. But these are all untested at this point. Just food for thought.

HD and Lowes sell aluminium wall studs now. They are very highly polished and cheap. Cut to fit and mount.
If you don't mind the work, I'd bet that you could polish up the aluminum flashing and get a pretty good mirror finish. But, it's a good bit of work.
I know this will sound dumb but...
Is aluminum flashing that stuff that doesn't hold a crease at all and is more like plastic then aluminum?
thanks guys. I think I'm going to use the metalized mylar. Ive been looking on line & it comes in 4 ft sections. I have also looked into aluminum sheeting, yes it can be polished but it is expensive.
the sheeting or the polishing? I bet you could get some rubbing compound and a orbital buffer and go to town with it.
Aluminum flashing is thin metal used for flashing around doors, windows, roofs, etc. It is not plastic.

I just went to home depot & purchased a roll of aluminum flashing,now i just need to get buffing compound, any ideas on where to get it?
I would try Home Depot. I got some at McGuckin's last time I needed it.

By the way, buffing metal is _dangerous_. I would also buy a face shield if you don't have one, heavy gloves, and it would be nice to have a leather apron. The last thing you want are metal shavings in your eyes or body.

If you are buffing on a bench grinder, pay attention! That piece of metal in your hands can be taken out of your hands and then it can be whipped around the wheel and back INTO and THROUGH your hand or body.

If your are buffing with an orbital sander, be sure that the metal is clamped down well. As long as it's clamped this way is not nearly as dangerous as using a bench grinder.

Good luck!