#1

GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:20 pm
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.468 Posts | 11514 Points

What reflective materials can I use for my grow room?

Choosing the right surface for the walls of your grow room is very important, as up to 40% of your total yield comes from the edge, and the right wall surface can increase the amount of light those plants receive by up to 30%! Artificial lighting diminishes exponentially with distance, so it is important to ‘contain’ as much of this light as possible, and direct it accordingly. Reflective surfaces also help illuminate the lower portions of the garden, providing lower buds with light and heat energy. To get the best results with your light and walls, it is important to get the walls as close as possible to your garden to ensure the least amount of light is wasted. As a caveat, the percentages provided are only useful as a general guideline, as they present the range of reflectivity of the particular surfaces. The high percentage presents the best possible circumstances for that material (for example a 99% reflectivity rating for mylar sheeting would be under ideal conditions - no creases, completely flat, no discoloration, etc). The best way to determine how well your grow room walls reflect light would be to purchase a light meter and measure your light directly; then take an opaque board and hold it a few inches off one of your walls with the light meter below the board in such a fashion that the light reflects off the wall and onto the light meter. You can then compare the difference between the two and determine a percentage from those numbers, the closer the two numbers are, the better your wall reflects light. It is important that in both measurements, your light meter is the same distance from the light, otherwise your results will be skewed. Also important to note is that radiant light energy refers to electromagnetic (EM) radiation with a wavelength between 400-700 nanometers (nm) and radiant heat energy correlates to EM radiation with a wavelength between 800-2000nm. Listed below are some of the most commonly used materials used for grow room walls:



Foylon: A more durable version of mylar, made of spun polyester fabric and reinforced with foil laminate. Foylon is resistant to most solutions, won't tear or fade, and can be wiped or washed clean. A great solution for growers who are interested in long term use, and though it may be slightly more expensive than mylar, its durability will more than make up for its cost. It has the ability to reflect about 95% of the light and approximately 85% of the heat energy, so a good ventilation system should be used in conjunction with folyon. A recommended method to attach Foylon to the walls would be using Velcro, as it makes taking it down for cleaning much easier nd reduces the risk of tearing, creasing or bending it. If this is used for your walls, making sure you get it flush with the wall with no pockets of air between it and the wall to prevent hotspots.

Mylar: A highly reflective polyester film that comes in varying thickness, the most common being 1 and 2 mm thick. The 2mm thick mylar while not quite as durable as the foylon, is fairly rugged. The 1mm thick mylar tears fairly easily, so taking it down for cleaning is quite difficult without damaging it in the process. Both types of mylar are able to reflect approximately 92-97% reflective, giving it the potential to be more reflective than foylon, but because foylon is more easily cleaned without damaging it as well as it being harder to crease, foylon usually ends up being slightly more reflective. Important to note is that mylar reflects radiant heat energy just as well as foylon (around 85%), so proper ventilation is necessary if mylar is used in your grow room. Attaching this to walls can be done in a similar fashion as foylon, and the same caution should be used to avoid creating hotspots in your room. The 1mm thick mylar stands a fair chance of being creased or ripped in the process unfortunately, even if Velcro is used to attach to the walls.

C3 anti-detection film: A specialized type of mylar that exhibits the same properties as the 2mm thick mylar, but in addition to reflecting approximately 92-97% of the light, it also is 90% infrared proof, making your grow room all but invisible to IR scanning. This can also be attached in the same manner as foylon or mylar, and the same caution should be used to avoid creating hotspots in your room.

Flat white paint: Self explanatory; a great option for large grow rooms or for people who are interested in a low maintenance wall. Flat white paint has the ability to reflect between 75-85% of the light, and does not create hotspots. Adding a fungicide is recommended when painting. Glossy and eggs whites not reflect light as efficiently as flat white.

Semi-gloss paint for example, only has the ability to reflect between 55-60% of the light. Also important to remember when using paint is that any smears or blemishes on the surface take away from how reflective the wall is so care should be taken to avoid marking or staining the walls.

Titanium white paint is very reflective; however it is usually only used on reflectors due to its high cost.

Elastomere paint (info by furun A rubberized roofing paint with 90% reflection. Good for growboxes. Mildew resistant. Highly reflective.

Kool Seal White Elastomeric Roof Coating ~ $15.00 (1 Gallon) Ultra high reflectivity Forms a rubber-like blanket that expands and contracts (Adheres) to almost any surface (very good on wood and metal) Available @ www.lowes.com White/Black plastic (also known as panda plastic or "oly"): "oly" is useful if you are setting up a temporary grow room or don’t want to damage the walls. Poly is easily cleaned. The purpose of the black side is to not allow any light to pass through the plastic, which ensures your dark cycle remains dark. The white side is 75-90% reflective. Choose a 6 "mill" thickness of poly for maximum light blockage and duribility. If this plastic is put too close to the light, you will obviously melt it so be careful!. Panda plastic does not create hotspots. Poly can be attached to the walls by using carpenter’s nails or using tape glue or similar means. This can be used as a cheap alternative to mylar if painting your grow room is out of the question.

Polystyrene Foam Sheeting (more commonly known as Styrofoam): This is excellent for harsh environment growrooms (your attic for example), provided you have a good ventilation system and a way to keep the temperatures from rising too high (an a/c unit or similar) as it is an excellent insulator. It is also a great material for use in a temporary setup or for use as a "travelling reflector" on a light mover, where weight is a concern. It is approximately 75-85% light reflective so it is comparable to using a flat white paint. Foam will not create hot spots. Rigid foam can be purchased in sheets, and can be used as a free standing wall or can be taped, glued or nailed to the wall, the last generally being the most successful method.

Emergency Blankets:These are ultra thin polyester blankets that are sold in most camping stores and are constructed of a single layer of polyester film that is covered with a layer of vapor deposited aluminum. It is not very effective at reflecting light because it is so thin. Holding it between you and a light source, many small holes are noticed at the intersections of creases and the entire blanket is translucent to begin with, this coupled with the many creases that are in it when you purchase it takes away a significant amount of it reflectivity. It is very easily creased as well which also detracts from its ability to reflect light. And while it is reflects nearly 90% of radiant heat energy, it is only able to reflect around 70% of the light. The largest advantage of using this type of material is that it is very cheap and therefore easily replaced. Emergency blankets can create hotspots if not attached flush to the wall so it is important that no air gaps exist between it and your supporting wall. The easiest way to attach this is to use tape (Aluminum or metal tape is recommended), as it tears very easily once it is cut or punctured.

Aluminum Foil: Aluminum foil is no more than 55% reflective - if used, make sure that the dull side is the one that is used to reflect the light. When it becomes creased its reflectivity is even lower (around 35%.) It is also very dangerous to use because it creates hotspots easily, is electrically conductive, and is a fire hazard when it is in close contact with HID lighting. Attaching this to walls is a pain and usually using aluminum tape or glue is the best way. This should only be used as a last resort, and even then its usefulness is questionable.

All you need to know about Mylar

Mylar reflects about 94% of the light. One of the best materials on the market for light proofing. Mylar is a product that serves many purposes. The insulation industry developed this product to withstand severe temperatures. It acts as a moisture barrier as well as a reflector. The United States Navy uses Mylar aboard all of its Freight ships, Cruisers, and Destroyers. Dimpled Metalized is available also. Threaded Aluminized (reinforced). What we OGer's are interested in is the obvious, we want to wrap our grow space, large or small, with the best reflective material available. Aluminized or Metalized Mylar. Mylar is a chemical resistant, polyester film that is mostly tear resistant depending on mil. The reinforced Mylar is almost impossible to tear. It can withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius, Mylar is also electrical resistant and fire retardant. Unlike foil, mylar lays flat without the crinkles and creases if handled with care. Mylar WILL not create concentrated hot spots. Mylar can be cleaned with Windex, alcohol or any other mild household cleaner. I use an antibacterial hand soap with warm water.

GrowFAQ notice
Just to clear this up. This was the GrowFAQ text from Overgrow. Its was origin was from HC which was kind enough to release the googles XML for all the text after the demise of overgrow.com. I have cleaned it up and removed the code which pictures and stuff were referenced as they no longer exist. I am just posting this info as it was a valuable resource for cultivators. Enjoy.

Note: I will not accept any responsibilty for its content.


Mutt


Let's help each other, by spreading our knowledge of the plants we love
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#2

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:36 am
by jungle | 100 Posts | 352 Points

has anyone had any experience and luck with spray painting black plastic walls of a grow tent with Krylon Fusion for more reflection? I read where after 7 days of drying it wont chip ect.....If so did you do any type of prep work or use a primer for better adhesion?

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#3

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:25 am
by 4u2sm0ke • Marijuana is good | 2.332 Posts | 10562 Points

how will that paint react with HD lights?..will it let fumes or such on the plants?


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#4

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:53 am
by jungle | 100 Posts | 352 Points

yeah I have black plastic for walls, I know panda film would be a good answer for good reflection but I have the black stuff. And I came across this spray paint for plastic and I wondered if that might work for added reflection. But I've looked up and down on the net and have found nothing concerning this type of plastic, it seems to be more for plastic chairs and stuff like that. Who knows if it will even dry on the plastic.I guess I could take a sample and try it. As far as fumes I was comparing it to white painted walls for reflection which people do, and the fumes don't seem to be an issue. But maybe on plastic the reaction could be different but I don't know. I was just wondering if anyone has sprayed krylon fusion paint for plastic on 6 ml plastic to improve reflection. I have an ozone generator and maybe if I zapped the walls after it was painted it might kill the odor from the paint and limit the fumes? But It probably isn't a good idea. My light is an air cooled light so there shouldn't be much heat in there and I'm going to have air fanned into the room and out for circulation. I don't suppose the exhaust removing the heat from the 1000w light would count for removing the air from the room? So I probably need a vent for the light and one for removing the air. The black plastic will probly be ok for what I do, if I grew weed for a dispensary someday I'd have panda film for sure. I thought maybe I found a nice solution for turning the black plastic white but maybe not.


Last edited Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:57 am | Scroll up

#5

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:27 am
by MR1 | 703 Posts | 2417 Points

Jungle, I use Krylon Fusion spray spray paint. I ue it to spray my small cups, dirt pails, and my DWC buckets black and it sticks real well. don't use primer just paint straight on clean surface. My cups are very flexible but I have not seen any cracking of the paint. Do they make it in flat white?I don't know . I don't know how economical it would be to paint your walls as it will take a couple of coats for good coverage and the cost would get pretty high. $9 can around here. It might be cheaper to go with the white Panda film. The odor is just like any other spray paint but it dries quickly so the odor does not last too long.


Last edited Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:28 am | Scroll up

#6

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:17 pm
by jungle | 100 Posts | 352 Points

Hi MR1, If you go to amazon, they have off white, gloss white and some other whites, They even have a nickle color, not sure if it be useful...They're under six dollars a can and the gloss white under 5 dollars. I have already purchased large roll of black 6 ml plastic, And to have a panda film would be heavy with possible shipping costs. I'd probably just buy the paint and spray paint the walls. I have a 7' L x 5 1/2' W x 6 1/2' T.....gr...room.........so you I think it be OK to paint the 6 ml plastic and the fumes won't be a problem. I probably could prep the surface with some rubbing alcohol or run a little sand paper on the surface a bit....but I wont use the primer.... I just found out my light I ordered was all broken up and the UPS guy took it back to have it returned. They'll open it up I suppose, and repackage it.....or maybe just ship it back...the way it is.....This company seems to be notorious for broken bulbs from what I read in reviews. . I guess the guy receiving the pack was confused as what to do so he let the driver take it at the drivers request other wise it might lead into a bunch of paper work. It could of just been bulbs or something. Oh well....that will set me back a little........never a dull moment.....I'll plan on using the spray paint until I know other wise. Thanks MR1

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#7

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:27 pm
by MR1 | 703 Posts | 2417 Points

I would try it out on a test piece of your plastic to make sure it does not flake off. It is not coming of my thin plastic cups but with the plastic walls moving all the time it is best to make sure.

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#8

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:31 pm
by jungle | 100 Posts | 352 Points

OK sounds good thanks.....

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#9

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:50 pm
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.468 Posts | 11514 Points

$2 emergency survival blankets made of mylar will work til you can put together the funds for panda film or better walls. you can find them at Harbor freight for $1


Let's help each other, by spreading our knowledge of the plants we love

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#10

RE: GrowFAQ-Reflective Materials

in Sizing and Lighting Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:53 pm
by jungle | 100 Posts | 352 Points

I bought the emergency blankets, they were $2.87 a piece wally s world.

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