DIY Air Cooled Reflector
Where to start? I’ve been growing for a few grows now in my converted Ikea Pax single wardrobe (460mm x 575mm x 860mm) using CFL’s and a Sunmate CFL reflector. This has been ideal for me as it’s quiet, stealthy and an ok producer. The important word in that last sentence is about it being an OK producer. To overcome this problem I bought a 250W HPS setup and a cool tube.
Got the thing home and it was cracked, so another drive back to the hydro shop to replace it with an un-cracked one. Got this home, fitted it and what do you know, another bloody crack. This led me to believe the cool tubes are cheap pieces of shite that you have to handle like a baby. Not to mention the light spread!!! (and the 490mm length made it a bit too tight with all the ducting in my space).
So that task was on to build my own cool tube that would be better than the one’s you buy. I have found a few suppliers that will supply 5mm thick Pyrex tube with an outside diameter of 120mm. Perfect!!!.......well not quite. After postage and the taxman’s cut, the price was nudging £60 just for the tube!
So that’s where I am now. Ive decided a round tube reflector just will not do. So I looked at a few forums for some DIY reflectors that I can make and modify. Then I came across this:
An easy home made reflector made of sheet steel and reflective paint. This is perfect as I can make any size I want :-D (all of the current air cooled hoods available to buy wouldn't fit in my growroom)
So I made use of these plans:
The original plans (courtesy of “DurbanLegend” via “Pontiac” on icmag.com shown above)
Slightly modified now to give me slightly more length for a 250W HPS. The yellow tabs are to be folded to allow glass to be slid in and out and the red tabs are needed to hold the thing together. Notice how the holes are slightly offset in a hope to get better air cooling. I don’t know if it will work any better but intuition tells me it will. Another advantage of having a design like this rather than a cool tube is that the reflector will act like a silencer too.
Build cost: 500mm x 500mm x 1mm Steel sheet B+Q number 3232636004108 £17.34
2x 100mm Wall Spigot/Connector Growell Code 1228 £4.80
Sheet Glass Not sure on this yet, I'll update this thread when i find out)
First stage is to get some sheet metal; now I’m not sure if I should get sheet steel with a galvanised reflective coating or just use some paint when I’m done. A 500mm x 500mm sheet will be fine for mine. I ended up getting 500x500x1 steel for B+Q, bit pricey at £17 but I wanted to get busy. 1mm sheet should produce something with some strength to it too.
Draw the plans out on the metal and use some tin snips to cut the shape out (Don’t forget to leave tabs at the side so it can be held together and look further through the thread concerning tabs). I used a jigsaw with a metal blade which worked a treat.
After the cuts have been made now would be an ideal time to cut the 100mm holes for the air cooled ducts. I didn’t do this, I forgot and have to do it later. Once the holes have been made it’s bashin time.
I think the tabs should be the first thing to be bent as they are the sharpest bends. Find a desk with a nice 90 degree bend at the edge, line it all up and hit with a wooden/rubber mallet until it is in the shape you need. Do that with all of the tabs. If I was doing it again I’d start with the inside one’s! This can be a lot trickier than it sounds if you don’t have a variety of surfaces to place the piece flat after there are bends put in it! I had to use some pipe grips to make a few bends. Not the prettiest but functional none-the-less.
Then use that same desk to fold each of the edges down so they meet the tabs and drill a holes through the tab and the side ready for rivets to hold it together.
You’ll notice on this picture that some of the tabs need edges cut off so it’ll fit together. This is because I didn’t work out the exact measurements for the angles to cut at the end of each of the tabs
Thats where I am now but I'll update this thread when I've made some more progress
Last edited by EasyRyding; 27-08-10 at 07:17 PM.
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Well done man, really nice. Its simple, cheap and looks as if it could be adapted to any light. Should be a sticky.
Cheers mate. There are a few things that need to be done still:
Seal up all gaps with either heat resistant silicone or aluminium tape
Jigsaw out the 100mm holes
Fit the wall connectors/spigots with rivets
Put a metal V shape directly above where the bulb will sit to improve light distribution
The glass is an interesting one though. Heat resistant glass woud be my first thought but I'm also thinking about the special glass used on commercial buildings. This glass reflects infra-red but passes visible light. It's used to keep glass buildings cool in blazing sun and keep air con running costs down. Maybe you could even have 2 sheets of glass. One normal heat resistant sheet for the winter that will keep the grow room warm, and the special IR reflective glass for the summer when the grow room gets too hot.
Nice one mate, i do love the DIY hydro be keeping an eye on this
Very nice work dude!
Will be very interesting to follow and see the end result!
Feel free to press the -Thanks- button to the lower left if I have been of help! : )
Aye, shit-hot thread matey, love a-team shit.
'Daucus Carota Sativus'
The holy grail......
Cut the holes out if you haven't already and make sure they fit with the wall connector/spigots
There are a few dents n scratches where I got happy with the hammer.
Next stage is the reflector. Now in the first post on this thread I mentioned painting it white, but since then I had an idea. I had one of those crap Euro barn reflectors lying around which just so happens to be pretty much the right size. So get one of these reflectors:
and drill the rivets out so you are left with the reflector:
and flatten it out:
Then draw the same plans that you used for the sheet metal (If I was doing it again I'd reduce all measurements by about 3mm so the fit wont be as tight)
and after a bit of cutting and folding:
and inside the hood:
Thats where I have got to today. I still need to cut the holes out of the reflective aluminium stuff and rivet in the wall spigots/connectors. The ceramic bulb holder mount still needs to be made.
I'll look into the glass next week and keep this thread updated.
Last edited by EasyRyding; 28-08-10 at 05:23 PM.
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wicked! im sure itll work too
You got serious handy work skills man!
Pleasure to read this thread, can't wait to see the end result
Just cut the holes out of the aluminium reflective stuff and put the wall spigots over it and I'm pretty chuffed (still need to rivet it together). I've thrown in a pic of how the bulb will sit so you have an idea of size. It's a 250W Son-T bulb. Honestly though, I don't do anything like this for a living and it has been pretty easy to throw together, so if you're lacking the space in a stealth grow room for an off the shelf air cooled hood then your not out of options! I've still got the glass to get and still got to think up a way to completely seal it with removable glass (any suggestions about this would be greatly appreciated)
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Fucking fantastic its looks superb matey well done. Think some type of rubber seal/gasket would do the job as you need access to change the bulb and cant really go down the silicone route to seal it. I had two coolstar refectors and had to do this and although it made them air tight its not really user friendly lol.
I love/hate these threads on one hand it is some fantastic work, on the other why can't I do something as talented as that!!
I keep thinking rubber seals like on car doors/boots etc but I have to think worst case scinario which is it heating up to the point of melting (not very nice fumes and horrible to clear up, I don't think there would be a fire risk with it but I can't be sure without looking into it. Do you reckon if you put a bead of silicone across the glass and another across the hood (don't stick them together), wait for them to dry, and push them together would create an ok seal? If I think right when silicone dries it's still kinda squishy
I rekon this could work well as you can get heat resistant silicone. The rubber seals i think would work as well, if you think car engines theres rubber gaskets in there and engines get hot. As your light is air cooled this will cut down on the heat as well, what watt you using. Just to add most decent air cooled lights use a rubber seal so i think you will be ok
Originally Posted by EasyRyding
The Following User Says Thank You to spartan For This Useful Post:
Well I love my cars and I should have a fair few seals lying around so I'll do a couple of tests - Firstly fire - Do drips stay on fire when they drop? and then heat - If they can survive half hour in the oven then they'll be fine. In fact, you sir, have just given me an idea - Instant gasket! I'm sure there is a type for water seals that stay kinda squishy.
Granted it is air cooled but the fan could fail when I'm not in the house so I have to think about it. I'm suprised how few grow diaries there are where people haven't mentioned smoke detectors!
It's a 250 Watt
Last edited by EasyRyding; 28-08-10 at 10:56 PM.
you could try using a tube of instant gasket for sealing it up as it is heat resisitant . being a petrol head myself i can tell you it won't burn having used it to seal rocker covers just inches away from a massive turbo which runs at several hundred degrees when we've been kicking the shit out of it. i have been considering making one of these myself for ages and you've just pushed me over the edge lol . i've got a large sheet of 2mm alloy and am looking to make one with a vertically mounted bulb . i will not be using glass as yours does though as i am only running a 150w hps and it will be overkill .
Last edited by GFORCE; 29-08-10 at 07:29 AM.
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Thanks for confirming the instant gasket idea. I did think alot of my water pipes on my engine are literally on the head which gets a bit toasty so it should be heat resistant. I'll get on that as soon as I can.
More petrol heads than I thought on here! What turbo you talkin about ? I loved my GT2871r. My god that had a donkey punch on it :-p
If you're making something like this I'd love to see it when it's done :-D
Last edited by EasyRyding; 29-08-10 at 07:39 AM.
what did you have that fitted to man lol , i fitted fitted a gt30/40r to my mates 650bhp scooby and by fuck that thing went like shit off a shovel . was a complete nitemare to fit a i had to fabricate a complete new up-pipe and down pipe so it could be angled at 45 odd degrees to fit between the engine and bulkhead not to mention the extra piping to fit the 40mm tial wastgate down there.
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