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Thread: The Parabolic Reflector Thread

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    Default The Parabolic Reflector Thread

    After seeing many of the same questions asked I thought I'd put something together in a thread for all new growers looking to add a parabolic reflector to there grow



    What is a parabolic reflector


    A Parabolic reflector is an umbrella shaped reflective surface used to Project light in and around the grow room. This comes in many different forms such as size, shape, horizontal or vertical bulb and a White or silver surface.







    White or Silver what's the difference?

    Ive seen this question asked a lot and wasn't sure on an answer myself so decided to do some searching and found that the White surface gives better light scattering. Light scattering is a deflection of a light Ray from a straight path. The silver surface makes for better light retraction.Light retraction is the bending of a light Wave when it enters a material. Both silver or white will perform equally with plenty of light spread so I guess it's just a case of which you prefer or can get hold of at the time. Here's an example of both :







    Light spread compared to other shades

    All grow light reflectors work well in there own way. For example barn style, Adjustawings, air cooled and parabolics. Here's a diagram showing the light spread between each shade :





    Reflector sizes

    Most parabolics come in sizes of 80cm or 100cm. The 80cm allowing up to a 400w bulb and the 100cm up to a 1000w. These come flat packed so grab yourself a Phillips screwdriver a socket/spanner set, tea coffee or beer and last but not least a spliff and your ready for the assembly ordeal.

    If your growing in a tent of a similar size such as a 1.2m and planning on using the 100cm version then the two things to bare in mind are negative pressure and height . You soon lose the 0.2 space you have around the shade once the tents zipped up. An easy method to prevent this is to attach tight bungee cords from pole to pole this will prevent the tent pulling in under negative pressure allowing more heat to escape around the shade. Also when using a carbon filter and shade you lose height due to the shape of the shade. So plenty of Lst will help.


    Temperature and Light distance

    When I first added a para into the groom I noticed an overall temp drop of around 4-5c compared to the previous barn style reflector. This is down to the bulb being vertical which in turn spreads the heat evenly causing less hot spots. There is vents in the top but an additional mod is to bend the tops of the panels on the shade to allow gaps around the bulb for more heat to escape up into the extraction allowing you to bring the shade much closer to the plant tops helping towards a nice even canopy and good light penetration.

    Heres a couple of pics showing the parabolic in action in a 1.2 tent.







    Thats all folks

    Please feel free to add any other parabolic information or pictures to this thread

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    Awesome post mate. Thank you very much for the info!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Lightyear View Post
    Nice one Blue very informative

    Regards BL
    Thanks Bud, is it you who has the pic of the bent tops on the shade? Would be good in here

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    Well with the input from my own thread in Q+A and this wonderful post from Blue, I have ordered myself a maxibright 100cm Para.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    Thanks Bud, is it you who has the pic of the bent tops on the shade? Would be good in here
    Yes mate here it is. This helps disperse some of the heat build up, you just bend the segments where they meet the base plate. You can see where the light is beaming out the top, this is where the heat is allowed to escape, you can knock off a couple or three degrees C from your canopy temps doing this...



    I've since trimmed off 5 inches from my 1 metre paras which allows me to get the light much closer and achieve a much better lateral spread.




    Regards BL

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    That's the one Cheers Bud

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    I have the 80cm ones and use 600w hps with no problems . I had to buy the 80cm ones as I couldn't get 2 100cm ones in my home made tent, and certainly get more light from them.

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    So for a 1000w hps how close could I get one of these to the plants.... Currently with a batwing I'm almost 30 inches away and maxed out on height. Would this be beneficial with height requirements?


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    Excellent bit of info mucker thanks for sharing

    Up the irons

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    good post blue well done mate

    i also come across when i was researching about paras for me is they also do horizontal laying bulbs in parabolics as they reckon it gives a better light spread than the vertical placed bulbs,
    dunno how true that is especially after seeing all the guys grows on here with vertical bulbs ......

    there is parabolics out there that you can mount the bulb either horizontal or vertical for which ever black magic voodoo art you believe in

    either way good luck with your grows guys

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    i tried both vertical and horizontal in my bin lids,tbh only noticable difference to me . was the horizontal made the bin lid a lot hotter,and like the proper styles above had to put in vents(didnt have vents in the vertical one,didnt get hot at all).

    horizontal appears to give more grow height than the vertical though so swings n roundabouts.

    bin lids do work well though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skunky n funky View Post
    So for a 1000w hps how close could I get one of these to the plants.... Currently with a batwing I'm almost 30 inches away and maxed out on height. Would this be beneficial with height requirements?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Im not familiar with the heat from a 1000w bulb as I haven't used one, but to give you an idea I can run a HPS on 660w boost setting at around 14-15 inches from the plant tops... Through the winter when the ambient temps are low it goes even closer. I once did the incredible bulks and they grew right up into the shade as I ran out of height and I had no problems.

    I dare say one of these would allow you to get your bulb a lot closer but due to the size of it once built height adjustment may still be an issue for you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skunky n funky View Post
    So for a 1000w hps how close could I get one of these to the plants.... Currently with a batwing I'm almost 30 inches away and maxed out on height. Would this be beneficial with height requirements?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I've had my 1000 watters as close as 12" inches or 300mm from the top of the canopy with a decent fan moving some of the heat

    Regards BL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazmandaz View Post
    good post blue well done mate

    i also come across when i was researching about paras for me is they also do horizontal laying bulbs in parabolics as they reckon it gives a better light spread than the vertical placed bulbs,
    dunno how true that is especially after seeing all the guys grows on here with vertical bulbs ......

    there is parabolics out there that you can mount the bulb either horizontal or vertical for which ever black magic voodoo art you believe in

    either way good luck with your grows guys

    Hi daz I doubt we'd notice a great deal of difference between the two other than the price. The only difference I can see is the horizontal style would give more direct light to the plant tops than a vertical. But I'm sure they'd be a lot more heat build up in the shade.. I rekon that's the reason these new designs come with an adjustable option so you can go vertical when temps are high and vice versa

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    Hi daz I doubt we'd notice a great deal of difference between the two other than the price. The only difference I can see is the horizontal style would give more direct light to the plant tops than a vertical. But I'm sure they'd be a lot more heat build up in the shade.. I rekon that's the reason these new designs come with an adjustable option so you can go vertical when temps are high and vice versa
    I look at it this way....The reflector acts like an amplifier, it collects the light waves and forces them out pretty much the same way sound waves emit out of a speaker cone...I believe the vertical configuration of the lamp works best to achieve this...Look at how car headlights are designed to concentrate (amplify) and make the light travel or for our purposes penetrate the lumens further forward..

    Regards BL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Lightyear View Post
    I look at it this way....The reflector acts like an amplifier, it collects the light waves and forces them out pretty much the same way sound waves emit out of a speaker cone...I believe the vertical configuration of the lamp works best to achieve this...Look at how car headlights are designed to concentrate (amplify) and make the light travel or for our purposes penetrate the lumens further forward..

    Regards BL
    That makes complete sense bud , With the bulb vertical you'll achieve an equal light spread the full diameter of the shade and taking light retraction and scattering into account the light will be spread even further than the shade. where as the same can't be said for the horizontal style as there's got to be less equal spread due to the bulbs position.. stick to the verticals eh mate .. An option to change between the two sounds like to much hassle to me anyway it's one or the other ain't it

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggotch View Post
    i tried both vertical and horizontal in my bin lids,tbh only noticable difference to me . was the horizontal made the bin lid a lot hotter,and like the proper styles above had to put in vents(didnt have vents in the vertical one,didnt get hot at all).

    horizontal appears to give more grow height than the vertical though so swings n roundabouts.

    bin lids do work well though

    Get some pics of the bin lids in here mate for all those on a budget

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    Another good example of parabolic design light reflectors are the photographic ones...Id bet there's much more R&D gone into these over the years than the ones for horticulture...Got to be on to a winner with paras, I love mine



    Regards BL

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    Great thread Blue!
    Putting it together was a pain in the ass but it's a great reflector! I got the 100cm white one and used it first with 250w, 400w and now with 600w. Amazing light and heat spread so far! I am only on my first grow so shall wait and see how it goes.


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