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Grow Light Reflectors and Hoods - A Buying Guide

by Max on Sun, 10/28/2018 - 03:57

Grow Light Reflector and HoodIf you have an indoor garden that doesn’t have a grow light reflector, the chances are that you’re not optimizing your plants’ potential. But, finding the best grow light reflectors and hoods can be a tough challenge.

If this describes your current situation, then you’ll want to stick around for the remainder of this article. We’ll tell you all about our top 3 picks for the best grow light reflectors and hoods on the market today. Plus, you’ll learn important things to consider when purchasing one of these well-needed products.

Why Do Your Grow Lights Need a Reflector?

The main role of the reflector is to reflect and direct the light to focus on your plants.

Like all things in life, if you concentrate on something, you'll get all of your efforts on it. Similarly, with the use of a reflector, you get the intense light in one place. This saves the energy lost while allowing your plants to get enough light output.

There are several types of growing lights on the market today. Each type can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes. As such, they all result in varying amounts of light coverage and the light intensity they reflect will also differ. Sure enough, grow light reflectors are also made of different reflective surfaces. So, how do you choose the absolute best grow light reflectors and hoods? Here are a few things to bear in mind.

What You Should For In a Grow Light Reflector and Hood


Light Uniformity

The name reflector is a clear indication of how these devices work. But, in reflecting light to your plants, they should do so uniformly. If not, some plants will end up getting more light than others.

If you want all your plants to grow at the same rate and reach their full potential, uneven lighting will just not cut it. So, in your search for a reflector or a grow light hood, ensure that you check for uniformity of light distribution.

Open Vs. Closed Vs. Air-Cooled Hoods

Open-ended

There are various types of reflectors - open with no air-cooled reflector, open with air-cooled reflector; closed reflector, closed air-cooled reflector, etc.

The most popular type of open reflector is the wing reflector. This is also the most popular reflector used mostly because of its low cost, and focused light. However, the issue is that it does not have a system to bring down the heat. So often you could not place the reflector close to your plants. And if heats are a problem in your growing space, you'll to set up an efficient venting system to cool the ambient environment temp.

Closed

Closed reflector brings more focus, and uniform light spread for the canopy than an open-ended one. But, with more light intensity at one position together with its heat, you must lift it higher than the open-ended hoods/reflectors. Unless the reflector comes with good venting solutions, the heat would be a problem if you use a powerful grow bulbs.

Air-Cooled

The air-cooled and cool-tube (a variation of air-cooled) reflector are designed so that the heat is pushed behind the glass at the hood bottom. There are also venting holes on the sides, which you can hook to the exhausting duct.

So this great heat control system coupling with a closed hood let you can control both the light focus and the heat. You can also place the hoods close to your plants without worrying burning them.

But we cannot miss talking about its downside. An air-cooled reflector needs regular maintenance. You need to clean the reflectors and glass much often so that the light output is not reduced. It is also said that the glass panel can filter out useful UV lights for plants.

But overall, this is my recommended choice for indoor growers, especially for a grow tent, and enclosed spaces; However, as you may have guessed it is more expensive than other reflector types above.

Hood Material

There are lots of materials that can be used to constitute a reflector. This includes aluminum foil, mirrors, white paint, mylar, black/white polymer, etc.

However, the most commonly one used for a grow light reflector is aluminum. Some can be named like Stucco. Hammerstone, and Vega/Miro Aluminium.

So besides getting a durable aluminum, make sure that you get the highest reflective hood as possible.

The higher the reflective figure is, the more it can reflect the light to your canopy, which results in a much better performance for your plants.

Top 3 Best Grow Light Reflectors and Hoods

 

Best Overall


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Features

  • Type: Air-cooled reflector
  • Dimensions: 25 1/2” x 25 1/2”
  • Weight: 26.4 pounds
  • Material: Made from 95% highly reflective German aluminum
  • Offers well-spread, intense lighting
  • Comes sealed with hinged glass and neoprene gaskets
  • Comes in a 4x4 square design
  • Housing: Uses galvanized steel
  • Works with 110v outlets
  • Made with 6” air-cooled fittings

 

Sun System Grow Light - Air-Cooled Reflector

For those who are seeking something more powerful, this is a great option. It's able to offer really intense lighting to give your plants exactly what they need for efficient photosynthesis. Unlike many other options, this reflector offers a square design that can create a large lighting area.

While it may be more expensive than other options, it's also made to be very reliable, durable and is made with higher quality materials. It uses a galvanized steel housing to ensure that you'll get plenty of use out of this device for a long time.

You'll also be able to use it with just about any outlet, allowing you an easy-to-use option. The lighting it creates is powerful, helping your plants to thrive, grow and become more robust. Those that grow fruit and vegetables can become more productive and those that flower will have a greater chance for beautiful blooms. Keep in mind that it can sometimes overheat, so make sure to check the temperature regularly to make sure it's normal.

Pros

  • Creates powerful lighting focus
  • Made with high-quality reflective materials
  • Designed to be very reliable
  • Great for plants that are sensitive to the heat

Cons

Do keep in mind while you're shopping that these can be one of the more expensive options out there. In some cases, there have been some problems with shipping resulting in scratches or the bulbs becoming too hot. Make sure to keep an eye on this product while it's working just to make sure everything is working correctly and contact customer service if needed.

Summary

You can get this in a few different sizing options to ensure that you get just what you need. Plants of just about any life stage will be able to benefit from this reflector and the lighting within. That way, you'll only need one tool for a variety of different plants and stages.

The reflecting ability can help light to spread more easily and evenly so that all of your plants can get equal amounts of light and heat, allowing them all to thrive. Many customers have found that this reflector is reliable, durable, and long-lasting. It also allows the lighting to be more powerful than it may be with other options.

 

Top Pick For Open-ended Reflector


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Features

  • Type: Open-ended Reflector
  • Dimension: 22.5 x 4 x 27.9 inches
  • Weight: 9.75 pounds
  • Aluminum: Made from 95% German stucco aluminum
  • Designed to be very easy to adjust
  • A variety of sizes and dimensions for the ideal option
  • Built-in ballast

 

Adjust-A-Wing Grow Light Reflector

No doubt, the open-ended Adjust-A-Wing Light reflector is much more premium than the Apollo one. Many customers find that the use of it can help increase the growth of their plants by up to 75%. That's a really big difference that can make your plants more productive and more beautiful to all who see them.

It's also a highly powerful option, known to create twice the amount of power as other reflectors. You'll also be able to use either 400- or 600-watt bulbs within it to get exactly the amount of power you're looking for. For those who want even further customization, there are multiple sizes available so that you don't have to try to make the wrong size work for your plants, and you only need to pay for what you actually need.

This is a durable, highly adjustable option that can allow you to give your plants the lighting they need easily. Using this can help aid growth, photosynthesis, seeding and more to ensure an efficient growing space. Make sure you keep in mind that packaging may not be very discreet, as it has annoyed a few of the customers who have ordered this product through Amazon.

Pros

  • Efficient quality open-ended reflector
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Lightweight
  • Can use a variety of bulbs
  • Have a variety of options

Cons

  • Some customers have found that the shipping for this brand on Amazon is not discreet, which can be an annoyance. Others find that the setup may not be as big as expected so make sure you measure the area and take into consideration the exact lighting space you need. If you find any problems, make sure to contact customer service so that they can help you with meeting the needs of your plants.

Summary

Many customers have really enjoyed this reflector, finding that it's lightweight and easy to assemble. You'll be able to hook it up as you need to get the perfect results without a struggle. The option to use a few different kinds of bulbs is also useful for those who want to tailor the experience to the needs of their plants.

It's also highly appreciated that this reflector doesn't get hot as easily as other options, which just adds to the overall convenience of the product. In addition, you'll find that it isn't as expensive as other options out there which is great for those who don't want a highly expensive product. With the level of efficiency offered in this reflector, it's absolutely worth trying out.

 

Budget Pick


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Features

  • Type: Open-ended Reflector
  • Dimensions: 16”x15”x4.5”
  • Weight: 4.35 pounds
  • Material: German aluminum
  • Socket: Ceramic E39 Mogul Base
  • Includes: a 15-foot power cord

 

Apollo Horticulture Gull Wing Hydroponic Grow Light Reflector

The Apollo reflector is a great solution for those who want something simple and low cost. It's made with quality German aluminum. However, the manufacturer doesn't state the reflective figure of this reflector.

You'll get an incredible 15-foot power cord that can allow you to install it just about anywhere and still be able to plug it in easily.

It's also a highly adjustable option so that you can easily tweak or move it to the ideal location for your plants without too much of a struggle. If you're looking for a quick replacement for a larger and more expensive light, this is the thing to get the job done. It's also great if you only need something for a smaller amount of plants.

When you purchase this reflector, you'll get everything you need for setting it up so you won't need to buy any extra pieces. Just make sure to look over it and try it out as soon as you can after it arrives to make sure it hasn't been damaged in the shipping process. It's also wise to make sure it isn't leaking air.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Offers a high level of value for the price
  • Works well as a quick replacement

Cons

  • Some customers have found that there can be some problems with this setup leaking air. Others have had trouble using it due to a lack of instructions, or that it has arrived broken due to shipping. Because of that, it's a good idea to check all these things out as soon as possible once you get the product.
  • Not a top-quality reflector

Summary

This is a great budget-friendly simple solution for those who need some more lighting or are looking to help out one or two plants. It's a great option to use during the colder months when plants won't have access to the light they'd normally get when the sun is out. It can help your plants to continue growing in a healthy way so that they can thrive when they might otherwise die due to lack of light and heat.

This is going to be a smaller option than what you might find with a full lighting system that can hold multiple bulbs or bars, but not everyone needs access to something quite that complicated. Using just a single bulb, this reflector will help you to get a lot of value for your money.

 


Verdict

Each hood reflector featured in this article all have commendable features. But, when it comes to deciding which one is the ultimate best grow light reflector and hood, we have to go with the air-cooled Sun System grow light reflector.

Although it is a bit pricey, it has better quality materials and performance than all 3 products and other grow light reflectors on the market. If you need an excellent light reflector solution for your indoor garden, this is our recommended choice.

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