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Reflectors > Air Cooled Reflectors > Buyer's Guide
Air Cooled Reflector Buyer's Guide
Understanding The Choices
  • Do you want air cooled reflector(s)
    • The answer is yes. With air cooled reflectors you can move the light closer (because there is less heat) and thereby get more light to you plants. The amount the light increases from moving the lamp/reflector closer is greater than the loss of light from using a glass pane.
  • When to go from 6" to 8" venting
    • As a general guideline when you run three or more lights in a single venting line you should move to 8" venting.
  • 95% reflective or 85% reflective aluminum
    • The difference in our test scenario was a significant 13% more light at the plant level from a 95% reflective reflector 2' above compared to the 85% reflective reflector.
    • Given that information the choice of 95% or 85% reflective material depends on your setup budget. The 95% reflective aluminum reflectors cost approximately $20 more.
  • Hinged doors or sliding glass
    • "Hinged" doors refer to the mechanism that the glass panel attaches to the bottom side of the air cooled reflector. With a hinged system the glass is mounted in a detachable frame, the frame then hinges to the bottom of the reflector on one side and swings up to screw in or latch on the other side. It is easy to quickly open and close a hinged hood.
  • Large XXXL and Raptor reflectors
    • The large XXXL and Raptor reflectors are designed for a "wide" dispersion of light within the constraints of a low ceiling clearance - the definition of wide being greater than a 4'x4' area. If you are going to grow in 5'x5' or greater areas per light use one of these reflectors.
  • Standard size reflectors
    • The most common (non LED) grow setup people use is one 1000W or 600W bulb per 4'x4' area (or a 3'x3' for the 600W). For a 4'x4' or 3'x3' area you want a reflector that directs the light down onto that area like a flashlight beam with little wasted dispersion. The reflectors that accomplish this are in general the standard size hoods (the exception being some of the standard size hoods are designed to have a wide dispersion).
  • Internal reflector shape
    • The internal shape created by the reflective aluminum of each brand of reflector is radically different than the similar casing outside shape they all share. This internal shape determines how the light is spread down as a light footprint. Because all reflectors use a nearly identical quality reflector aluminum the internal reflector shape is the key factor in bringing more light to the plant surface area. The only internal reflector area has confirmed to be designed by lighting engineers is that of the Radiant, Blockbuster, and Daystar.
High End Reflectors
Reflectors designed for standard 4'x4' or 3'x3' coverage
Radiant- The Radiant reflector (and Daystar below) is the only reflector with the internal layout designed by lighting engineers (computer modeling, laboratory testing, etc). This is the best of the best reflector made to put the maximum amount of available light on to the surface of your 4'x4' grow area.
Blockbuster- This is the top of the line reflector from Sunlight Supply / Sun Systems. This is the reflector they say is as good or better than the Radiant.
Sunspot- This is the best 95% reflective aluminum interior reflector for the price and a really good deal for its high quality. It has a hinged door, sturdy construction, is attractive looking, all for just a little more in price over the 85% reflective reflectors.
Cool Sun - This reflector fills a position that is not very popular. It is not as good as the Radiant or the Blockbuster, not as cheap as the Sunspot or 85% reflective value reflectors. The Sunspot will always be a better purchase than the Cool Sun.
Value Reflectors
Xtrasun- The Xtrasun reflector is the clear choice in the value reflector category. The construction is noticeable superior (if you like heavier duty materials) to the Yield Master II Classic and the Xtrasun sells for a bit less.
Yield Master II Classic - The Yield Master II Classic is a lighter weight reflector. If weight is a concern you will not notice any difference in light performance between the Xtrasun and Yield Master II Classic and this could be the choice for you. The Yield Master II Classic is also better looking in our opinion.
Specialty Reflectors recommends these reflectors in cases where customers know the specific use they have for them.
- Hot! Best of the best reflector designed by lighting engineers to provide the most light possible to a 4'x4' plant surface area.

- Hot! Extreme value reflector. High quality materials, features and design at a great price.

Xtrasun - Hot! The best reflector in the budget category. Excellent quality construction with a low price tag.
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Budget / Value
Xtrasun 6"
Xtrasun 8"
Yield Master II Classic 6"
Hoods with hinge
Radiant 6"
Radiant 8"
Blockbuster 6"
Blockbuster 8"
Sunspot 6"
Sunspot 8"
Daystar 6"
Large wide angle hoods
XXXL Magnum 6"
XXXL Magnum 8"
Raptor 8"
Great White 6"
Compared to the Sun
On a July summer day at noon a reading from the sun on a Hanna Luxmeter is 106.5. A reading from a 1000W HPS bulb in a Yield Master 2' away is 62.7.