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Ultimate Reflector Test and Guide
What is the best reflector? Greners.com answers this question for you.
Reflector efficiency - the total amount of light the reflector puts on a 4'x4' area using a 1000 watt hps bulb, measured at 25 spots (5x5 grid) with the reflector 24" above the surface. Reflector value - efficiency divided by price (bigger numbers are better). We did this testing to answer your questions, provide the best grow light packages, provide accurate recommendations, and save you money by cutting through the hype and letting you pay for performance, not marketing.
*r2 = Repeat of test
Measurements - Lumen readings were taken on a 5x5 grid covering a 4'x4' area, using a high quality Hanna instrument, and a decent meter from China. The lowest point of each setup was placed 24" above the surface - so for the vertical parabolic reflector the tip of the bulb was at 24", for the air cooled reflectors the bottom of the glass was at 24". The bulb used was a Hortilux Super HPS EN 1000W (broken in prior to testing), powered by a Lumatek 1000W Dimmable ballast. The ePerimeter value is the sum of the readings along the edge of the grid, the outer 16 spots. The eInside value is the sum of the readings in the center, the inside 9 spots.
Surprises - The Xtrasun Wing reflector did amazingly well and easily earned the best value award. Considering their advertising we were surprised how poorly the Adjust-A-Wing medium performed (the large is intended for an area greater than 4'x4' so no surprise there). It was pleasing to see that the Luxor did live up to the expectations from being engineered from the ground up to be the top performer.
Thoughts - On the accuracy of the data... the results are accurate and useable. We did two different types tests to get a margin of error and out of that testing we get an error span of 3.2%, with 2.3% being on the low side, and 0.9% on the high side. This test does not factor usability and features, it is just about efficiency - for example the XXXL is a much lighter and easier to use reflector than the Raptor, the Melonhead has great airflow, and the Luxor is slightly unwiedly.
This was a lot of work, please reference www.greners.com/reflector-test.html if sharing the results on other websites. This content is covered by federal copyright laws. Thanks.
Best of the Best Winners:
Maximum! - The Luxor:
Performance-Value - The Radiant AC:
Value - The Xtrasun Wing: