Cheap grow lights, whats yours grow light reflector doing for you

Cheap grow lights are the ones that have a peace of aluminum bent over to for the reflector, or some like to call ?HOOD? these types of cheap reflectors are very common, although their better than nothing, their not brilliant either, for one thing the HIP or CFL bulbs, often sag down due to the poor design and over all build quality.

Buying cheap hoods is an easy mistake to make, especially if your just starting out with indoor growing as there is so much to buy and think about ?hell I?ve done it too? and at the time, even these cheap looking reflectors weren?t cheap to buy, I no longer have the reflector, but here?s a pic I nabbed off the net, it looked just like my old ,cheap grow lights reflector, identical in fact.

cheap reflector Bad points

? Very poor light distribution

? Very poor build quality

? Shortens bulb life (inn less using CFL

As you can see, its pretty cheap looking grow light, I now sat in the attic as a spare, just in case ?not that i'm a hoarder or anything? anyway my next reflector I bought, after I had done some reading first this time, I decided on an air cooled reflector which I new was going to cost an arm and a leg, at the time, plus 160 pound, but it does what I want and that?s to prevent reflected heat for damaging the bulb and to keep them summer month from over heating my grow room, its also really easy to hang ? and looks super cool too?

cool shade reflector

Good points

? Keeps bulb vertical to reflector ? Prevents bulb heat damage

? Easy to adjust height

? Keeps room cooler

? Looks super cool

Although my reflector at the time was expensive, I do now see them at a very good price at about double the price of the cheapest of the cheap, so now theirs no reason to buy the real cheap one, for that little extra money about 30 pound more than them cheap ones, you get a hole lot more for your money.


What?s the ballast like, that comes with cheap grow light reflectors

Reflector and ballasts normally come in kit form, and the ballast will be in the same price band, which means it wont is digital ballast and will look summing like this...

old ballast

? Magnetic Ballasts

The most popular type of ballast is magnetic ballasts, these types are still popular due to there price tag and are technically referred to as CWAT (constant wattage auto transformers) which are large (due to the massive transformer inside) and can also become very noisy and are less economical to run than the digital ballasts, also shortens the life of high pressure sodium lights and sounds like a power sub station-BUZ BUZ

. Digital ballasts

Digital ballasts are a fairly new arrival, they?re more expensive than the traditional magnetic ballasts and some offer automatic detection of HPS and MH bulb as the two types cant be ran on the same type of ballast, inn less a switch able ballast is used, there also fairly silent, light and have an extend bulb life due to more accurate control over current, the appearance of a "flicker-free" light output due to the electronic ballasts high-switching frequency generally 15,000 Hz as opposed to 60Hz for the standard magnetic(transformer ballast)

maxicrop ballast


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