Lighting is one of the biggest issues for indoor growers. Not only are there certain light cycles that must be strictly adhered to, but when the lights are on, the plants need as much light as possible – and that’s where reflectivity comes in.
Having proper reflection means installing a medium that will actually reflect the light around the plants, not only creating more light but reflecting the light to certain parts of the plant that might otherwise not get enough. Considering that proper reflection can increase the amount of light by 30 percent, it’s easy to see how a grower can utilize and capitalize on the light they’re already using; and why reflection is so important.
The easiest and best way to get the most reflection is to cover the walls of the grow area with reflective material. Below are the most popular options, as well as the pros and cons they bring to grow rooms.
- Grow tents. Grow tents are tents that come in varying sizes and already have reflective material on the walls. Grow tents are especially good for beginners, as they’re already equipped for growing cannabis and they give good results for the small amount of money spent on them.
- White latex paint. If the space is very large, it might make sense to cover the walls with white latex paint. White will of course, reflect the light to the plants, especially if the floor and ceiling are also painted. Paint won’t create hot spots or air pockets, the way some wall coverings will, and it’s very inexpensive. Just remember to use flat paint and not gloss, as it will provide more reflection.
- Panda plastic. This is plastic sheeting that is black on one side and light on the others. It can be especially beneficial because the walls, floor, and ceiling can be covered with the white side showing, while windows and door areas can be covered with the black side showing, so no light gets in during the plants’ night cycle. Panda Plastic is one of the best materials out there, but it’s also fairly expensive and can still create hot spots. Also remember that it’s plastic, so if it gets too close to hot lights, it can actually melt and pose a hazard.
- Orca Grow film. This is white plastic microfiber film that’s used the same way as Panda plastic, but it’s even more expensive. It’s also mold-resistant, easy to clean, tear-resistant, and doesn’t create hot spots, even when there are creases left after installation.
- Mylar looks and acts like aluminum foil, although it’s not easy to clean and might need to be replaced after a few crops. The biggest benefit to growers is that Mylar is very inexpensive.
- Kool Seal White Elastomeric Roof Coating. Applied the same way paint it, this is usually a
coating left for roofs. This material is extremely reflective and sticks to nearly any surface. It will keep heat inside the room, and even absorb some of the smell and sound. However, it’s extremely expensive.
When using a reflective medium, it’s important to use something that’s specifically made for reflectivity. While it might seem natural that things like mirrors and aluminum foil would work, they can bring bigger problems with them including creating hot spots and even burning the leaves of the plants, and not providing the amount of reflectivity needed.