A grow box is a special “house” for plants. Craftsman growers make it in an old system unit, aquarium, box, and even a closet. The most convenient, of course, is a factory grow-box – a “tent” for plants, where all the necessary little things are provided – doors, ventilation sleeves, openings for wires, pipes on which you can fix suspended structures. Typically, a grow box consists of a frame (metal tubing), an external grow tent (air and watertight) and an internal reflective cover. Choose 4×4 grow tent too.
But what if the inner lining has become unusable, or the only outdoor grow tent has been purchased, or the grower decided to make a box with his own hands? This is where reflective films come into play.
How to cover the inside of the growbox?
The inner surface of the box must be reflective. The easiest and most affordable option is to simply paint it white with a matte paint that does not glare and evenly distributes the light. It is important that the paint is non-toxic: the box will heat up from light and hazardous substances may be released.
The option is a little more complicated – to paste over the box with food foil: matte side outward, glossy side inward. If the surface of the foil is glossy, the light can burn the plants. The foil is very easy to wrinkle and tear, so this method is only suitable for the neat and patient.
Another option is penofol. This is the “foam” covered with aluminum foil:
- simply attached with a stapler or aluminum tape (do not use solvent-based glue, it corrodes foam);
- resistant to deformation;
- sold in any building supermarket.
Disadvantage: Penofol is a heater, and the temperature inside the grow box will rise; good ventilation is needed.
Finally, there is reflective film for grow boxes. Its advantages:
- durable material;
- specially designed for grow boxes, does not cause excessive temperature rise;
- made of “food” material, safe for humans, animals and plants;
- maximum light reflection;
- protection against gas poisoning;
- the diffusing surface texture distributes light evenly.
Growbox Interior Comparison Chart
|Light reflection,%||70-85||95||50 and more||97-99|
|pros||Price, availability, indoor use, ease of use||Durability, reflects 95%, additional sound insulation, price.||Availability, price.||Ease of installation, strength, durability, safety, neutral temperature conditions, uniform reflection, a wide range of films with taken into account characteristics.|
|Minuses||Wait until completely dry, not certified for use with food, moisture will shorten life, small% light reflection.||Increase in temperature in the grow box, difficulty in installation, the need to take into account the power of the lamp and monitor possible burns to plants.||Reflects light worse than paint: low% and uneven reflection; complex installation, fragility.||Price, the need to take into account the power of the lamp and watch out for possible burns of plants.|
Reflective grow room films: get the most out of every lumen
Reflective material is chosen by the grower himself, based on the pros and cons of each coating known to him. Jorge Cervantes, author of the famous Grower’s Bible, lists matte white paint, penofol, and a special highly reflective grower (Mylar). He believes that the more reflected light in the grow box, the more it will get to the plants: the efficiency of the lamps can increase by 20%!
William Texier, author of Hydroponics for All, writes that growers need to “get the most out of every lumen,” and cautions growers against uneven foil that can magnify the glass and burn the leaves. From this point of view, matte white paint is much safer than “silver” coatings.
But the film will help to “squeeze the maximum out of each lumen”. Growpro has a store for grower, Mylar, who praises Jorge Cervantes: for example, Heavy Duty Mylar Foil 1.25mx 1m Reflective Film and Heavy Duty Diamond Mylar Foil 1.25mx 1m. They differ in surface texture: Heavy Duty Diamond Mylar Foil has a diamond surface, while Heavy Duty Mylar Foil has a glossy surface. The “diamond” surface is designed for maximum reflection and diffusion of light, while the glossy surface is designed in such a way that the likelihood of a “lens effect” is minimized. Both Mylar films are specially designed for growing, certified and safe for use with food, do not create an increase in temperature in the box (as, for example, construction foam).
Another “diamond” – reflective film Diamond Lightite Foil 1.25mx 1m :
- the densest
- impervious to the thermal imager,
- prevents thermal conductivity due to Lightite thermal layer,
- protects against gas poisoning,
- Lightite layer – plus strength and anti-corrosion resistance,
- the structure of Diamond resembles pyramids, promotes maximum light reflection (98%) and diffusion, prevents glare,
- safe for people, animals, and plants.