Ultra Grow Air Cool Tube reflector 6"/8"
The Cool-Tube is the professional way to keep temperatures suitable for plant growing within the grow area. The cool-tube is made from a tempered glass cylinder and aluminum reflectors. The Cool-Tube must be mounted to a vent or exhaust fan, by doing so, the Cool-Tube acts as an intake, thus eliminating the heat by moving the heat created by the lamp directly out of the growing area. By removing the heat directly from the light, we can use smaller grow areas, keep suitable temperatures and keep the bulb closer to the plants, letting them absorb light more efficiently.
A 6-inch air cooled cylinder with a 24-inch white batwing reflector.
Firstly, you need to know three important things about grow lights and plants:
1) HID grow lights create a lot of heat as well as light.
2) Plants rely on light energy in order to grow and bloom-a process known as photosynthesis. BUT ... and this is such an important but ... this light must be supplied in an environment at the right temperature. If plants are subject to excessive heat they will "shut down" rendering all your lighting efforts largely redundant.
3) For every inch you position your grow light closer, your plants receive exponentially more incident energy from the lamp, but that inevitably brings more heat too!
As you can see, we have a potential conflict on our hands-on, to put it in a more positive way, a compromise to be sought. We want to give our plants as much light as possible - so the closer the better (3) but too close (2) and they stop developing due to excessive heat! (1) Remember, every inch counts when it comes to indoor horticultural lighting. If you halve the distance between your lamp and your plants, they receive around four times the light energy! This is nothing like growing under the Sun!
So how do we resolve this tricky conundrum? Enter stage left: air-cooled reflectors! They give growers some valuable leeway when it comes to safe distances between the canopy of your plants and the lamp. In short, you can get your grow lights closer, without raising temperatures beyond those ideal for photosynthesis and other key metabolic plant processes. The result is more dynamic growth and deeper light penetration into the main body of the plant.
How do Air-Cooled Reflectors work?
The primary job of an air-cooled reflector is the same as a regular (non-air-cooled) reflector: to focus the direction of light emitted from the lamp so that as much of it as possible hits your plants.
Air-cooled reflectors come in three main styles but they are all based on the same simple principle to use a continuous flow of air to keep the lamp and reflector cooler. Obviously, as the air passes over the hot HID lamp it heats up. This warm air is then ducted directly out of your indoor garden helping to keep temperatures cooler and your lights closer to your plants.
All air-cooled reflectors have two circular ports-one for receiving air and one for exiting air. Growers use an inline fan to blow cool air into the input port and ducting to whisk the warm air away and out of the grow room.
Air-Cooled Reflectors: Dos and Don'ts
- Use insulated ducting to vent the hot air away. This will dramatically increase the efficiency of your cooling. In the winter months many growers redirect exhausted heat into living areas of their homes, saving on overall household energy costs.
- Keep your ducting as straight as possible with minimal bends.
- Use the coolest air you can for the cooling! Duh! Using garden-temperature air will have little effect. Take an input from a cool room or a vent in a shady wall instead.
- Measure the temperature at the canopy of your plants using an infra-red thermometer. The ideal temperature for optimal photosynthesis for more plant species is around 75 to 79 °F (25 to 26 °C) in a non CO2 supplemented environment (slightly higher - around 82 °F / 28 °C) with CO2 enrichment up to 1350 PPM)
- Remember that bringing grow lights closer to your plant reduces its footprint (light spread) so be sure to measure light levels at the margins of your grow room to ensure they are adequate.
- Connect more than two lights in series. You are better off bringing in a wide 12" duct (aka "trunk") of cool air and using 'T' pieces and reducers to split off separate cool air inputs into each reflector.
- Forget that your indoor garden will become depleted of CO2 levels as your plants grow. You will still need to use A/C and supplement CO2 levels or ventilate your garden's air too.
We borrowed some of this informaiton from Just4growers. We would like to give our brother company a shout out as they are very informative