I've been doing some hard research while wasting time on the net at work and my findings are as follows...
1. Reflectors are very cheap.
2. The difference between a white and a reflective surface is commonly cited as 85% vs 95% effiency.
3. Like Jsoong mentions parabolic (kinda curved triangular) are the best type. With listed boostings from 200 to 300% on the top brands. But we must assume this is from a base of a non reflector fitted bulb.
Looking again at the white reflectors mounted in my, supplied with tank, ballast they have a "quarter moon" shape. Due to the way the two T5HO tube ballast is mounted.
had some corallife brand "quarter circle" reflectors of a similar type in mirrored which were spares from their stock tanks. Which would have fitted. But they also showed me the Arcadia T5 reflectors which would happily clip onto the blubs to provide a full parabolic surround, so I put an order in for them.
So i'm now a happy bunny.
Not only will I be able to boost my overall effiency of the use of the light from changing the surface of the reflectors from 85% to 95%. I get the added boost of completely surrounding the T5HO's in the reflectors.
Obviously the wpg
is a exceedingly loose calculation with and incredible amount of variables to make it a catch all equation for the light your making for your plants to flourish. But now i am hoping my two 24W High output T5 bulbs over a 46g tank will be comparable to a 2 wpg
setup. Without the high energy bills and heat.