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Old 02-25-2007, 10:20 AM #1
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Air cooled reflector testing with Digital footcandle meter

I seem to have aquired a number of different reflectors and am going to test them all. I am going to give an overall opinion on the aircooling and how sealed they are as well as the light footprint. I just bought this Sunleaves Sungauge footcandle meter.



I am trying to find the best hood for my new gropro dual 600w hps ballasts. I am using 3x6 tables so I will be looking for the best footprint over that area.


Ok Here are the reflectors I own and will be testing.

Sunleaves Arcticsun 6"


Sun Systems Super Sun 2




Sun Systems Cool Sun 6"



Sun Systems Cool Sun XL 8"



I have a few other older style reflectors I may test as well just for kicks.

I will be making a grid on the ground and be testing the footcandles every foot. So 16 points on a 3' by 3' grid. I will use the same hooks for each hood and the same bulb. I will warm the bulb up for a half hour before tests. I may or may not test different distances from the grid.

First impression is that the super sun 2 is going to be the best hood for 600s. The coolsuns are larger and I use them for 1000 watters. The arcticsun has a few things I don't like about it, but it is the cheapest at $99 locally. Reflector/cord not included. All of the sunsytems are $180 inluding socket/reflector.
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:45 AM #2
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Old 02-25-2007, 11:09 AM #3
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I should have known you would have been one of the first here. Another man who likes answers.
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:50 PM #4
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Arctic Sun

Ok, just tested out the arctic sun. Tested at 18, 21, and 24 inches from the ground. Measurements were taken from the glass to the ground.







Not sure if you can tell in the above picture, but each piece of tape is numbered. 1-16 starting from the top left going right. Corners are 1,4,13,16.

At 18 inches here are the readings. Read in footcandles

1. 950
2. 1550
3. 1600
4. 930
5. 2080
6. 4510
7. 4540
8. 2050
9. 1920
10. 4080
11. 4140
12. 1780
13. 1080
14. 1850
15. 1870
16. 1100
Average = 2250


At 21 inches.

1. 1080
2. 1560
3. 1600
4. 1020
5. 1860
6. 3610
7. 3700
8. 2030
9. 1810
10. 3310
11. 3410
12. 1940
13. 1170
14. 1880
15. 1960
16. 1280
Average = 2076


At 24 inches.

1. 1200
2. 1720
3. 1730
4. 1130
5. 1860
6. 3200
7. 3200
8. 1750
9. 1750
10. 2930
11. 2940
12. 1540
13. 1170
14. 1700
15. 1720
16. 1140
Average = 1918


So I don't have the other hood numbers to compare this hood to right now, but at first glance it looks like the light falls off pretty rapidly towards the corners. Intensity is about 4 times greater in the middle compared to the corners @ 18 inches.


The arcticsun has a gasket to help seal the hood. Unfortunately this doesn't work as well as it should. I can see this getting worse over time. Also, the hood has large leaks in other areas of the hood. The 6" cooling flanges have cracks where air can get in to the hood at the seams. The spectral aluminum is fairly basic design and does not cover the side walls of the hood. The socket cord comes out of the ducting which is not my favorite design.

Although this hood is better than a lot of hoods on the market, it falls short on build quality and design. Pretty good deal for the price. Sunleaves also gives a better margin to retailers.
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:07 PM #5
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yo Pico-
impressed by that light meter and the methodological rigor of your experiment-
would love to see the results for a cooltube

definatly tagged
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:13 PM #6
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The only cootube I have around currently it inside the omega garden. Are you talking about the kind that has the reflective aluminum outside the cooltube, or just a cooltube with no reflector? Cooltubes deffinately are nice because of the laminar air flow. Probably won't be buying any cooltubes to test anytime soon.
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:47 PM #7
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Here are some picture of the leaks in the arcticsun hood.




this is the gasket that doesn't fully seal.



And here are 2 shots inside the reflector. See how the reflective insert gets in the way of airflow?





here is the super sun 2. I feel like the airflow is going to be better in this one. The socket doesn't take up as much space, no cord inside the ducting, straight shot air cooling with less in the way.





The supersun 2 has some of the same problems with leaks. I feel like the build quality and design is better though. All leaks can be fixed with a little aluminum duct tape and/or silicon.





See how the cord comes out the top of the hood and is sealed. No having to mess with it in the duct area. I like this much better.


supersun2 top, arcticsun bottom


supersun2 right, arcticsun left
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:14 PM #8
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Super Sun 2 results

OK here are the results for the Sun Systems Super Sun 2. Same ballast, same bulb, same hooks, same tape marks.....blah blah blah.


At 18" from ground. Measured in footcandles.

1. 1220
2. 2170
3. 2160
4. 1120
5. 2320
6. 4960
7. 5050
8. 1680
9. 2250
10. 4900
11. 5000
12. 1810
13. 1250
14. 2190
15. 2240
16. 1210
Average = 2596

At 21 inches.

1. 1430
2. 2300
3. 2320
4. 1350
5. 2130
6. 3940
7. 3990
8. 1670
9. 2100
10. 3880
11. 3910
12. 1750
13. 1320
14. 2180
15. 2250
16. 1300
Average = 2364


At 24 inches.

1. 1480
2. 2250
3. 2260
4. 1340
5. 2050
6. 3370
7. 3370
8. 1570
9. 2030
10. 3330
11. 3360
12. 1680
13. 1370
14. 2150
15. 2160
16. 1290
Average = 2191


So as you can see, the Super Sun 2 reflects more light than the arcticsun. If you compare the averages at 18", the Super Sun 2 reflects 15% more light than the Arcticsun. At 21 and 24 inches it reflects about 14% more light.




The inside of the hood has a lot going on in the way of spectral aluminum. It isn't just 1 sheet like the arcticsun, it covers every surface and looks real clean. It also looks like the air will travel faster through this hood than the arcticsun.
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Aircooled Reflector Reviews
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Last edited by pico; 02-25-2007 at 03:49 PM..
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:48 PM #9
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I will get to the rest of the reflectors after I snooze for a bit. I will be returning the Arcticsun promptly as the small price savings isn't worth the lumen loss. I am curious to see the results of the Coolsun and Coolsun XL.
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:34 PM #10
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Nice thread pico, bookmarked
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