Grow Light Reflectors for HPS/MH: Types, Top 6 and Guide to Choosing the Best One

A grow light reflector is a device used in indoor gardening to optimize light distribution from grow lights. It redirects and focuses light onto plants, improving lighting efficiency and promoting healthy growth. This leads to sturdy plant growth, improved nutrient uptake, and enhanced flower or fruit production.

Grow light reflectors have 5 designs: wing reflectors, umbrella reflectors, air-cooled tube reflectors, air-cooled hood reflectors, and air-cooled tube hood reflectors.

When selecting a grow light reflector, several factors need consideration. These include the specific lighting requirements of your plants, the size and layout of your grow space, and the type of lighting system you use.

Also, the reflectivity of surfaces in your indoor grow room is crucial in optimizing lighting conditions. It is ideal for walls, ceilings, and other surfaces to have high reflectivity to prevent light loss and maximize its utilization.

Our top choices include iPower Hydroponic wing reflectors, SunSystem grow light reflector hoods, and iPower air-cooled hoods. 

However, no matter how high-quality grow light reflectors are, they may lose their reflective properties. This is due to dust accumulation, wear and tear, or oxidation, so inspecting and cleaning them regularly to help maintain their performance is necessary.

What Is a Grow Light Reflector?

What Is a Grow Light Reflector?

A grow light reflector is a device that optimizes the distribution of light emitted by grow lights. It’s designed to reflect and focus light onto plants, improving light absorption and promoting healthy growth.

The reflector captures and reflects light that would otherwise be wasted or dispersed. This helps to prevent light loss and ensures that plants receive an adequate and evenly distributed amount of light.

The reflective surface of the reflector is strategically designed to maximize the redirection of light toward the plants. The reflector’s shape, texture, and angle all play a role in determining how the light is reflected. This helps to create a more uniform light intensity across the canopy of plants, which is essential for consistent growth and photosynthesis.

The reflectivity of a grow light reflector is often measured as a percentage, indicating how much light is reflected compared to the amount of light that hits the surface. 

Reflectivity measures like total reflection (TR%) or specular reflection (SR%) indicate how much light the reflector can redirect back toward the plants. A reflector with higher reflectivity percentages, such as 90% or above, is considered more efficient in minimizing light loss, while light intensity is typically measured in units like lumens or lux.

Why Use Reflectors At All?

Reflectors are used with High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) grow lights to enhance light distribution and intensity in indoor gardening.

A grow light reflector redirects and focuses light onto plants, increasing coverage area and ensuring more plants receive adequate light.

Reflectors can significantly boost light intensity by reflecting and concentrating the emitted light onto the plants. This is particularly important for HPS and MH grow lights, which produce high-intensity light but may have a wide dispersion angle. Reflectors help to channel the light in a more targeted manner, increasing the intensity of light reaching the plants.

Without reflectors, a significant portion of the emitted light may be lost as it disperses or gets absorbed by the surroundings. Reflectors prevent this light loss by bouncing the light back toward the plants, ensuring that a larger percentage of the emitted light is utilized effectively.

Light reflectors contribute to even light distribution, promoting uniform growth and development. Using reflectors with HPS and MH grow lights improves lighting conditions for healthier and more productive plants. 

What Types of Grow Light Reflectors Are There?

The types of grow light reflectors are defined based on several criteria, such as shape, size, and design. 

About shape

Square reflectors provide balanced and even light distribution, making them suitable for general lighting in small and large growing areas.

Parabolic reflectors have a curved shape that focuses and directs light efficiently, making them ideal for commercial growing operations.

Rectangular reflectors offer better coverage for longer grow areas and are ideal for rectangular or aisle-style setups.

About size

What types of grow light reflectors are there?

Large reflectors are designed for wide coverage in bigger grow spaces, commonly used in commercial or industrial-scale indoor gardens. Compact reflectors are smaller and provide a focused light beam, ideal for smaller grow spaces or home gardening setups.

Among these classifications, one type stands out for its effectiveness in heat management and overall performance: the air-cooled hood reflector.

We will explore why this type works best and is popular in indoor gardening setups. But before that, let’s explore the 5 common types of reflectors.

1. Wing Reflectors

Wing reflectors have a wing-like shape specifically designed to provide wide and even light distribution. They efficiently spread light over a large area, making them suitable for larger indoor gardening setups. Their versatility can be used in various types of grow spaces.

One of the key advantages of wing reflectors is their ability to provide uniform illumination throughout the entire grow space, ensuring that all plants receive adequate light.

However, it’s important to note that wing reflectors may require more vertical space due to their larger size, and if not positioned correctly, they can potentially cause hotspots where light intensity becomes too concentrated.

2. Umbrella Reflectors

Umbrella reflectors resemble a traditional umbrella and are commonly used with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or small LED panels. These reflectors are easy to use and offer focused illumination for specific areas or young plants. They are often adjustable, allowing growers to direct light precisely where needed.

Umbrella reflectors are ideal for small-scale indoor gardens, seedling propagation, or providing supplemental lighting to targeted areas within a larger grow space. However, it’s important to consider that umbrella reflectors have a limited coverage area compared to other reflector types and may not be suitable for larger grow spaces or high-intensity lighting requirements.

3. Air-Cooled Tube Reflectors

Air-cooled tube reflectors consist of a reflective tube or cylinder with an opening at one end and a glass cover to protect the bulb. These reflectors offer effective heat management through integrated ventilation systems. The ventilation allows air to flow through the reflector, helping to maintain lower temperatures in the grow space and preventing heat buildup that could damage plants.

Closed air-cooled reflectors feature a glass sheet at the bottom where cool air blows through one side, exiting the room. They are particularly useful in environments with temperature control challenges like hot climates or confined indoor spaces.

However, setting up air-cooled tube reflectors requires additional equipment for proper ventilation, and they may have a more limited light distribution compared to other reflector styles.

4. Air-Cooled Hood Reflectors

Air-cooled hood reflectors feature a larger, enclosed hood design with better cooling capabilities and heat dissipation. The hood helps direct light downwards while minimizing light leakage, improving light direction, and reducing wasted energy. These reflectors also include an integrated ventilation system that effectively dissipates heat, making them suitable for larger grow spaces or setups that require higher-intensity lighting.

While air-cooled hood reflectors offer advantages such as better light control and heat management, they require more vertical space due to their larger hood size and may be more expensive than other reflector types.

5. Air-Cooled Tube Hood Reflectors

Air-cooled tube hood reflectors combine the features of air-cooled tube reflectors and air-cooled hood reflectors. They consist of a reflective tube with an attached hood, offering a balanced combination of focused light distribution and effective heat dissipation. These reflectors are ideal for medium to large indoor gardening setups where both efficient light distribution and proper cooling are essential.

Air-cooled tube hood reflectors provide a versatile option for growers who need to compromise between coverage and heat management. However, it’s important to note that they may come with higher costs than other reflector styles, and setting up proper ventilation is crucial for optimal performance.

6 Best Grow Light Reflectors for HPS/MH Grow Light

1. iPower Hydroponic Gull Wing Reflector – Best overall

StyleWing reflector
Light Source TypeHPS
Voltage /
Product Dimensions21″L x 17″W x 6″H
Unique Characteristics Increases yields by 75%.

The iPower reflector expands the lighting area and promotes plant vitality, health, and yield. The 95% reflective German aluminum enables the reflectivity.  

One of the standout features of this reflector is how easy it is to set up, as it comes with the necessary tools. The reflector includes a built-in 10-foot heavy-duty lamp cord, complete with an E39 Ceramic Mogul Socket and standard Hydroponic S-Plug.

Not only does the iPower Basic Gull Wing Reflector make setup easy, but it also helps you maximize your growing area and harvest. It can increase the growing area under each lamp by up to 75% compared to when not using the reflector at all. Similarly,  it can increase the yield per lamp by up to 50%.

The reflector supports up to 1000W HPS/MH grow light systems, making it suitable for various setups such as home gardens or hydroponic systems. Its compact size, lightweight, and compatibility with various wattage bulbs (250W, 400W, 600W, and 1000W) make it versatile.

This reflector is ideal for creating optimal lighting conditions for your plants, particularly when plants like lettuce do not require cooling. 

We rated the iPower hydroponic grow light reflector at 4.5/5 stars because its design enables it to increase the growing area under each lamp.

iPower hydroponic grow light reflector Pros: Suitable for home gardens and hydroponic systems for greenhouses.

iPower hydroponic grow light reflector Cons: It does not offer specific color spectrum customization.

2. Sun System Grow Lights – Best double-ended reflector

StyleRectangular, double-ended reflector
Light Source TypeHPS
Voltage 120V
Product dimensions18.1″L x 9″W x 6.5″H
Unique Characteristics Vented housing

The Sun System reflective hood is an excellent choice for any gardener, delivering exceptional performance and versatility.

The Sun System compact fixture includes a high-intensity 150-watt high-pressure sodium bulb that produces 16,000 lumens.

The highly reflective 95%  aluminum insert in the SunSystem reflector enhances light distribution and optimizes growth without creating hotspots.

Additionally, the vented housing design of the light fixture helps dissipate heat effectively, preventing excessive heat buildup and potential plant damage.

We rated it at 4.5/5 stars because of its user-friendly design and efficient heat dissipation. 

Sun System grow light reflector hood Pros: Vented housing design helps dissipate heat effectively.

Sun System grow light reflector hood Cons: The fixture may consume more electricity than lower-intensity options.

3. iPower Air Cooled Tube Hood – Best versatile air cooled tube hood

MaterialAluminum, Ceramic
StyleCooled Tube Reflector
Light Source TypeHPS
Voltage /
Product dimensions29.5 x 25 x 6.5 inches
Unique characteristics Versatility

With a maximum wattage of 1500W and a Ceramic Mogul E39 socket, the iPower air-cooled reflector hood can handle high-powered grow lights while providing a secure connection.

One of the standout features of this HID grow lights reflector hood is its internal and external wing design, which enhances light distribution and coverage. This ensures that plants receive consistent and uniform lighting throughout the growing area, promoting healthy growth.

The reflector hood also comes with a built-in 15″ heavy-duty cord, offering convenience and flexibility during setup. The cord length allows for easy placement without additional extension cords.

Equipped with a 1500W High Temperature Ceramic Socket, this reflector hood ensures safe and efficient operation while contributing to its overall durability.

Including a standard hydroponics S-plug, along with support for a fan, filter, and duct, adds versatility to the reflector hood. The inline design of the reflector hood is notable as it helps to keep temperatures low, preventing heat buildup that could potentially harm plants. 

We rated it 4/5 stars due to its effective light distribution and temperature control features. 

iPower air-cooled tube hood Pros: Internal and external wing design enhances light distribution and coverage.

iPower air-cooled tube hood Cons: effectiveness is limited to smaller growing areas.

4. SunStream Air Cooled Hood Reflector – Best dimmable unit

Material‎Aluminum, Metal
Light Source TypeHPS
Voltage 120V
Product Dimensions27.7 x 18.5 x 9.3 inches
Unique Characteristics Dimmable

The Sun Stream reflector boosts plant growth by operating on a 120/240V, 50/60Hz power supply. The Sun Stream reflector is unique compared to other products, as it features dimmable settings and LED indicators for customizable light control.

Including a 600W Super HPS Bulb (2100K) and a 600W MH Bulb (6000K) in the package is a significant advantage. These bulbs provide different spectra and great coverage for different growth periods of plants, such as vegetative and flowering stages.

The highly reflective aluminum construction of the Air Cooled hood reflector maximizes all the light onto the plants, enhancing light penetration and distribution over the growing area. 

Including a 24 Hours Mechanical Timer with the product is a convenient addition, helping users set the light schedule according to their plants’ requirements. 

Even though the price is a bit higher than the competitor products, we rated the light reflector hood at 4/5 stars due to its great lighting reflectivity and wide spread of light.  

SunStream air-cooled Pros: The timer feature allows for easy scheduling of light cycles

SunStream air-cooled Cons: Replacement bulbs for this particular reflector may be specific or harder to find

5. Hydro Crunch Parabolic Vertical Grow Light Reflector Hood – Best vertical reflector

StyleParabolic vertical reflector
Light Source TypeHPS
Voltage /
Product dimensions42 x 42 x 10 inches
Unique Characteristics Compatibility with different wattages

The Hydro Crunch 42-inch Vertical Parabolic Open Hood has a pre-installed E39 Mogul bulb socket and is compatible with 250W/400W/600W/1000W MH & HPS bulbs. The unit also has a 15-ft. heavy-duty S-type wire plug for convenient connectivity and durability.

This reflector is constructed with a white finish reflective aluminum metal. The size of the reflector, with a diameter of 42 inches, provides ample coverage for approximately 9 square feet of indoor gardens. 

We rated it at 4.5/5 because of the straightforward, hassle-free installation process and compatibility with different light wattages. 

HydroCrunch Pros: The reflector is designed to accommodate a range of bulb wattages (250W, 400W, 600W, and 1000W MH and HPS bulbs)

HydroCrunch Cons: The 15-ft  wire plug may need to provide more length for growers with larger grow spaces. 

6. Digital Greenhouse Dimmable CMH Fixture – Best professional-grade construction

StyleSquare reflector
Light Source TypeMH
Voltage 120V
Product Dimensions‎20 x 14 x 12 inches
Unique Characteristics Dimmable

The Digital Greenhouse Dimmable Reflector is a high-performance CMH lighting system for indoor gardening.

The Digital Greenhouse Reflector has an ultra-reflective integrated hood and dimmable technology. It is optimized for use with PGZ18 315-watt CMH bulbs, providing optimal spectrum and intensity for plants.

The reflector is ETL-listed, giving users peace of mind that it has undergone rigorous testing for safety and reliability. 

One of the main benefits of this reflector is its dimmable technology. With four different lamp output settings, ranging from 50% to 110% turbo output, users have full control over the lighting intensity in creating a light footprint that is evenly distributed.

However, the only disadvantage the Digital Greenhouse reflector has is the higher price. The reflector is not affordable for budget growers.

We rated this reflector at 5/5 stars because it provides excellent light distribution and intensity, resulting in robust plant growth and high yields.

Digital Greenhouse Pros: users can customize the lighting to meet the specific needs of their plants.

Digital Greenhouse Cons: This initial investment may be a disadvantage for those on a tight budget

How Do You Choose the Best Grow Light Reflector?

The factors to consider for the best grow light reflector are wattage, reflector material, coverage area, compatibility with bulbs and ballast, single-ended/double-ended reflectors, and cords and sockets.

Wattage: Wattage refers to the power consumed by the lighting device and directly affects the intensity and coverage of light emitted.

The best wattage for a reflector depends on factors such as the size of the growing area, plant type, and growth stage. Low-light plants may thrive with 100-300 watts, while medium-light plants benefit from 400-600 watts. High-light plants, like cannabis, often require intense lighting, ranging from 600-1000+ watts.

Reflector material: Reflector material refers to the substance of the reflective material or coating used on the inside surface of the reflector to enhance light reflection.

Common reflective materials include aluminum, silver, and various reflective coatings such as mylar, painted white panels, titanium dioxide, and glass enamel coating.

The reflective material significantly affects how efficiently light is redirected towards the plants. The lower-tier material used in light reflectors is oxidized aluminum, with a refractive index of approximately 70%. Anodized aluminum, falling in the middle range, has a refractive index of around 85%. The highest-tier material is Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) aluminum, which can elevate the refractive index to over 95%, providing superior reflectivity.

Coverage area: When choosing the best grow light reflector, it’s crucial to consider the coverage area it can effectively illuminate.

The best coverage area depends on various factors, including the size of the grow space, the specific light requirements of the plants being cultivated, and the intensity distribution properties of the reflector.

Choosing a reflector that evenly distributes light across the entire coverage area is important to avoid uneven growth and potential light deficiencies.

Compatibility with bulbs and ballast: The reflector should be designed to work seamlessly with the specific type of bulbs and ballast you intend to use in your indoor garden setup.

Firstly, it is essential to ensure that the HID grow lights reflector is compatible with the bulb type you plan to use, whether it’s High-Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH), or LED bulbs.

There are two main types of ballasts: magnetic and digital/electronic. Magnetic ballasts are traditional, while digital/electronic ballasts are more energy-efficient and offer better control over light output.

Single-ended and double-ended reflectors: Single-ended reflectors are designed for single-ended HID lamps like metal halide or high-pressure sodium bulbs. They are commonly used in hydroponic or indoor gardens, offering a cost-effective, easy-to-setup option.

Double-ended reflectors, on the other hand, work with double-ended HID lamps and provide a more efficient and powerful lighting solution. They have superior light output, longer lifespan, and improved spectrum stability, making them ideal for larger grow spaces or commercial operations.

Grow light reflector cords and sockets: When setting up a grow light reflector, it’s important to consider the cords and sockets. The cord length should be sufficient to reach the desired location without additional extension cords. 

The socket type should match the bulb used, such as E26 or E39 for HID bulbs, while LED grow lights may use different socket types, like E27 or GU10. High-quality sockets made from heat-resistant materials, preferably ceramic, ensure durability and safety. Proper wiring inside the socket is essential for a secure connection.

6 factors to choose the best grow light reflector

Light Reflectivity in the Indoor Grow Room

Light reflectivity plays a crucial role in indoor farming as it can significantly impact the amount of light plants can absorb.

Light reflectors are essential in indoor farming to optimize light distribution, increase energy efficiency, and boost crop productivity. They help maximize light utilization and minimize energy consumption, improving economic efficiency.

Reflective materials, such as mirrors and specialized coatings, help transmit and diffuse sunlight, ensuring plants receive sufficient light for growth. By implementing effective reflectors, indoor farmers can minimize energy costs, improve economic efficiency, and enhance overall crop quality and yield.

What reduces reflectivity?

Factors that reduce the effect of reflectivity include absorption, surface finish, angle of incidence, and surface color

Some materials have a higher tendency to absorb light rather than reflect it. For example, dark surfaces with a rough texture tend to absorb more light, reducing reflectivity. Materials like concrete or unpainted wood may reflect less than smooth, light-colored surfaces.

Smooth and polished surfaces tend to have higher reflectivity, allowing light to bounce off more easily. On the other hand, surfaces with a matte or textured finish scatter light in different directions, reducing reflectivity.

The angle at which light strikes a surface affects its reflectivity. When light hits a surface at a steep angle, it tends to be absorbed or refracted rather than reflected, reducing the overall reflectivity. Additionally, light-colored surfaces, such as white or silver, tend to have higher reflectivity than darker colors, which absorb more light.

What are reflectivity options for your cannabis grow room?

With numerous options available to enhance light reflectivity within grow spaces, focusing on the most effective grow light reflectors is essential.

These 6 offer light reflectivity levels above 85%, ensuring cannabis plants receive optimal light exposure for healthier and more productive growth. 

What are reflectivity options for your cannabis grow room?

Grow tent walls

Grow tent walls are the inner walls of a grow tent constructed with reflective materials such as Mylar or PVC. These reflective materials have a smooth surface that helps bounce and distribute light evenly throughout the grow space, ensuring that the plants receive maximum light exposure for optimal growth.

Grow tent walls can have reflectivity levels above 85%.

Some pros of grow tent walls include being a ready-made solution, easy installation, and good light distribution. However, a potential downside is their limited room size and configuration flexibility.

Flat white latex paint

Flat white latex paint has a matte finish that scatters light in multiple directions. When applied to the walls of a grow room, the matte finish of flat white latex paint helps diffuse and reflect light effectively, ensuring uniform light coverage for the plants.

It can have reflectivity levels above 85%.

Some pros of flat white latex paint include being cost-effective, easy to apply, and effectively scattering light. However, it may require multiple coats for optimal reflectivity and occasional touch-ups.

Panda Plastic

Panda Plastic is a poly film designed specifically for indoor horticulture. It is black on one side and white on the other. The white side of Panda Plastic reflects light, while the black side prevents light leaks, creating an environment with high reflectivity. It is easy to install and provides a highly reflective surface for the plants.

Panda Plastic can have reflectivity levels above 90%.

Some pros of Panda Plastic include being reflective on one side, lightproof on the other, and easy to install. However, it may be less durable than other options and prone to punctures.

Orca Grow Film

Orca Grow Film is a high-quality microfiber surface specifically designed for maximum light reflection and diffusion. The unique pattern on the Orca Grow Film enhances reflectivity by reducing hotspots and increasing light uniformity. This ensures the plants receive consistent and evenly distributed light, promoting healthy growth.

Orca Grow Film can have reflectivity levels of 94%.

Some pros of Orca Grow Film include high reflectivity, effective light diffusion, and tear resistance. However, it may have a relatively higher cost and require professional installation.

Kool Seal White Elastomeric Roof Coating

Kool Seal White Elastomeric Roof Coating is an acrylic coating originally designed for roofing applications. When applied to the walls of a grow room, this water-based coating forms a highly reflective surface. It helps bounce and redirect light, increasing the overall reflectivity and improving light distribution across the plants.

Kool Seal White Elastomeric Roof Coating can have reflectivity levels above 85%.

Some pros of Kool Seal White Elastomeric Roof Coating include excellent reflectivity, versatile application, and suitability for various surfaces. However, it requires surface preparation and has a longer drying time than other options.


Mylar is a polyester film coated with a reflective metallic layer. It is highly efficient at reflecting light due to its reflective metallic coating. Mylar is commonly used in indoor gardening setups as sheets or rolls that can be easily installed. The reflective nature of Mylar helps maximize light utilization by redirecting and focusing it on the plants.

Mylar can have reflectivity levels of 97%.

Some pros of Mylar include high reflectivity, cost-effectiveness, and wide availability. However, it can be prone to creasing and tearing, requiring careful handling during installation.

What is the best way to measure the amount of light indoor plants receive?

The best way to accurately measure the amount of light indoor plants receive is by using a lux meter. Lux meters provide precise quantifications of light intensity in lux units.

Most indoor plants require a light intensity between 2000 and 5000 lux for optimal growth. However, this can vary depending on the specific plant species and their light requirements.

By monitoring and maintaining the appropriate lux levels, you can ensure that your indoor plants receive the optimal amount of light for photosynthesis and healthy growth.

Why do you need to replace your grow light reflector?

You must replace your grow light reflector to maintain optimal light distribution and efficiency in indoor gardening.

Over time, reflectors can accumulate dust and wear out, diminishing their ability to redirect light effectively. By replacing reflectors, you ensure consistent light coverage, minimize hotspots, and maximize light penetration throughout the plant canopy, resulting in healthier plants and improved yields.

Additionally, advancements in reflector technology offer better performance and increased productivity. 

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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

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