Question on 'penetration'
I'm having a hard time understanding the science behind "penetration". From what I can understand, a light particle (wave?) is emmited from one source and will travel in one direction at one speed until it is reflected or absorbed. If it is reflected, it slows down a tiny bit (still travels at light speed though? LOL)
My problem is that there seems to be sucha large dropoff in "penetration" which I take to be the amount of light particles or waves striking the leaf of a plant. So if I have 2 flourescent tubes 2 inches above a leaf structure lets say they get a light rating of 9 out of 10, but at 5 inches does it drop to 7 or does it drop to 3? or 1? What about at 10 inches?
And based on that info, if I created a four sided rectangle that I could put around the plants that extended all the way up to the light source, and painted the inside of that rectangle flat white, would I dramatically increase the amount of light getting down to the palnts? It seems to me that re-directing the available light to the plant is cheaper than adding more light to effectively, overpower the situation.
Can I have 95% of a 2 bulb flourescent get to a plant surface 10 inches away under such a setup? And if not? Can someone explain why? Doesn't a white surface reflect 95% of light? So if it is reflected and not absorbed by the walls of the rectangle, why wouldn't it continue bouncing down till it hits the leaves, dirt, container or table.
I am going to be building a small seed starting system and just want to optimize it for as little cost as I can. I am thinking of doing 2 four ft double shop lights with 6500K t8s. I'm going to be trying to grow salad greens after that in the setup.
Is my idea sound? Should I separate the 2 shop light systems and make 2 divided growing spaces, or surround both lights with the white walled reflective rectangel box thing.