Making a Light Fusion Screen - Could it really be this easy? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-06-2009, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Buy a 54" x 25' roll of 2mil mylar for about $25. Tape a desired length of it to a wall with removable masking tape. Roll it with 1 coat of a transluscent paint mix. Re-tape all 4 sides later so the painted mylar lays flat again. Then mask the border with masking materials of your choosing.

It seems to me an ordinary indoor wall should work well. Even a block wall with mortar lines may work. And this is because the mylar is so easy to paint with a roller.

Could making a light fusion screen really be this easy? Opinions? Discussion?
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-06-2009, 12:25 PM
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I'm assuming you mean the mirror mylar, right? Sounds like it would work, though I expect we'll see some disagreement on formulas. Seems I recall a similar project ages ago on Lumenlab titled "high gain DIY screen", or something like that using mylar. Not sure if it was sprayed or rolled.
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-06-2009, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your comments, prof55.

I would rather the discussion in this thread be limited to the construction of a light fusion screen as described in the original post.

I did not intend to invite a discussion about possible or existing paint formulas. However, I do welcome any such discussion in my thread titled Rollable Light Fusion Paint Mixes?.

This substrate is a 54" x 25' roll of mylar sheeting, 2mil thick (.002"), commonly sold at hydroponics stores for $20 to $25. It's highly reflective, mirror-like. Here is a link to this product selling online for $20.

I haven't read much on LumenLab, but it's good to hear mylar has been successfully used. I am hoping this thread will provide more DIYers with an easy and inexpensive option for making a light fusion screen.
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-06-2009, 04:20 PM
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my question on mylar, is where do you find over 54" ? That's only 100" 4:3 or 110" 16:9.

I'm looking for 84" or 96" in 4mil without success.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-06-2009, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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This type of mylar reflects about 98% of light, and I don't recall finding it in a roll wider than 54".

But I had no idea they made thicker mylar (correction: poly) until I just searched for it. A 10' x 25' black and white 6 mil roll sells here for under $30 + shipping. I also read the white side of this poly reflects about 90% of light, and so it seems well suited for larger light fusion screens.

Thanks for inquiring.
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-06-2009, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

This type of mylar reflects about 98% of light, and I don't recall finding it in a roll wider than 54".

But I had no idea they made thicker mylar (correction: poly) until I just searched for it. A 10' x 25' black and white 6 mil roll sells here for under $30 + shipping. I also read the white side of this poly reflects about 90% of light, and so it seems well suited for larger light fusion screens.

Thanks for inquiring.

Here's a clarification.
  • Light Fusion specifically entails the use of a Mirror, or painted -frosted - laminated reflective materiel, that is under laying a "Gap" of transparent material...whose opposite surface is coated with any number of specific paint solutions. Some are highly metallic in nature, others less so. But all Light Fusion requires that light penetrate a surface, pass through a "gap", be collected by the reflective surface, and redirected back to the original entry surface where the attenuated light "Re-Fuses" with the light that is reflecting /existing on the initial surface.
  • "White" Fusion is the use of a deep bodied High Gloss Surface. Used primarily to help offset the loss of absorbed and overly attenuated light that passes into a reflective Gray coating. It must be considered as being a "First Surface" Light Fusion, and only IF the coating's properties and application allow for both the absorbing and the redirection of light...without creating adverse hot spotting
  • True First Surface Light Fusion involves the use of First Surface Reflectors (RSF) of Mirror grade, and with reflectivity quotients of 94-96 % Mylar reaches up to 98-99%. First Surface Acrylic Mirrors obtain 96-97% Coating must be exactingly thin, yes thick enough to repress the high reflectivity of the FSR.
  • The Silver or Aluminum content in a mirrored surface will...as it attenuates light....greatly enhance colors and deep blacks. If light is attenuated to a certain degree before such a FSR gathers that light, then the end result via further "reflective induced" attenuation is further "contrast oriented" light enhancement. If that enhancement infused light's own lumens are balanced with the collective size of the screen (as relates to the gap's volume as well) then a re-fusion of the collected / reflected / redirected light will give the "Surface'"reflection a boost, along the lines of every color existing in the image...but all of them having been attenuated to varying degrees...according to their wavelength and energy.
  • This 're-fusion's effect is greater as a collective whole than the otherwise reduced light level a surface would experience should the absorbed light be lost.
  • The real advantage / purpose of a "Ambient Light" oriented Light Fusion or FSLF is so when using a Dark Coating, enough of the brightest elements of an image are collected, retained and reflected back to supplement brighter colors and whites. Improved contrast/black levels are a added bonus.
  • Using a Dark to Medium Gray Semi-transparent cloth stretched over a Second Surface Mirror could / would be considered Light Fusion.
  • Over Mirrored finish Mylar or Mirrored Aluminum Coated Plastic, the denotation goes into "First Surface Light Fusion".
  • Cloth or Paint over a highly reflective White surface can be considered White Fusion....but actually that is just a re-handling of a long known use of a opaque reflective base coat or substrate under a less reflective semi- translucent surface. ***

***Go down that road and you can / should call it whatever you feel it should be.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-06-2009, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, MMan. I was hoping you wouldn't mind offering your words of wisdom. So, could making a light fusion screen really be this easy? Or, should we first agree on what to call it?
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-19-2011, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Here's a clarification.
[list][*]Light Fusion specifically entails the use of a Mirror, or painted -frosted - laminated reflective materiel, that is under laying a "Gap" of transparent material...whose opposite surface is coated with any number of specific paint solutions. Some are highly metallic in nature, others less so. But all Light Fusion requires that light penetrate a surface, pass through a "gap", be collected by the reflective surface, and redirected back to the original entry surface where the attenuated light "Re-Fuses" with the light that is reflecting /existing on the initial surface.


Is this similar to what the black diamond screen by SI does?

Edit: I realize this is from 09, it this still a relevant solution for dyi screens or are better methods and technologies available today?
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-20-2011, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber Ale View Post

Is this similar to what the black diamond screen by SI does?

Edit: I realize this is from 09, it this still a relevant solution for dyi screens or are better methods and technologies available today?

Much of the advantage inherent in Light Fusion has been achieved in recent developments in the Silver Fire applications. Also, the lack of availability of mirrors sized large enough to accommodate Screens over 98" diagonal has curtailed demand.

It was the larger sized screens that benefited most from the retention and re-utilization of absorbed light. However, abroad...where larger Acrylic Mirrors are still available, they continue to be used in cases where extremely dark versions of Silver Fire are used for intense ambient light situations.

This is also the case in the US as well, when 98" diagonal or under Screen sizes can be used, and extra effort is needed to combat ambient light. A thin coating of Dark (4.0-up) Silver Fire over a Mirror does offer optimal ambient light usage, and does so at a price point considerably....make the ridiculously under any of the Mfg Ambient Light specialty screens

Light Fusion has lost none of it's relevance, it's practical usage has just been curtailed by the non-availability of larger Mirrors

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post #10 of 21 Old 06-22-2011, 06:43 AM
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For moderate ambient light situations (no direct sunlight), would there be a significant benefit of using a mirror (Light Fusion) instead of Sintra for a 120" screen (both with SF 2.x)?

I'm assuming that I would have to buy the 1/8" mirror somewhere local as a custom cut. Correct?
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post #11 of 21 Old 06-22-2011, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joikd View Post

For moderate ambient light situations (no direct sunlight), would there be a significant benefit of using a mirror (Light Fusion) instead of Sintra for a 120" screen (both with SF 2.x)?

I'm assuming that I would have to buy the 1/8" mirror somewhere local as a custom cut. Correct?

If you could find a 10' x 5' er....yes.

But as I stated above, 1/8" Acrylic Mirrors larger that 8' x 4' are no longer available except by ordering 40 units at a time from the ONLY US mfg in existence that even makes 'em.

Every once in a Blue Moon I get word of some extra stock of 60" x 96" Mirrors left over from a big order, but as far as 120"ers? I haven't been able to purchase one of 'dose in over 3 years.

BTW, Light Fusion always offers benefits but these days the biggest gains come from needing a really Dark screen surface that still has gain and does not crush Colors and/or Whites. While Light Fusion is all that and more, Silver Fire on 120" x 60" Sintra is all 99% of the general A/V population would / will ever need.

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post #12 of 21 Old 06-22-2011, 12:27 PM
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there is one other manufacturer here in springfield illinois that makes & carries a dibond type of substrate with a 1st layer mirrored finish in 4' x 10'.
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post #13 of 21 Old 06-22-2011, 07:46 PM
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I was thinking of using a 1/8" bathroom type mirror (just much bigger). These are different from acrylic ones, right? If so, would it work just as well? I imagine it would be heavier, and harder to mount.

Light Fusion seems like it costs more (mirror vs Sintra), and is much more difficult to paint correctly. So, I may just go with Sintra. But, I'm one of those weirdos who likes the best, and it might bug me to not do the Light Fusion. And, it would help a lot with the ambient light situation, correct? The projector I'm leaning towards is the BenQ W1200.
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post #14 of 21 Old 06-24-2011, 08:41 PM
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Scratch the bathroom mirror idea. I read that a glass mirror weighs twice as much as an acrylic.
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post #15 of 21 Old 06-25-2011, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joikd View Post

Scratch the bathroom mirror idea. I read that a glass mirror weighs twice as much as an acrylic.

Yeah. Until a decent source for affordable Acrylic Mirrors was found, I disdained the use of Glass Mirrors. Primarily because I felt uncomfortable suggesting their use to lots of People who just might have a serious accident.

You can still accomplish Light Fusion using Clear 1/8" acrylic with either Mirrored Mylar backing or a painted Silver Metallic or Aluminum coating on the rear.

That's Old School, but basically speaking, Mirrors only allowed one to skip that step, and were best utilized with the lower lumen PJs of the day. Nowadays, one can go "Back to the Future" iffin' one wants'ta.

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post #16 of 21 Old 07-02-2011, 08:48 PM
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Thanks for the responses, MM. Well, I've been reading everything I can, and looking into mylar. One thing I am not positive on is if the mirror is supposed to provide a specular or diffuse reflection. If diffuse, how would this stuff work?
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post #17 of 21 Old 07-11-2011, 05:25 PM
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i just found out that 5'x10' - 1st surface mirrors are available in mid-state illinois!

i guess it's finally time to get serious about putting my own ht theater together... 1st surface, light fusion it is... now that i'm pretty sure i've got the water problom licked.
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post #18 of 21 Old 07-11-2011, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

i just found out that 5'x10' - 1st surface mirrors are available in mid-state Illinois!

i guess it's finally time to get serious about putting my own ht theater together... 1st surface, light fusion it is... now that I'm pretty sure I've got the water problem licked.




Goodness! And how much do those Puppies run?

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post #19 of 21 Old 07-11-2011, 06:24 PM
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Goodness! And how much do those Puppies run?

not sure yet. i'm going to assume less than $200.
that because the 4x8's are under $100.

a rigid expanded foam core sandwhiched in between 2 sheets of aluminium with a mirror finish.
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post #20 of 21 Old 07-12-2011, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

Goodness! And how much do those Puppies run?

not sure yet. i'm going to assume less than $200.
that because the 4x8's are under $100.

a rigid expanded foam core sandwiched in between 2 sheets of aluminum with a mirror finish.

Oh...a Laminate, not an Acrylic sheet.

$200.00 sounds like wishful thinking.

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post #21 of 21 Old 07-12-2011, 08:19 AM
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basically the same production process as dibond.
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