You could say it's similar to a beauty dish except that instead of being pointed at the subject I'll be using the lighting dish as studio lighting and aiming into a silver or see-through umbrella. Without a diffuser I can't use the dish as a beauty dish but it should be sufficient enough for lighting.
I don't have enough space for a studio but as I work mainly with Macro and not portraiture I'm not bothered with expensive lighting. I'm also reading a book Light Science and Magic that has so far been very useful. It's a guideline on how to effectively use lighting, what lighting is best for certain surfaces etc.
What I like about the author(s) is that they don't claim to know everything or that the book is the only one you will ever need. The approach is that you are learning, the book is a guideline and you walk away with some if not more knowledge than you did before.
UPDATE: finished making the light, just busy looking for the right bulbs but so far, very happy with the result :-D.