The best reflective tape often goes unnoticed even when it’s in plain sight. You might even think it’s just regular adhesive tape. However, the reflective tape does its best work in low-light situations, particularly at night. Its inherent characteristic to reflect light has made it a required outfit for large commercial vehicles like trucks and tractor-trailers.
Regardless of their immense size, minimal light at night can make them hard to see. The reflective tape helps to promote their visibility in low light situations. Thus, this helps to reduce the chances of an accident happening. Yet this very handy tool has a lot more uses to offer.
Away from the road, the reflective tape can also come in handy in your home. This product is a good way to highlight the edge of your own driveway. Indeed, it’ll make backing out of the driveway easier and lessens the chances you might hit a rail or fence.
You can also find uses for it at your work site. Warehouse floors are often adorned with reflective tape. Moreover, in a variety of colors. Each color has a specific meaning. This is done for added safety in the workplace. However, buying reflective tape isn’t as simple as choosing your regular adhesive tape.
You have to consider a few things to make sure you’re getting the best reflective tape to meet your specific needs. We highlight the top products in this category to give you a better idea of what you should get.
3M Scotchlite Reflective Tape
The top pick stands out among the rest for its user-friendliness and durability. The 3M Scotchlite Reflective Tape helps make it easier to see objects during the night or in any low light situation. This particular reflective tape also does well in outdoor applications.
So you can attach it to your car, trailer, bicycle or even your watercraft. Its adhesive is pressure-sensitive. Thus, it can stick to a variety of surfaces such as glass or metal. It can also adhere to wood or painted surfaces provided it’s smooth.
Aside from that, you can attach it to clothing. It’s a good way to make your child highly noticeable when walking home from school. Special occasions that require them to walk out in the streets such as Halloween is also a good time to stick this on their costume.
The added ability of the 3M Scotchlite Reflective Tape to conform and stick to curves and contours further boosts its value. The product measures 6 x 4 x 2 inches and weighs 0.8 ounces.
3M Scotchcal Reflective Striping Tape
The 3M Scotchcal Reflective Striping Tape offers the same usefulness as the standard size reflective tape. Indeed, it’s a good alternative to reflective tapes that are wider and more apt for work vehicles. Because of its size, you can even get creative with it when applying it to your personal vehicle or helmet. It provides the same amount of reflectiveness, yet it doesn’t look too garish.
You don’t have to worry about the adhesive on this reflective tape as it can stand up to cold weather. Likewise, you can wash your car the same way you would always do and it’ll hold up just fine. The color of the 3M Scotchcal Reflective Striping Tape is black. But the color it reflects is white. However, it’s also available in other colors like white (silver), yellow, red, orange, gold, and blue.
The product measures 0.6 x 6.1 x 7.2 inches and weighs 4.2 ounces. It’s made of retroreflective vinyl film.
ABN Trailer Conspicuity DOT-C2 Approved 2″ Inch X 10′ Foot Reflective Red/White
The ABN Trailer Conspicuity DOT-C2 Approved 2″ Inch X 10′ Foot Reflective Red/White is the practical choice when you want extra visibility. Each roll measures 2 inches by 10 feet so you’ll have more than enough to cover whatever you need it for.
The ABN Trailer Conspicuity DOT-C2 Approved tape features the colors red and white. These alternate repeatedly in a honeycomb reflective pattern. It’s tough to stand up to the elements so it’s ideal to use for exterior applications.
The product measures 3.8 x 3.8 x 2 inches and weighs 1.6 ounces. Despite its heavy-duty applications, you can easily use a pair of scissors to cut it and use it as you need it.
3M 3431 Yellow Reflective Tape
The 3M 3431 Yellow Reflective Tape will certainly keep you secure at night. This product is highly visible. Indeed, oncoming traffic will see it from as far as 70 feet away. Thus, that’s enough distance for them to slow down and avoid any untoward incident.
This reflective tape adheres to a variety of surfaces such as plastic, metal, and to a certain extent fabrics. While it might lift a bit on fabrics, it won’t fall off completely, so you can still rely on it to keep you safe. The superior quality of the 3M 3431 Yellow Reflective Tape makes it ideal for outdoor use. It doesn’t fade even in extreme heat. However, be warned that its strength could be a downside as it can be hard to peel off once it’s stuck. So you’d have to be certain where you stick as it will stay there for a long time.
The manufacturer assures a lifespan of five to seven years. It utilizes microprismatic technology that offers greater brightness compared to the beaded engineer grade. This product series from 3M is available in white, yellow, blue, green, and red.
JVCC REF-7 Engineering Grade Reflective Tape
The JVCC REF-7 Engineering Grade Reflective Tape can match the reflectiveness and adhesiveness of brand name tapes in the market. Yet it’s cheaper. So that’s quality and affordability you can certainly appreciate.
This reflective tape is designed to last for 7 years. So, you won’t have a problem using it outdoors. The JVCC REF-7 Engineering Grade Reflective Tape is thin. You can easily wrap this around your bike frame for added visibility. It’s flexible enough to go around the tubes.
However, for best results, the manufacturer advises a flat surface to apply this product to. Moreover, its adhesive takes about 24 hours to adhere completely. But after 15 minutes, adhesiveness is already at 75%. So, it won’t fall off.
The product comes in six colors. Take your pick from silver-white, yellow, red, orange, green, or blue. The color white offers the highest reflectivity rate. Although the color blue seems to catch the attention of drivers better. Perhaps because of its association with law enforcement colors. The product measures 4 x 4 x 0.9 inches and weighs 5.3 ounces.
What to Look for
You can get many uses out of reflective tape provided you buy the right one. Each application will benefit you greatly since it’s designed to keep you safe. To make certain you can take advantage of this we bring to light the features you should look for. These factors make up the best reflective tape.
- Type – Two types of reflective tape are sold in the market to date. Chances are you’re most familiar with the standard glass bead type. This is what you’d see on street signs, various types of vehicles like police cars, helicopters, and even bicycles. Its glass beads reflect light as it hits the tape at night. This type of reflective tape comes in three variants, economy, commercial, and engineer. For home use, you could consider using the economy grade. This can last up to three years when used outdoors. However, you can also opt for the heavier weights as these last longer outdoors for as long as five to seven years. A more expensive alternative is the enclosed lens microprismatic sheeting. This type uses the latest technology, as such it’s brighter than the regular reflective tape. Yet as expected, this is also more expensive.
- Color – For whatever purpose you intend to use the reflective tape, bear in mind that their colors signify a specific use. Thus, it’s best to understand what each color represents in order to get the best use out of it. The wide, yellow tape is often used on lanes for pedestrian traffic or forklifts. Marked areas intended for defective materials use the red reflective tape. Striped black and yellow serve as a warning for people to be cautious when entering a particular area. As expected, the uses of reflective tapes are mostly industrial in nature. However, for your personal usage, you can get white or fluorescent colored reflective tape. You can tape it to your clothes, backpack, or bicycle as a way to make you visible when it gets dark. By the way, if you plan to attach it to your bag, it’s a good idea to choose a contrasting color to help it stand out even better. This is best if you plan to use it for your child’s bag so that vehicles quickly see it even in winter or rainy weather.
The number of reflective tape products can be confusing if you’re unaware of what to look for. Indeed, you could end up buying a low-quality product but pay top dollar for it. To make sure you’re getting the best reflective tape, remember to keep in mind type and color. These factors will help guide you as you make your choice. In addition, here are the top products in this category that you might want to consider.