How many pounds of reflective glass beads do I need for my project?

How many pounds of glass beads do I need for my project?

So just how many reflective glass beads do you need for your project? The Department of Transportation recommends 5-6 pounds of reflective glass beads for every gallon of paint used. So 2 pounds of reflective glass beads for every quart, 1 pound of beads for every pint. Do not mix beads into paint they will not reflect because glass beads need light in order to reflect light back to the source. A gallon of thick latex/acrylic paint will cover about 80-100 square feet

Posted in Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to make a Ghost Reflective

Here’s a very short video on how to make a ghost reflective using Lightning Brand Reflective Paint from COLE SAFETY PRODUCTS. Go to to see customer pictures and ideas.

Posted in Posts, Reflective Glass Beads | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Reflective Safety Tapes Are Not The Same!

Different types of reflective safety tapes explained
Four different types of reflective safety tapes, Engineer grade, High Intensity Grade III, V92 Daybright and SOLAS Marine Grade Tapes

At Cole Safety Products, we carry four different types of reflective safety tapes.

Reflective safety tapes vary in brightness. There are several characteristics that should be considered when selecting which type of tape to use. This article will help you choose the right safety tape based on surface application, light dispersion and the distance the tape is visible.

Engineer Grade Type 1 Reflective Safety Tape utilizes high index glass beads to create retro-reflection. This flexible, versatile safety tape returns light at wider angles than prismatic tapes (much like a flood light.) Provides good visibility especially at shorter distances.  Very durable with an outdoor rating of 7 years.  Engineer grade only returns about 30% of the light source back to the source however, it is significantly less expensive and can easily be custom cut into letters, numbers, symbols, logo’s and more. Comes in eight colors and is great for traffic sign sheeting, commercial signs, addresses, mailboxes, boat and auto striping as well as graphics. Widths: ½, 1 and 2 inch widths.

 High Intensity Grade III Reflective Tape also uses high index glass beads but with a big twist. In this type of tape beads are condensed into honeycomb patterns which more than doubles the tapes brightness and efficiently. Returning more light back to the light source than the engineer grade tapes. Comes in six colors and is great for traffic control, posts, marine, coast guard and any vehicle including motorcycles. Extremely durable with an all-weather outdoor rating of 10 years.  Widths: 1 and 2 inch.

V92 Reflective Daybright Prismatic Safety Tape creates intense reflection using enclosed lens micro prisms. The unique day bright pattern makes this tape highly visible both day and night.  Known as the industry standard V92 tape is many times brighter than tapes that use glass beads. Because of the narrower range of retro- reflectivity, V92 tape is highly visible from thousands of feet away versus hundreds for standard reflective glass bead tapes (more like a spotlight than a flood light.) Returns around 80% of the light back to the source. Very durable and weather resistant with outdoor rating of 5 years.  Used to mark loading docks, bollards, poles, gates, barricades, traffic barrels, tractor-trailers, emergency vehicles, school buses. Comes in six colors and can be easily custom cut into shapes, letters and numbers. ½ inch, 1 and 2 inch.

SOLAS Prismatic Tape is the brightest tape around. This versatile marine grade tape is coast guard approved and is highly visible from more than 3,000 feet. This high performance tape comes in silver, is 8-mil thick, flexible, UV-stabilized and weather- resistant with a 10 year all weather rating. SOLAS (safety of life at sea) returns more than 80% of light back to its source. Meet U.S. Coast Guard Specification G-Sec-393A for use on Maritime Aids to Navigation. (M82-1545 FD1403 and FD1404 Type) Also comes in sew-on fabric tape. Greatly increases the visibility of life jackets, ring buoys, survival suits, boats, buoys, markers, rain suits, backpacks, jackets as well as trailers, traffic control devices, automobiles and motorcycles. Comes in ½ , 1, 2 and 4 inch widths. Can be custom cut into letters, numbers, shapes and more.

Reflectivity factors below are in candelas and are measured at a -4 degree entrance angle. The factors above are for white tapes and are approximate. The factors are for comparison only.  The color of the tapes effects reflectivity. *Candelas (/kænˈdɛlə/ or /kænˈdiːlə/; symbol: cd) is the base unit of luminous intensity in the International System of Units (SI); that is, luminous power per unit solid angle emitted by a point light source in a particular direction

Posted in Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why is my project not reflecting?

retro reflection explained in post.
My project is not reflecting? Cole Safety Products

 First thing, do not mix reflective glass beads into paint or cover them with a clear coat as this will negate or greatly reduce reflectivity. Reflective glass beads must be the first layer to receive light in order to reflect properly.

Secondly, let us talk about retro-reflectivity. Retro-Reflection happens when light enters the bead finds the edge and is returned directly back to the source of the light. Retro-reflection is directional. You only see the reflective glass beads reflect when your eyes are at the same level or in between the light source and the glass beads. Think of it like this: You see the signs reflecting on the interstate and roads because your eyes are at the same level as your headlights. If you were riding 15 feet above your cars headlights, you would not see the same reflectiveness. Factors that affect reflectivity (refractive index) are clarity, roundness and inclusions or air bubbles. In addition, the brightness of the light source obviously can affect how well the glass beads reflect. The size of the reflective glass bead mainly affects the angles that you can see reflectivity. One final note, do not push the beads down into the medium (paint, glue) just sprinkle on top and let the medium dry. If glass beads are pushed down too far into the medium, they will not reflect as well. Hope that helps! or

Posted in Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflective Artist New Web-Store

Our store has been revamped to better serve our customers! Look for Fast Free USA Shipping site-wide! New products, New look! We specialize in Reflective Glass Beads, Safety Tapes, Sew-on, Vest Trims, Reflective Paints, Custom Reflective Letters and non skid products.

ReflectiveArtist on ETSY

Reflective Fish Art,

Go to the new to get the latest in Reflective Art Supplies and Materials. Make your ART POP!!!

Posted in Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment