Visibility is an important facility safety consideration. In addition to vehicle conspicuity tape, reflective surface, wall, and floor tape varieties may be used in warehouses and industrial locations. This reflective tape is especially helpful to mark hazards, entry locations, and pathways in dim or dark areas. To determine which options are best for your facility, explore the benefits of reflective tape, discover common uses, and review the application requirements.

What Is Reflective Tape?

Reflective tape improves visibility in a variety of locations and lighting conditions in order to prevent accidents and injuries. It consists of a highly reflective, chemical-, UV-, and weather-resistant top layer, backed with a pressure-sensitive adhesive. Some reflective tapes carry warranties of up to ten years.

For more reflectivity, conspicuity tape featuring micro-prism reflective elements creates a mirror-like surface suitable for extra-brightness and long-distance visibility that reflects at all angles.

Types of Reflective Tape

Reflective safety tape is often placed on the backs and sides of trucks, trailers, and construction equipment or other vehicles, but reflecting tape isn’t just for the roadway: It’s also important to bring attention to warehouse machinery such as forklifts, pallet jacks, hoists, and service carts. While reflective tape has a long lifespan, the application will last the longest when using tape designed for the intended application conditions. Ensure you’ve selected outdoor-rated tape for outdoor use, such as at loading docks, on trailers, or to bring attention to traffic barriers.

We carry a variety of reflective tape options, including:

  • Glow-in-the-dark reflective tape
  • Retroreflective tape
  • Striped barricade tape
  • Vehicle conspicuity tape
  • Reflective barrel tape
  • DOT truck tape
  • Engineering-grade reflective tape
  • Striped or solid-color reflective tape

Reflective Versus Retroreflective

While similar in design and use, there are differences between reflective and retroreflective tape. Reflective tape acts more like a mirror: It bounces reflected light, scattering it in different directions depending on where the original light comes from. Retroreflective tape, however, features a prismatic surface that directs light back toward its original source, making it easier to identify what and where the reflection comes from. Prismatic retroreflective tape offers an incredibly bright reflection for greatly improved visibility.

retro reflective and reflective

Where to Use Reflective Tape

Our reflective tape is backed with pressure-sensitive adhesive to make application simple. The adhesive is designed for indoor or outdoor use, with varieties available for specific needs. Choose the width, color, and style options that work for your location. Additionally, you can request custom tape in printed or cut-out designs.

A well-known reflective tape variety is DOT-certified red and white striped tape, which may be applied to trucks and trailers for better visibility. Other reflective tape uses include marking pathways, bringing attention to uneven surfaces, changes in elevation, or low clearance, creating borders around emergency exit doors, highlighting barriers, objects, and hazards at the loading dock or in the warehouse, and providing better visual and directional cues in case of power outage.

Some of the most common uses of reflective tape include:

  • Creating visible pathways and escape routes in dim areas
  • Labeling critical equipment controls
  • Improving visibility of vehicles or trailers
  • Enhancing nighttime visibility of equipment and vehicles
  • Bringing attention to traffic barrels and cones
  • Marking utility poles, fixed objects, and roadside structures
  • Highlighting hazardous areas at the loading dock
  • For non-industrial uses such as boats, ATVs, campers, helmets, and outdoor safety gear

While reflective safety tape is most often used in warehouses, around loading docks, and on construction sites, it is also a good option for use on farm equipment, motorcycles and bicycles, and in the garage or repair shop, or to improve visibility of boats and buoys.

orange traffic cone and reflective vehicle

What Is the Best Reflective Tape Color?

The best reflective tape color depends on its intended use. Follow all OSHA requirements and roadway guidelines, refer to facility color standards, and choose the appropriate reflective tape color based on use. For example, chevron stripes in contrasting colors are used for ambulances, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles, worksite hazards and areas that must be kept clear may be marked with reflective tape in different colors depending on risk, and red and white striped tape is often required by the DOT for marking trucks and trailers.

Reflective tape can improve visual communication throughout industrial facilities, provide better visibility of emergency vehicles and trailers, and boost facility safety in buildings, warehouses, and parking lots. To choose the best reflective tape for your purposes, consult the appropriate guidelines from DOT, OSHA, or other safety organization. For more information on improving safety in industrial locations, explore our Resource Center.