Improve the visibility of important messaging when you upgrade floor markings in your warehouse, manufacturing facility, or other industrial space. Visual cues are a key component of 5S strategies for productivity and organization. Floor markings and signs can be critical tools for improving efficiency and employee safety, but they are only effective if they are visible. Explore these tips how to upgrade floor marking tape and signs to provide clearer instructions and better visibility in your industrial facility.

Why Is Floor Marking Visibility Important?

For visual cues to be effective, they must be seen. While many floor markings and signs will be visible when in full light, special care is required when choosing floor marking products for industrial facilities and warehouses with dim or fluctuating lighting. Adequate, legible floor markings are essential to the safety of employees and the efficacy of established processes and workflows.

Evaluating Existing Markings for Upgrades

Continuous improvement is a cornerstone of 5S methodology, so you should audit and update your facility’s floor markings often. Regularly inspect relevant areas to ensure paint or tape is in good condition: If your floor markings are ripped or torn, or the colors have begun to fade, it may be time to replace or repair your visual cues. When observing floor markings through the lens of visibility, always evaluate against the least brightness an area will experience, so you can choose markings that match the most common light levels.

How to Upgrade Floor Markings for Improved Visibility

Once you’ve determined which areas are due for upgrades, identify the best approach for improving visibility in your environment. While this differs by facility, consider these options.

  • Replace paint or cheap, lower-quality floor tape with Superior Mark ™ Products. Beveled edges and highway-grade adhesive make SuperiorMark ™ floor tape, signs, and markers resistant to the hazards of heavy-duty traffic. This industrial-strength floor tape is available in a variety of colors, including checkered and striped designs, and can be printed with text and graphics in contrasting colors for clear, easy-to-read messages.
  • Ensure visibility in dim areas with glow-in-the-dark or reflective floor tape. Glowing floor tape absorbs energy, which it then emits as a long-lasting glow, making it easier to spot pathways, changes in elevation, steps, and hazards when lights are dim, or even in case of a blackout. Similarly, reflective floor tape can help improve visibility in low-light environments. Both require a light source to work properly—glowing tape must be exposed to light so it can absorb energy, and reflective tape works by bouncing light back at its source. If you have adequate conditions, these may be good options for improving visibility in your facility.
  • Consider the benefits of virtual lines and signs. Long-lasting LED bulbs can project straight lines that remain visible even in the darkest environments, while virtual signs allow you to project graphics and text to share important messages where they’re most needed. Because virtual lines and signs are not subject to impact damage, they will not fade, rip, or tear over time, as may happen with standard marking products that are applied directly to the floor. In the case of virtual sign projectors that use gobo discs, it’s simple to quickly change your message by inserting a different template, and custom-made options are available.
  • Supplement floor markings with spotlights or upgrade existing lighting to improve the visibility of important messaging in a given area. Consider installing motion-activated spotlights in storage closets, stairwells, or tech rooms where floor markings may otherwise be invisible in the dark. Another alternative to investing in virtual signs or projected lines is to upgrade existing fixtures with brighter bulbs for improved visibility.

What to Consider When Evaluating and Upgrading Floor Markings

Several factors impact the visibility of floor markings across a range of industrial environments. Considering the following when choosing which products to use for your upgraded markings:

  • Responsiveness to Light: Some floor marking products are designed to react to varying light levels.
    • Photoluminescent or glow-in-the-dark tape is visible even in fluctuating brightness, and can be suitable for areas that are often dim or dark.
    • Reflective markings work by bouncing light back, like a mirror, and are designed for use in loading docks, warehouse aisles, or other low-light areas where headlights or other light sources activate the tape.
  • Color: Industrial floor tape should adhere to established OSHA and ANSI color standards, but you also want to consider visibility. Yellow is the most visible color from a distance in dark conditions, while green is most visible from afar in daylight.
  • Contrast: For visibility in any lighting conditions, ensure adequate contrast between the floor markings and the surface where they are installed. Use dark colors against light surfaces, and light or bright colors (white, yellow, orange) against dark floors or pavement. The greater the contrast, the more visible markings will be.
  • Durability: Products that are prone to fading or tearing will face decreased visibility sooner than those designed to stand up to heavy industrial traffic and harsh environments.

Comparing Floor Marking Products for Varying Visibility Levels

With a variety of floor marking products at your disposal—including Superior Mark tape, adhesive floor signs, glow-in-the-dark and reflective products, and virtual signs—it’s important to choose the right one for your specific application. This floor marking visibility chart can help you select the right product for your prevailing light level.

Dark Dimly Lit Dynamic or Fluctuating Brightly Lit
Superior Mark Floor Tape x x
Photoluminescent Floor Tape x x
Retroreflective Tape or Markings x x x
Virtual Lines and Signs x x x x

When the visibility of important messaging suffers because of faded, torn, or ineffective floor markings, it’s time to upgrade your products and your approach. For more on using floor tape to meet industrial or warehouse objectives, explore our Resource Center.