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In a dark road or parking lot, it can be very difficult for a driver to see pedestrians who aren’t wearing reflective gear. The same can be said for cyclists at night or any other person outside in the darkness. To combat this problem, engineers have developed and refined an extremely effective way to add reflectivity to just about any type of fabric or clothing material: reflective paint.
What Is It?
Basically, reflective paint is just that — paint that reflects light back to the source at night. In this way, it effectively adds to the light source that is already present. The paint reflects its own light back to wherever it was originally focused, creating a radiant energy field behind the reflecting surface.
How It Works
Reflective paint consists of a colored pigment, usually in a powder form or gel. To be effective, the pigment must be embedded in a textile or fabric and must be fairly close to the reflective surface; think of how well patterned clothing works, such as flashes of red and white on blue shirts or jackets.
Reflective paint also acts in the same manner as a retroreflector or mirror, in that it reflects the light back to its source. However, the paint absorbs some of the light so that it doesn’t reflect all of it back to its source. This absorption reduces and controls the amount of light reflected. The amount of light reflected is directly proportional to the amount absorbed by the pigment; thus, if 90% of the light is absorbed by a certain pigment, then only 10% will be reflected back to its source.
The colors used for reflective paint are specifically chosen so that they will stand out against whatever background they appear on. A simple way to determine which colors to use is for the paint manufacturer to send you some samples of the reflective paint they are offering for sale. Find the ones that look best against your intended background and place them in the areas that need their help most.
It also helps if you can find a color that is similar to your intended background, such as matching a motorcycle in yellow or bright green. You can then place that color on all of the objects that need their additional light, such as helmets, reflective vests, etc.
Does Solar Reflective Paint Work?
Solar reflective paint does work because it reflects the light and redirects the light to reduce the wear and tear on the surface.
What Is The Best Reflective Material?
The best reflective material used today is called Apollo Horticulture Mylar. It comes in rolls and is advertised as the best reflective material because it is also adorable.
What Makes Paint Reflective?
Reflective paint is made with small reflective crystals that are added to regular paint. The crystals will catch and reflect the light. Depending on how many crystals are added will determine the quality of the luminosity
Is there such a thing as reflective paint?
There is reflective paint. It is an acrylic paint that will work on wood, concrete, brick and roadways. It has a fast drying time and is durable. It is reflective when the light source is at the same level as the light source (such as headlights)
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some questions you may have