Improving Gate and Fence Visibility with Prismatic Reflective Tape

reflective tape

Note - this article addresses ways to mark non MUTCD gates. These would be gates on private property that do not open up onto a DOT road. For MUTCD type gate marking information Click Here.

Automatic and manual gates, fences, barricades and bollards, whether they are ornamental or commercial are very expensive and when hit by an automobile can be very expensive to repair. In the case of a security gate an entire facility can remain exposed while the gate is being repaired. Prismatic reflective tape increase the night time visibility of gates, fences, barricades and bollards thus reducing accidents. Prismatic tape, which is sometimes referred to as crystal or diamond grade is the brightest grade of tape and is popular because it can be seen from farther away than any other class of tape.

Prismatic (aka Diamond or Crystal Grade) Reflective Tape

We carry prismatic reflective tape in 6 colors and in both 1" and 2" widths. As with all of our tapes it reflects light back to the source of the light. Hence the name retro-reflective tape. As stated before, prismatic tape is very popular because of its brightness. However, it is also visible at sharper angles than standard tapes. In other words standard tape is visible from your car at the 1 O'clock position whereas prismatic tape is visible to the 2 O'clock position. Gates that have traffic traveling by or towards them at higher speeds need prismatic tape because it will give the driver much more time to respond.

For gates, most people will use either a 1" or 2" roll of reflective tape depending on the size of the gate frame and spindles. The wider the tape the better so if you have room for 2" tape that is recommended. Prismatic material will bend but will not stretch. It is recommended that you apply it to flat surfaces and to bollards where it can bend smoothly around and wrap back onto itself. If you are going to bend it around a 90 degree edge it is best to use two pieces of tape. To apply it you simply peel off the backing and apply. It has a very aggressive adhesive and is designed to stay where you put it. This is the same material that is used on over the road 18 wheel trucks and school buses.

Prismatic Type 5 Grade Reflective Tape has a diamond or triangle type pattern on the surface. It is made up of hundreds of thousands of little prisms that reflect light back to the source making the tape appear to light up. For day and night time visibility we offer a variety of colors. Our colors for the prismatic grade reflective tapes are red, white, blue, green, fluorescent orange and yellow.

reflective tape

Click here for our 1" & 2" Prismatic Type 5 Reflective Gate Tape

To visit our main safety products site Click Here. If you have any questions about which tape is right for your application or need samples feel free to email me at

Steve Cole - Owner

We also carry engineer grade and high intensity tapes for gates. They are pictured below and are also available at
reflective tape
reflective tape