Using Engineer Grade Reflective Tape on Gates and Fences

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.

Gates and fences whether they are ornamental or commercial are very expensive and when accidently hit by an automobile they can be very costly to repair. By using engineer grade reflective tape you can dramatically increase the night time visibility of your gates and fences. There are several colors to choose from the the engineer grade reflective tape line. Black is very popular with gate owners because it blends in with the gate in the daytime but is clearly visible at night when exposed to a cars headlights. The picture shown above clearly demonstates this. Owners that require daytime as well as night time visibility prefer to use the brighter colored tapes. The object is to provide a contrasting color so if you had a black gate you could use white or yellow and if you had a white gate you could use a red, green, blue or black. Also, alternating colors is very effective.

Enginer Grade Type I Reflective Tape

We carry the different colors of reflective tape in a flexible engineer grade type I material. The engineer grade tapes utilize glass beads for reflectivity which is the most common method. These tapes reflect light via thousands upon thousands of small glass beads embedded into the film. Each glass bead reflects light back to the source. Hence the name retro reflective tape.

For gates, most people will use either a 1" or 2" reflective tape. In the picture above we used a one inch roll for the black and a two inch roll for the orange. The wider the tape the better so if you have room for 2" tape that is recommended. The material will bend around rounded or sharp angles making it very easy to work with. To apply it you simply peel off the backing and apply. If it is cold the tape can become a little less flexible so many people will use a hair dryer in cold weather to help the tape stay flexible during application. The warmer it is the more it will stretch. This is the same material that is used on Fire Engines.

Engineer grade reflective tape has no pattern on top and is simply a solid color to the naked eye. When light strikes the tape it is reflected back to the source and the tape appears to light up. For day and night time visibility we offer other colors. Our colors for the engineer grade reflective tapes are red, white, blue, green, orange, yellow, gold and black.

If you prefer a brighter tape we carry an alternative to the engineer grade tape that is still affordable called high intensity reflective tape . The surface of high intensity tape can be identified by a subtle honeycomb pattern. (see the picture below) Within each honeycomb are high concentrations of glass beads. There are more glass beads per square inch in high intensity than in engineer grade tape thus creating a much brighter tape. High Intensity tapes give off around 250 candlepower for the white and a little less for the other colors. Because of the higher candlepower it can be seen further away thus allowing drivers more time to react and avoid the gate or fence. It also reflects at a sharper angle. Traffic cones and road barrels utilize this material as do many brighter street signs. We do not have black in the high intensity but we do have red, yellow, white, green, blue and orange.

Click here for Black Engineer Grade Type I Reflective Tape

Click here for High Intensity Reflective Type III 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

reflective tape
reflective tape