Reflective vinyl offers a variety of uses and benefits, in particular, it can be used for road and vehicle safety, helping improve visibility for drivers and pedestrians. In this article we delve into some tips and ideas for using reflective vinyl and recommendations for getting started. If you would like to learn more about road signage and vehicle safety markings, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We offer the very best in quality reflective products and vehicle signs.

What is Reflective Vinyl?

Reflective vinyl is widely used in the road and traffic industry for official vehicle markings, signage, advertisements, and street furniture.

As the name implies, reflective vinyl becomes visible in low light when a source of light is directed at it, as the material reflects the light back in the direction of the source. When used on traffic signage or on vehicles themselves, this drastically improves the appearance in low/poor lighting – consequently providing a significant boost in safety for all road users.

The terms vinyl, film and tape are largely interchangeable in relation to reflective vehicle material and achieve the same objective. Tape is likely to be used around the edge of a surface, while vinyl is likely to completely cover a surface.

Reflective or fluorescent markings/tape is often a legal requirement for some vehicles as well as being highly desirable for most commercial vehicles too. These vehicles may also want to enhance their brand messaging and visibility in lower light, which can be achieved by using such reflective materials.

Reflective vinyl is usually manufactured using either glass bead or micro-prismatic technology.

Glass-bead technology

An incoming light beam bends as it passes through a glass bead, reflects off a mirrored surface behind the bead, then the light bends again as it passes back through the bead and returns to the light source.

Micro-prismatic technology

An incoming light beam is refracted by the three planes of a prism, returning in the direction of the incoming light source.

What to Look for in Reflective Products?


One of the most important things to look out for when buying reflective products is the overall durability. These products need to withstand a variety of conditions as it is likely they will be exposed to outdoor elements all year round. That means maintaining the quality, whatever the weather.

Having reflective material that fades or even peels when excessively wet or dry could cause serious complications so durability is a must when it comes to vehicle and road safety.

A scratch resistant coating also helps prevent vehicle vinyl looking worse for wear after a long period of time on the roads.

Here at Lakeside Group, our permanent traffic signs come with anti-graffiti, dew reducing and UV protective films. If you’d like to learn more about the durability of individual products, just get in touch with us and our team will guide you through everything you need to know.


The ease and flexibility of applying reflective vinyl and film to a vehicle or sign is something to consider. This is particularly the case for commercial vehicles in which films and vinyl may be changed relatively frequently – e.g. to reflect current marketing campaigns.

The quality of adhesion is also paramount to ensure the vinyl sticks to the vehicle.
Here at Lakeside Group, we stock a range of flexible reflective products in both glass bead and micro-prismatic – please contact us for more information on these products. Our digital reflective printing also gives us ample opportunity for custom and flexible design, to suit whatever vehicles and printing you need. This is particularly useful for businesses wanting to enhance their branding on vehicles.

Colours & Design

Certain colours may be required for legal purposes, but you may also want to select colours carefully for brand enhancement. For colour requirements for specific types of vehicles, e.g. emergency vehicles, get in touch with us here at Lakeside Group for recommendations.

Having different, but complementary colours, can help highlight your brand better and increase visibility of your messaging on your vehicles.

Our digital printable reflectives allow for customisation in colours, design and imagery. This means you can get creative and design reflectives that will enhance your brand on the road – helping create a tangible ROI for the initial costs.

If you have a fleet of vehicles, the compounding effect of increasing visibility of your brand for all your vehicles can be considerable.

Legal Requirements

Certain types of applications will need to meet specific regulations and standards.
Guidelines and codes of practice such as Chapter 8 and Safety at Street Works highlight compliance for specific features – for example, certain vehicles requiring red and yellow chevron markings. See our blogs on Chapter 8 compliant vehicle reflectives and Safety at Street Works for more information.

Similarly, large vehicles such as lorries, will require safety markings to illustrate their height and length to ensure the vehicle is visible at dusk, dawn and night to help prevent potentially fatal collisions.

For recommendations on your vehicles, simply get in touch with our team and we can guide you on the best course of action.

From dedicated Chapter 8 products, to exceeding requirements set out within BS8442, our focus on quality means we will only recommend products which meet all necessary legal requirements.

Reflective Quality

There are different grades and standards to reflective materials. Our reflective products come with impressive life spans, helping you save money over time as there isn’t a need to replace them as often as lower quality reflectives.

Learn More About Lakeside Group

Here at Lakeside Group, we are passionate about helping provide the best in reflective products. We have over 30 years’ experience in the Traffic/Cycle and Pedestrian safety industries and a history of product design, sourcing, and accreditation.

As members of REMA (Reflective Equipment Manufacturers Association), our team can guide you through all the possibilities and options to best suit your requirements and budgets.

Get in touch with our friendly team today.