A quick comparison of fluorescent reflective prismatic and engineering grade markings for EMS, police and fire vehicles

Have you ever thought about upgrading to fluorescent/reflective markings for your vehicle fleet? Most signwriters supply engineering grade reflective material unless you specify fluorescent/reflective grades that are manufactured with a layer of micro-prism reflectors. The well-known brands are 3M Diamond Grade, Reflexite Daybright, Avery Dennison MVP/prismatic grades and Nikkalite Crystal sheeting. The table below shows the difference in reflectivity between the glass-beaded engineering grade reflectives and the more efficient prismatic flourescent materials. The chart indicates the maximum values when measured from the ideal viewing position in relation to the different reflective materials available in the marketplace.

The chart is a simple guide for choosing colours and materials that will provide effective visual markings on your vehicles. You can see from the graph that brown and blue when seen alongside the other colours have the lowest reflective output. The fluorescent prismatics are more efficient but their viewing angle is narrow in comparison to the engineering grades. Despite this, the prismatics are usually the best choice for most emergency vehicles.

Reflectivity comparison - Fluorescent prismatic vs engineering grade

Approximate maximum reflection coefficient values for different types of coloured reflective materials (measured in candela/m2)


About John Killeen (Ambulance Visibility)

John Killeen is a former Intensive Care Paramedic who authors the Ambulance Visibility research website & blog
This entry was posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Police, Reflective, SES and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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