3M™ Scotchlite™ 680 Reflective Sign Vinyl
Availablity: In Stock
Starting at $17.99
Avery™ V4000 Premium Reflective Vinyl
Availablity: In Stock
Starting at $16.99
ORALITE® 5600 Reflective Vinyl
Availablity: In Stock
Starting at $6.09
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Want to know a secret? Most of the reflective sign vinyl on the market is retro-reflective. 

This can get kind of technical, but all you need to know is that the glass beads embedded in this film reflect light in multiple directions, including directly back at the source. Chrome films, on the other hand, only reflect light in one direction. Retro-reflective films aren't glow-in-the-dark and they're not actually producing light, but they still look crazy cool!

Two Types of Retro-Reflective Films

Currently, two types of retro-reflective sign vinyl films meet the government standards for visibility — glass bead retro-reflective vinyl films and prismatic retro-reflective vinyl films. Although they look similar, they can behave differently.

Want to know what kind of reflective lettering to use for your project? Keep reading to learn about these two types of vinyl sign letters.

Glass Bead Vinyl

Glass Bead Vinyl

Reflectivity is the amount of light something reflects. Glass bead retro-reflective material has high reflectivity thanks to the microscopic glass spheres embedded in the surface of the material. Glass bead vinyl is:

  • Highly flexible: The beads in this material let it bend and flex back into place easily.
  • Lightweight: This type of vinyl is light enough to work with in large sheets.
  • Versatile: Glass bead vinyl is a good solution for lots of different work environments and projects.

Glass bead vinyl is an affordable product with many practical applications. However, one drawback is that this vinyl performs slightly worse when conditions are wet. Water can cause it to lose some reflectivity, meaning dreary weather can create an issue at times when the need for visibility is highest.

In dry conditions, the glass beads reflect light back to approaching motorists. When they're wet, the water interferes with the beads' reflective optics and scatters the light instead. You can still use this type of vinyl in outdoor or vehicle applications, but you might want to be careful with your placement.

Prismatic Vinyl

Prismatic retro-reflective material (PRM) contains thousands of micro-prisms protected by a transparent plastic film. PRM is:

  • An effective light returner: PRM returns light more efficiently than glass beaded vinyl films.
  • Good in harsh weather: PRM performs exceptionally well in wet conditions.
  • Available in bright colors: You can get PRM in fluorescent colors for added visibility during dusk, dawn and inclement weather.

PRM does have some drawbacks, though. The material is heavier than glass bead vinyl, and it stiffens in cold conditions. PRM is also a more brittle material, and you have to keep this in mind during application. Avoid laying PRM in cold weather, or you might notice that it adheres less easily than you expected.

Choosing a Brand of Reflective Film

The three major brands selling reflective adhesive films are 3M™ Scotchlite™, ORAFOL® and Avery Dennison®. Each brand has its own formula for reflective vinyl and makes a version or two that you can use in all of your sign, wrap and craft applications. Some examples are:

  • 3M™ Scotchlite™ 680: You can cut high-impact decals out of this reflective vinyl film with your plotter cutter. It is a durable retro-reflective material available in a multitude of alluring colors.
  • Avery Dennison V4000: This glass bead retro-reflective film is long-lasting and strong enough for commercial applications. It cuts very cleanly and makes good use of screen printing and digital printing.
  • ORALITE® 5600: This engineer-grade vinyl has a long lifespan. You can have it screen printed or use thermal transfer to print graphics. It consists of a 5 mil reflective film and comes in 11 colors. It's also available in clear and has a permanent adhesive.

What Projects Should I Buy Retro-Reflective Vinyl For?

The answer is just about anything with smooth surfaces. Below are some ideas:

  • Commercial signs: Engineer-grade labels are a good choice for reflective signs with an important function or that customers will see on their way into your business.
  • Bedroom or dorm room signs: Personalize your space with a vinyl signpost! Print whatever you want on it to make the space your own.
  • Car decals: Reflective vinyl is great for wrapping your vehicle or printing a decal to add a little personality to your ride.
  • Exercise equipment: Add a professional touch to your home gym with equipment instructions and suggested workouts.
  • Cut out logos: Add your own vinyl logos to products you're selling or use them to personalize your own belongings.

Although retro-reflective vinyl refers to both kinds of film, prismatic films generally aren't used in smaller volume decal and sign production because they're more expensive and harder to cut. Instead, we'll focus exclusively on glass bead vinyl. 

It's already challenging to cut retroreflective vinyl on a Cricut, Silhouette or ScanNCut, so we recommend using a 60° blade at the highest force setting possible.

What Makes Reflective Lettering Amazing

What Makes Reflective Lettering Amazing

Using vinyl materials for your reflective sign letters is a good choice because:

1. Reflective Lettering Has High Visibility

Reflective vinyl stickers are easy to see even in the dark or during inclement weather. They're made for visibility and will meet and exceed your expectations. Once you try vinyl sign letters, you'll wonder how you ever printed signs any other way.

2. Reflective Vinyl Is Durable

Vinyl decals hold up under outdoor conditions and can survive several years of wear and tear. They're more durable than stickers, which stretch or peel off in the rain. 

Outdoor use is a top consideration in vinyl production. Quality reflective vinyl is a good choice for any signs or graphics that need to last for years to come.

3. Vinyl Is Attractive

Reflective sign numbers and letters are eye-catching. Reflective vinyl can make a brand or design stand out with dazzling, highly visible lettering. You can use this durable material for your DIY projects without sacrificing the aesthetic value.

4. Vinyl Signs Are Highly Customizable

Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, vinyl comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Get the size you need for your projects and avoid wasting material. You can also take advantage of the range of available colors with custom-designed reflective decals.

Order Reflective Sign Vinyl With Rvinyl

Order Rvinyl's high-quality reflective materials with predictable durability and make sure your project looks as impressive as you are. 

We stock the hottest reflective sign vinyl for all your DIY and commercial needs. If you want to know more about our reflective sign vinyl, contact us with your questions.

Adding Safety Reflective Decals to Your Customer's Wheels

Apply Reflective Vinyl to Your Client's Rims in 4 Easy Steps

If you've got a customer who wants you to add high-visibility, reflective rim stripes to their rims or you're considering doing it yourself, this quick and easy 4-step guide will show you how.


rvinyl guy

Reviews | 11 Reviews

Avg Rating
Out of 5

Quality product
by Rusty Beatty, 4.75

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Quality product. The reflective film was a perfect match to California state sign standards. Looks great easy to apply just need to have application fluid

Reflective vinyl from Rvinyl
by Blp2119, NY 4.50

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Rvinyl is the best place I have found ro get reflective vinyl. The quality of their vinyl is great. I have ordered from other places and the reflective vinyl I get from Rvinyl is by far the best. The only complaint I have is that I wish their shipping was cheaper. Besides the one complaint, this is the only place I will get my vinyl from.
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Reflective film
by Michael O'Brien, 5.00

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I’m using this for a small craft project and it’s exactly what I needed. I appreciate the ease of ordering through r vinyls website.


4.75 | 11 Reviews