Glo Flex, Extreme Glow, reflective tape & similar

John N

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[20041207: Edited the title to include reflective tape and other glowing/reflective stuff.]

I was wondering the differences in brightness and lasting ability between the Glo-flex
tape and the extremeglow.com sheets.

Also, how about the differences in reflectiveness between Glo Flex and Reflexite.

Anyone know for sure which Reflexite product is used in the stuff thefirestore is selling?

Scotchlite at thefirestore.com
GloFlex at thefirestore.com

Thanks,
-john

[Keywords: Glo-Flex, GloFlex, Glo Flex, GlowFlex, Glow Flex, reflective tape]
 

LEDagent

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

On the SureFire Discussion Board, a member who goes by "FC-fire/rescue" posted some pictures of his fire gear with Glow-Flex on em, plus he wrapped his SF M2 in the stuff too. Judging by the reflectivity from his camera flash, i can say this stuff is HIGHLY visible.

As far as the glow factor is concerned, here is what he said:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> It's not just reflective tape, it's Glo-Flex. It reflects white and glows green for 8hrs. When I drop M2 in the dark, it makes it really easy to find.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> It is 1.5inches wide 5feet long roll, about 12 bucks. Glo-Flex is nothing like Glow-Rings - it needs to be "charged" to glow, and it glows for few min bright, after that it is pretty dim. Just like a hand on a watch. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If the glow only lasts for a few minutes then i don't think that it is worth investing in unless you really need a reflective type of tape. THen in that case, get it. But for a less you can get ExtremeGlow for 6.00 a linear foot (19' wide).

SureFire wrapped in Glow-Flex tape.
fdf12186.jpg


Fire jackets in Glow-Flex tape. (far left)
fdf0a9b6.jpg

Picture of SL Litebox (left) and SF M4 (right).
 

LEDagent

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by vcal:
Also, the xtremeglow material really isn't designed primarily for reflectivity.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

There ISN'T any reflective properties in extremeglow products.
 

John N

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LEDagent:
There ISN'T any reflective properties in extremeglow products.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yah, I was asking reflective differences between Glo Flex and Reflexite, not Extreme Glow.

-john
 

LEDagent

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

I know John N. You did ask 2 questions.
1)I was wondering the differences in brightness and lasting ability between the Glo Flex tape and the Extreme Glow sheets.

2)Also, how about the differences in reflectiveness between Glo Flex and Reflexite?

I did answer the first but i'm researching the second. That previous reply was in response to vcal's question - which is gone for some reason.
grin.gif


So far, it looks like Glow Flex might be the overall winner just by the fact that it can withstand 500 degrees for 5 minutes and a direct flame test form 1.40 inches for 1.46 seconds - that's HOT!
shocked.gif

The brightness listen on their literature is 584 cd/lum/m2. I have no idea what this measurement means.

THe Brightness of the reflexite is listed at 800 CPL. Again, i don't know what that measurement means so you can't really compare the two by those numbers. I wish they had some kind of standard to measure reflectivity - or all light in that matter.

So...i can't tell which one is bright. But i think the Glow-Flex is tougher. relflexite is listed to withstand a minimum of 25 wash cycles. Hmmm...not to good i think.
 

John N

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LEDagent:

THe Brightness of the reflexite is listed at 800 CPL. Again, i don't know what that measurement means so you can't really compare the two by those numbers. I wish they had some kind of standard to measure reflectivity - or all light in that matter.

So...i can't tell which one is bright. But i think the Glow-Flex is tougher. relflexite is listed to withstand a minimum of 25 wash cycles. Hmmm...not to good i think.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I went ahead and ordered some Glo-Flex and some Reflexite from thefirestore.com.

It's hard to judge -- you can't even tell which Reflexite product they are carrying.. Maybe it will be marked on the product itself.

In any case, I get the impression that the Reflexite is more reflective, but of course doesn't glow. I also have the gut impression that it's not as bright as Extreme Glow, but of course *that* isn't reflective.

After reading the stuff about new and old chemistry for glow products on Extreme Glow's web site, I wonder in which catagory the Glo Flex falls.

You have a good point about the head resistance. I don't think anyone else tries to do that. One of the uses I am planning on is putting a strip on our fire extinguishers.

I think the Reflexite is sturdy -- I think it's totally plastic. I think the washing problem is the sticky tape on the back is just sticky tape and will break down with washing.

I didn't order any Extreme Glow as I figure if the Glo-Flex is good enough I won't need any. I can always change my mind.

I'll post what I find.

Thanks,

-john
 

LED-FX

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

Think i`ve commented on this before, but anyway.

Relectives:
Reflexite and the other one made by 3M(Scotch):
http://www.3m.com/market/safety/scotch/index.jhtml

, are Prismatic reflectors,or retro reflectors,they differ from a mirror in that they reflect light back the way it came.Angle of incidence = Angle of reflection normally, think of a pool table hit the ball at 45 deg off the cushion ball bounces at 45 deg off.Prismatic reflectors bounce the light straight back in direction of source.If this was a pool table any angle you hit the cushion at, the ball would come straight back at you.

Coatings:
Putting any Glow In Dark pigment over a reflective will increase `apparent` brightness.Old style GID was Zinc Sulphide,new style with longer glow is Strontium Aluminate with Europium as an activator.Safety signs are usually made this way, coating GID over prismatic reflector.Industrial term is Photo Luminescent.Other reflectives,specially one made by 3M work well as well :)


Try some of these terms in Google and see what you come up with.....
Like:
http://www.photoluminescent.com/
http://www.duracorp.com/

couple to start with
Adam
 

LEDagent

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> BY:LED-FX - Safety signs are usually made this way, coating GID over prismatic reflector. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

WOW!
shocked.gif
Some sagety signs glow in the dark and are coated with this strontium stuff?! I don't see any in San Diego yet, but if i do, i'll be sure to snag one and bring it home.
grin.gif


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>BY: JOHNN - I didn't order any Extreme Glow as I figure if the Glo-Flex is good enough I won't need any. I can always change my mind.

I'll post what I find.

Thanks, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm anxious to know what you find between the two products. Keep us posted and thanks for devoting your time and money on this research. I think it's smart of you to place some kind of identifcation on your safety equipmnet - especially in the house.

In my opinion, i think a glow in the dark reflective tape would be a bit more useful in a house. If you are in a panic, and it's dark, and you can't find any ambient light to find the reflective tape, i don't think you'll be able to find what your are looking for. If it glows, maybe you'll have a better chance - BUT what good is it if the glow is so weak? I can't wait for your update.
wink.gif


Thanks
 

John N

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

I just got my order last night. I was a bit tired and didn't do any serious comparisons.

But at first glance, the Glo Flex seems similar in reflectiveness to the Reflexite.

Since I don't have any Extreme Glow, I don't know how it compares.

The glow is cool, but not what I would call super extreme.

I hadn't realized that the actual reflective stuff was at least semi translucent.

The Glo Flex has the reflective material arranged in a honey comb pattern. Below the reflective material there is a layer of glow material with double sticky tape type stuff on the back of that. In between the "combs", there is no reflective material, just glow material.

The result is Glo Flex glows all across it's surface in addition to parts which have only glow material which glow more strongly as they are not partially blocked by the reflective material.

The Glo Flex is semi stiff, basically the same as you might imagine would happen if you took double sticky tape and stuck a layer of plastic on top.

The Reflexite is much thinner and is only the thin semi-translucent-reflective layer of plastic over a thin white layer of plastic with adhesive on the back. It is much thinner and more flexible than the Glo Flex.

It appears in both cases the top layer of plastic is heat bonded to a lower layer keeping things in place and keeping water out. The Glo Flex seems to use each comb as it's bonding area, where the Reflexite just does this around the border of the strip.

Since the Glo Flex uses a much smaller sealing unit, it appears that it might be a bit easier to work with in odd shapes -- you probably want the Reflexite in the shape you intend to use. On the other hand, the Reflexite has more un-interrupted surface area of reflective material (it also comes in more colors).

I'll try to do some comparisons and pictures later.

-john
 

LEDagent

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

COOL John, thanks for the update. I'd really like to hear about the glow properties of the Glow-Flex material.

...Oh yeah...where did you get it and how much? I think i'm starting a new interest in things that glow and shine.
grin.gif
 

greenlight

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

I did a lot of research about retroreflectors for a project I was doing. Sewing cool designs on my pants looked great and were great for night safety. I ended up using a vinyl retro-reflector with the lenses imprinted in the back of the vinyl, similar to the reflector pictured above.

Putting retroreflectors around the house is good, but it doesn't help for night time navigation unless you're using a headlamp, then every retro-reflector will be shining back at you.

Glowflex (the hex shaped design) had a tendency to split around the hexagons with use/abuse.

The glowreflect seems very expensive, primarily because it combines two expensive functional materials. But who really needs it? You need a retro-reflector to keep you safe from cars at night. But what good is a glow strip around cars? They only work when it is really dark, or at a rave when you're around uv-lights.

There is a reason the vinyl retro-reflectors are heat bonded to the white/or glow backing material. This creates an air tight bond which keeps water out of the reflectors. Water fills the little microlenses and the reflectivity stops until it has dried out. A glass bead based reflector will work when wet, but will wear off through use.

I can see why people would be excited about this product, it seems cool, but I wouldn't bother buying any unless I had a real need for it. There are various types of retro-reflectors available, and plenty of glow material too if you need it. Paying a premium to buy it together seems unnecessary unless you're the government, then you buy all you need.

Lastly, retro-reflectors are good for testing your flashlights. Place them every 50' away from your house and see which ones still light up when you shine on them.
 

greenlight

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

Retro-reflective sticker dots are available on a roll in various colors (3m I think). They are the vinyl/pressed type and reflect well. The colored reflectors reflect less than the white ones but these should be easy to find in some stores.
 

John N

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

Good point about the usefullness of Glo-flex and Glowreflect. I use Glo-flex indoors, wrapping it around things like my fire extinguishers. Outdoors, I agree it wouldn't really have any advantage. The Glowreflects looks interesting as it appears much more flexible than the Glo-Flex. While the Glo-Flex works fine for large diameter stuff like the fire extinguisher, it doesn't work very well with small diameter stuff like flashlights.

-john
 

John N

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Re: Glo Flex vs Extreme Glow

Greenlight,

In your research did you determine what materials worked best? Also, did you look at the Illuminite material? It looks interesting, but I wonder how well it really works, and if it wears out quick.

Thanks,

-john
 
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