Retro-Reflective Glass Micro-Spheres
High performance retro-reflective powder coating designed to reflect light back to its source.
A range of light-reflecting powders / additives, made using high-index microscopic glass beads, which when hit by a beam of light, reflect the light back at the source to sparkle back like thousands of tiny cats-eyes. This ‘frost-like’ characteristic also makes this product suitable for other more creative artistic uses.
Reflective materials have traditionally been used mainly in products like traffic signs and safety clothing, but as people have become more craft orientated and resourceful, Starglow Reflective Powders are now being used for many new and innovative applications.
So what are Reflective Powders?
Starglow Reflective Powders are microscopic glass spheres (beads) which act as tiny parabolic reflectors and reflect light directly back to its source. This effect known as retro-reflection is most commonly used in road safety signs and reflective strips on safety jackets.
Reflective Powders are heat, solvent and water resistant, which makes them extremely versatile and suitable for use in hundreds of safety, commercial, artistic and craft applications. Starglow Reflective Powders are safe and non-toxic and will last many years.
Will this powder do what I want?
Its almost impossible to answer this question with absolute certainty as every situation is different from the next and every customer has different expectations and needs.
The only way to know for sure is to try it and see. To this end we do have small sample packets available to buy on this web site.
Please note: Due to the simple nature of this product, it can never equal the performance of manufactured reflective materials, such as those used on safety jackets and metallised multi-layered reflective traffic signs, but its still good, and as close as you can get in a powder form! (particularly Ultra Reflective).
Reflective coatings work best when reflecting from a distance rather than close up. In much the same way as a distant road sign reflects when driving towards it at night.
Under normal light conditions the powder coating should be clear and unobtrusive, so to see the reflective effect yourself, try taking a flash-photo from around 4 or 5m away and you’ll see the reflection in the photo. The end-result will depend on light / flash strength and relative distance etc, but you get the idea.
Reflective Powder at a glance
Whilst it is the more reflective of the two, ultra reflective being semi metalised for better performance, will tend to slightly darken a white / light surface making appear light grey. Use clear reflective where ‘colour neutrality’ is paramount (ie: the background colour should be clearly visible under normal lighting conditions.
Apply a lightly dusted coating (just like applying icing sugar over a cake) over a suitable wet, clear bonding agent eg: Starglow Powder Bond (see below). When dry remove and reclaim the excess powder. Click here for Starglow Powder Bond
A simple way to test if you have applied the powder correctly is to take a ‘FLASH’ photo with your smartphone from at least 3m (10 feet) away. When you look at the photo you should see a bright reflection from the coated surface. The flash and the lens of the phone are ideally (closely) positioned to get the best effect from the retro-reflective effect. The effective is very much dependent on light / flash intensity and distance.
Do not apply any kind of top coat as this will prevent the powder from working.
Do not mix into ordinary paints or any other coloured / solid medium.
Do not grind or mill the powder as this will damage its structure and prevent it from working.
Reflective powders are very durable and long-lived making them suitable for outdoor as well as indoor use.
Reflective powders are non-soluble in water and solvent mediums. Avoid use with acids and strong alkalines.
Reflective Powder Coating System
To create a uniform retro-reflective coating on most surfaces (including leather and fabrics) apply a thin even coating of Starglow Powder Bond to a suitably prepared clean, dry surface, then whilst still wet; dust-coat / sprinkle Starglow Reflective Powder over the coated surface so it is fully covered. Leave to dry for 1 hour then remove and reclaim excess powder to reuse. Apply second coat if required after 4 hours. The finished reflective coating will be waterproof, washproof and scratch resistant.
Starglow Reflective powders are eco-safe and non-toxic.