Glowing collars vs. reflector strips
When it comes to night visibility collars, you have two options: reflector strips and glow in the dark collars.
Reflectors are strips of material that reflect light from external sources. As the light bounces off the surface of the material, it seems to glow making it visible in the dark. While these are effective for night time escapades with your doggie, they have one major setback. This is that they do not produce any light of their own and rely entirely on the environment. Therefore, if your pooch wanders off into the dark and you do not have a flashlight on you or a street light nearby, things might get a little tricky.
Glowing collars, on the other hand, produce a light of their own. They usually feature light-emitting bulbs that more often than not are LED. These battery-powered bulbs are fantastic as they do not rely on environmental light sources. So if your best buddy runs off you just have to look out for a glowing halo and your worries are all gone.
This refers to how far the light travels from the light-emitting bulbs on the dog collar. The value determines how far away your dog can be from you in the dark while still being visible to you so it is very important to consider.
Most decent quality options offer a visibility range of between 300 and 400 yards. To put this into perspective, 300 yards is almost equal to the length of 3 soccer fields. This value is fantastic as it pretty much guarantees that you can spot your pooch from really long distances.
You can let them run around and have fun without always being so tightly wound by the leash which makes them happy. And all this time they will still be visible even in the dark. That is, of course, as long as you have good eyesight.
Most glow in the dark dog collars are battery powered and use rechargeable batteries. The amount of time you have with each charge is a key consideration as it determines the value you get. It goes without saying that something with a short battery life would not be awesome as you have to keep recharging and there is always the risk of having it run out of juice when you are out and about in the dark.
A good pick should offer at least over 6 hours of lighting per full charge. Yes, you probably will not spend 6 hours out in the dark with your dog unless you are on a hiking expedition or something. However, the long battery life means that you do not necessarily have to keep on recharging it every time you go out. Just roughly estimate how much time you use out with your doggie and you will be able to approximate the ideal recharge time.
Glow modes available
At first glance, this might seem like a non-essential bonus. However, those glow mode options actually could help you a lot when trying to keep an eye out for your pooch in the dark. Most collars offer a variety of modes most of which are just variations of steady light and flashing.
Steady lights are great for baseline monitoring. They help to save on power and are also generally more comfortable for your dog. Some collars allow you to choose the intensity of the light. You could go bright if you want to give your dog some freedom to run off. Or you could dim things down if there is sufficient environmental lighting or you just want to save on the battery.
Flashing lights, on the other hand, come in particularly handy when you are afraid that your dog may run off and get lost. They are much easier to spot especially from long distances as the flickering is designed to grab attention and allow the dog and its collar to stand out.
Coverage by the glow strips
How much of the dog collar do the glowing parts take? Is the entire thing a glow in the dark neckpiece for your dog? Are there small strips of glowing lights around the dog collar? Or is it a nice balance between functional collar and visible glowing bulbs?
These are your options when it comes to coverage with glow in the dark dog collars and each has its set of pros and cons. With full coverage collars where the entire thing is one large glowing halo, you will have maximum visibility. However, this usually means that you miss out on the functionality of the unit as a collar so you may have to use both the strip and the dog collar.
With the partial options where there are small bits or there is balance, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds. You will have a collar that actually works as a restraint while enjoying the visibility that the partial-coverage glow bulbs or strips have to offer.
Speaking of functionality, the versatility that your glowing dog collar has to offer is another very important factor to consider when shopping for these accessories. The best option is the dog collar that serves both as a collar and a night visibility tool. These usually have the design and cut of an ordinary collar with everything from leash attachment rings to adjustable straps. This makes the piece versatile allowing both daytime and nighttime so you do not have to buy 2 separate pieces.