Dog Accessory Reviews

Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar – Don’t get caught in the dark!

Charlie spotting a squirrel while modeling the Illumidog SOLAS Dog Collar
Written by Kevin Sando

We all know that exercise is crucial for a healthy (and well behaved) dog.  

That is why we make a commitment to take the boys on daily walks.  For night owls like me, an early morning walk is out of the question, so walks become an after work activity.  We live in the Northeastern US however, and sunlight is often at a premium.  The days are rapidly getting shorter and in just a couple of months it will be dark by dinnertime! What this means is that our daily walk is a walk in the dark. 

No matter what the traffic is like in your neighborhood, it can be a bit unnerving to be approached by cars at night, wondering if they see you and your dog.  Additionally we have had more than a few occasions of startling (or being startled by) other dogs and owners that did not see us approaching in the dark. 

Illumidog Logo

For these reasons we were very excited when Illumidog approached us and asked if we would like to review their Reflective SOLAS Dog Collars!  They were also kind enough to send one each for Harley (large)  and Charlie (medium) to test out.

Our Illumidog Reflective Dog Collars in the sunlight

About Illumidog

We love the story behind Illumidog.  The company was founded by a couple of busy dog owners (who can’t relate?) and their identification of a need in the market. Just like us, their day jobs often kept them from getting to dog walking until after dark.  With a black foster dog, visibility was a clear concern so they tried out some of the reflective dog collars already on the market.  What they found was that these collars were not particularly bright, and did not offer the peace of mind that they were looking for. 

After a bit of research they discovered SOLAS reflective tape, and decided to incorporate it into their own line of dog collars.  Now their company, Illumidog, offers a wide variety of reflective dog safety products including leashes and collars.  Their products are also made right here in the USA and include free shipping!

Our Illumidog Reflective SOLAS Dog Collars

So what is so unique about these Reflective Dog Collars?

You may have seen reflective collars before. In fact we had tried one out several years ago and were not terribly impressed, the device had to be charged regularly and it just wasn’t practical.  The key to the Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar is the SOLAS Prismatic Tape.  This is the same type of reflective tape used by the US Coast Guard for their reflective vests!  I am always interested in new technologies so I looked into it a bit more.

Click here to shop Illumidog on Amazon!

SOLAS is actually an acronym that stands for Safety Of Life At Sea.  It is a Coast Guard designation and conforming reflective tapes are used in marine environments to assist in search and rescue operations.  What is unique about this tape is its extreme reflectivity.   It is several times brighter than standard reflective tapes and also has a much wider reflective range.  What this means is that oncoming headlights or other illumination doesn’t necessarily have to be pointing directly at you for it to be visible.  

Initial Impressions of this Dog Collar

The Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar is clearly well made.  The polypropylene webbing is very tough and the metal D ring is heavyweight. The plastic buckle is not quite as heavy duty as we are used to, but was certainly sturdy and snapped into place easily. We weren’t sure what to expect with the SOLAS tape, but it is heavy duty and does not scratch or nick, even when the dogs are aggressively and somewhat haphazardly scratching themselves or playing! 

Closeup of the Illumidog SOLAS dog collar

They are very attractive and looked great when we put them on the dogs (of course). The colors are bright and stand out even under all that hair. In the daytime the reflective tape tends to look more grey, you wouldn’t really even know that it was a reflective collar! Now, that’s not to say that when the sun catches it just right, they don’t look a little fancy, because they do! Shine on you beautiful diamonds you!  

Charlie spotting a squirrel while modeling the Illumidog SOLAS Dog Collar

Harley watching for birds while modeling the Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar

Charlie modeling the Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar in the daytime

On to the Performance Tests! (Our Reflective Collar Review!)

It is difficult to do justice in a picture just how reflective these collars are.  We tried photographing in a dark room, with and without camera flash, outside with a flashlight, and even with our car headlights!  Below are some of the clearest examples, but the true effectiveness must really be experienced.  

The first picture is at dusk, which we think is one of the most dangerous times to be outside with your dog. Often headlights aren’t on, and visibility is low. Even in this low light, the tape was glowing! 

The Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar at dusk

These pictures were take outside at night. A comparison to the daytime picture shows just how bright these collars reflect. It is a clear transformation from their daytime grey to a nighttime silver glow!! 

The SOLAS reflective tape of the Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar really shines in the dark

Harley wearing his Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar at night.

Closeup of the Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar at night

Additional Benefits

I think that the Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar would also be great for camping, allowing you to keep an eye on your dog roaming around in the darkness (we’ll keep you posted after our camping trip this weekend). As you can see in the photo below, this collar seems to soak up any available light. Even though Harley is not directly in the shot, you can see him glowing in the background! 

Harley and Charlie wearing their Illumidog Reflective Dog Collars

Charlie modeling his Illumidog SOLAS Dog Collar at night

Why MyDogLikes the Illumidog Reflective Dog Collar

We were really impressed with these collars. They are stylish enough to wear all the time and have the durability to stand up to the daily grind (playing, scratching, swimming, rolling,etc). Not knowing much about the SOLAS tape on the collars, I was nervous that when the boys scratched their necks, the tape would scrape off or nick, but upon seeing these and then testing them out, there are no concerns with that.

At night, these collars really come alive, reflecting all of the light around them. Because they are so reflective, cars can pick us up from a far distance, giving lots of warning that we are coming!  Even with long hair haired dog, the collars were visible and the dogs easy to see. We were so impressed we want to test out the leash and we would love to see a Illumidog harness come to market! Pair this with a reflective vest for dog walking and you can’t be missed!

Want to pick one up for yourself?

Click here to shop Illumidog on Amazon!

About the author

Kevin Sando

Kevin is a mechanical engineer with a degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has move than a decade experience in new product design, prototyping and early stage manufacturing. Pairing this background with his love of dogs, gives him a unique perspective to evaluate the design and execution of new and interesting pet products.


    • That is not a problem we have in our house! These dont glow without light, but a flashlight could fix that at home! Thanks for stopping by!

  • How stylish boys! These look really cool and seem like they do light up well in the dark. I always worry about Shiner messing up her collars from scratching too. Great review!

    • Thanks Ann! No worries about scratching, this tape is durable! Thanks for checking it the review, make sure to enter the giveaway…Shiner would look awesome!

    • The collars come in each of the colors you requested except for pink…there is a tie-dye one though. She could get a little fancy! Enter the contest and see if you win! Thanks for stopping by!

  • We got some similar collars and they seem to work real well. Our biggest problem is our fur usually covers up most of our collars. Being seen in the dark is important!

  • My 2 dogs (Simba and Hugo) loves night walks because they love the breeze! This will help one of them be noticed more!

  • Having a Black Lab, being seen in always a issue, especially in our unlit dog park in the winter. This would maybe give her some light attraction in the winter darkness, which is fast approaching.

  • I go for runs with my dog all the time and although I wear reflective clothes, cars cannot see my dog.

    • It is so important to feel confident that you and your dog are being seen. This is why we love these Illumidog Collars so much! Good luck in the contest!

  • This would be great as we live on an acreage and when we let him out at night we would be able to easily see where he is.

  • It would help me be able to see my dog when he tries to hide from me in the backyard at night.

  • I have five rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds, including my deaf girl, Ran (she was born deaf and adopted by one family, but they dumped her at a shelter just four days after her 3-month vet visit, when the vet confirmed she was deaf). We don’t have the biggest back yard, but between our garage, vegetable gardens, trees, and deck, I can’t always keep track of where Ran is at night. I used to have a reflective collar for another one of my dogs and I could always see him with the light from the porch light. I’d really love one for my Ran, since I worry about her the most and since she can’t hear, she has to look for hand signals from me or the light of a flash light. It would really help to be able to see just where behind the garden she is at night.

    • Thank you so much for rescuing – Your dogs are very luck to have you! Sounds like an Illumidog Collar would really be perfect for Ran! Good luck to you in the giveaway!

  • This would definitely help when I take my dogs out for a walk in the park at night.

  • We have 2 poodles that love to go for walk, day or night. These collars would help drivers see them when we are crossing the street.

  • We live on a beach and after 9pm it’s pitch black so would be great to see our dog at night.

  • We live in a rural area without lights. These make sure that our dogs are seen. One of our dogs got out last week and we were lucky that someone stopped on our rural highway and brought him home.

  • This is a great idea. Would be especially useful for those dark early morning and evening walks now that the fall/winter seasons are on the way.

  • Living in Alberta Canada, our nights are coming on earlier. As I like to take our dog Malaka out for a walk after work, it would be great to have this collar. That way I could see her and would not bump into her. She likes to cut in front of me on our walks. Being a smaller dog, sometimes she’s too quick for me and before I know it look out! Thanks for the great contest.