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Light Reflectance Values

Designing to improve quality of life

Enshrined in the Equality Act it’s vital to understand how LRVs work

Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) measure of the amount of visible and usable light reflected from a surface when illuminated by a light source. They are used to establish how much light a colour reflects or absorbs when designing a space. LRVs are measured on a scale of 0 to 100: 0 is black and reflects no light; 100 is white and reflects all light. All other colours sit somewhere in-between.

The British Standards’ code of practice (BS 8300-2:2018) states that to meet the access needs of disabled people – a requirement of The Equality Act 2010 – when you consider the needs of the visually impaired, there must be adequate visual contrast between adjacent surfaces. The standards recommend an LRV contrast of at least 30 points.

Designs that have good acoustics, along with natural light and ventilation, help create a positive, therapeutic atmosphere.

Clear LRV points indication to make your life easier

Every material we offer has an LRV clearly marked out of 100 points, so you can easily meet your requirements for a 30 point differential between adjacent surfaces such as floors and walls, without compromising on your design.

We include many colours in our ranges with varying LRVs to give you options: select similar LRVs where you wish to aid movement or choose contrasting LRVs to discourage it, while maintaining the 30 point differential.

Where can LRVs be used to best effect? Here are some examples…

Hospitals – Incorporate similar LRVs, to aid movement from wards to bathrooms or along corridors to treatment areas. Contrast more by increasing LRV differential to dissuade patients and visitors from entering staff or private areas.

Care homes – Make the journey to a bathroom or lounge safer by designing with similar LRVs or use more contrasting ones to dissuade those who may have dementia from leaving the building through emergency exits.

Education – To help the visually impaired navigate safely around university to their accommodation or the library, consider incorporating similar LRVs into your designs. To discourage entry to staff and other areas, select LTVs with a greater contrast.

Hospitality – In hotels and restaurants you can help the visually impaired navigate around dining areas, through corridors to rooms and from bedrooms to ensuites by incorporating similar LRVs into your designs.

Retail – Aid effective and safe movement around your store, taking in the aisles through to the tills and exits with similar LRVs. Discourage movement into staff and storage areas with more contrasting ones.


Top recommendations

The HBN offers guidance on providing the correct levels of light for people facing dementia and visual challenges. In our experience natural daylight is preferable, after all we all feel better in a light, airy atmosphere. Using lighter shades of our floors or walls such as Altro Wood Safety Bleached Oak or Altro Whiterock Satins Orchard can support this and are a great alternative to plain white, which looks clinical.

Harsh lighting and some LED lights can create false impressions about the environment such as the perception that the flooring is wet when it isn’t, resulting in uncertainty and possibly falls. Choosing sparkle-free flooring helps avoid this: we offer a wide range of sparkle-free options across our product portfolio.

Our main sparkle-free flooring options include:

Visualise your options now!

  • Choose our new Insta-space software, which lets you upload your own picture and view our solutions in your own space
  • Use our Space visualiser to choose our products in a choice of pre-existing room sets
  • Want to explore our ranges for other areas? Explore with our Product selector for some great recommendations of what works best where, then have a play with our Insta-space or Space visualiser