Colour and Light Reflectance Values (LRVs)
May 8, 2019
Light affects how colours look and the LRV can be a useful reference in colour selection and anticipating the final appearance.
So what is the Light Reflectance Value? In simple terms, it’s a scale that identifies how light or dark a colour is. The higher the number the lighter the colour, with 100 being pure white and 0 being no light reflected = black.
Why does that matter? Because colours with a low LRV will absorb light. On the other hand – we all know that lighter colours can make a room look bigger – right? Well sort of. Light colours with a high LRV reflect light back into the room but you must have a good source of light for this to work!
A rough guide: Once you have evaluated the space, the size of the room and the amount of light it receives you then have a clear rationale for how light or dark a colour to select. As a rule of thumb:
0- 35 Dark colours/ medium dark
60+ Light colours
Remember always to factor in light conditions when anticipating the final effect. For example, in a well lit room a medium colour might seem paler than expected.
Where do you find the LRV. This number can be found in the Alphabetical Index at the back of the Harris or B-H Paints/ Ulttima Plus fandeck. If you don’t have one, ask them to look it up at your local Colourcentre or dealer store.
It’s a good idea to test colour selection first by applying a small quantity of paint before making the full purchase.
Check out our other great articles in this May edition of Paint Pro!