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What is LRV? | Light Reflectance Values

What is LRV? | Light Reflectance Values

Hooray! You’ve just bought a new house but the walls are in need of a revamp because the paint is making your new space look dreary and unattractive. But where do you start? Choosing paint colors may seem easy, but there is a little more to the task than matching dad’s lazy-boy couch. In a previous article, we detailed how to choose lighting for paint colors to enhance the lighting in a particular space. Now, let’s discuss what you need to know when selecting a paint color.

What is a Light Reflectance Value (LRV)?

Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is a scale that determines the quantity of visible and usable light reflected by all directions and all wavelengths when a surface is illuminated. Essentially, this scale is used to identify how much light a color reflects or absorbs. It is measured from 0% which reflects no visible light, to 100% which reflects all light. Generally the darkest blacks have an LRV rating of 5% while the whitest whites average around 85%.

                                                                              Image courtesy of  Land of Color

                                                                              Image courtesy of Land of Color

The LRV measurement is inclusive to all paint colors and is not limited to the gray scale. Lighter shades of yellow can potentially be just as reflective as whit\e while darker shades of brown may mimic the low reflectance value of black. For example, Sherwin Williams’ “Fun Yellow” has a reflectance value of 78 while a “Fiery Brown” has a reflectance value of 5. Depending on the color you select, it can potentially affect the brightness of a room.

Why is Light Reflectance Values (LRV) Important?

When selecting a paint color, use the LVR to understand how bright or dark the paint will make a room may appear. By selecting a more reflective paint, you may be able to reduce the required number of light fixtures and improve the overall uniformity of light. The LRV rating can be found on the back of most color chips or throughout the index of many major paint supplier brands. Combined with the correct Kelvin color temperature and a high color rendering index (CRI) light bulbs, your dream space is only a few steps away.

Are you a master lip-singer to Manfred Mann’s Earth bands hit song, “Blinded by the Light?” Have any enlightening jokes? Feel free to leave any questions or comments on how much you don’t like the color periwinkle in the section below. Keep in touch with us on our social media platforms via, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest or check back on our blog for weekly lighting updates!






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