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What is the Light Reflectance Value (LRV)?

LRV, or Light Reflectance Value, measures the amount of visible light that is reflected off a paint color, or conversely it represents the percentage of visible light that is absorbed by the color. We’ve all heard that white represents all colors and black represents no colors, and what this means is that pure white reflects all visible light and pure black absorbs all visible light. The light reflectance value is represented as a percentage with pure black being 0% and pure white being 100%.


Light Reflecting Off the Color Light Absorbing Into the Color


Why is the LRV useful and how is it used by designers and building professionals? The LRV is used to determine how light a space will be given the color of the interior. The LRV helps designers understand how much lighting will be needed and how well lit the space will be.

Choosing colors with higher LRVs can translate to more efficient energy usage when trying to light a space.

However, this all depends on the source/amount of light in the room. You can paint a dungeon white and without proper lighting it won’t be very bright.

MyPerfectColor lists the LRV in the FAQ section on the color page of most colors on the website.

MyPerfectColor offers the largest selection of colors anywhere including difficult to match industry standard colors such as Pantone, RAL, Federal Standard and Munsell, matches of many powder coats including Tiger Drylac and IFS Coatings as well as matches of any major paint brands including Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Behr and much more.

Please contact us with questions about spray paint, touch up paint or any other questions you may have.

FAQs about Light Refectance Value

How is the Light Reflectance Value calcualted?
The Light Reflectance Value is derived through CIELAB measurement. The CIELAB L* value (which is the measure of the colors lightness) can be converted into a percentage through a mathematical formula. Take the CIELAB L* value, add 16 and then divide by 116, take the cube and multiply by 100. That's it!
What color reflects light of all colors?
Pure white reflects all color. Of course pure white is theoretical in terms of paint, but if you are looking for the whitest paint with nothing but Titanium Dioxide (the pigment used the make white), check out MyPerfectColor Whitest White.
How does LRV affect paint?
The LRV is a measure of how much light (and heat) reflects off the color. The LRV doesn't affect the paint, but the LRV can indicate how much a particular color will affect the surface that is painted. For example, painting materials with lower LRV colors mean the surface may collect more heat when exposed to the sun.
What is the best color to reflect light?
If the only goal is to reflect light, then white is the answer. But odds are the only goal is not to reflect light. Other considerations such as the hue and brightness of a color also should factor into any design decision so that the resulting color meets the overall design goals.
Does grey reflect light?
Yes, all colors reflect light and grey is a color. Depending on how dark the gray is will determine if it reflects a lot or a little light.
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