Understanding Light Reflectance Value (LRV) in Paint Colors

If you’ve ever been interested in home decor, you’ve probably heard of light reflectance value (LRV). But what exactly is it, and what does it mean for your home decorating project? Let’s start by answering the big question on everyone’s mind: why should you care about LRV? Light reflectance value helps you choose colors that will work best in your space.

What is LRV and Why Should You Care?

The scale starts from zero percent (the darkest) and goes to 100 percent (the lightest). This scale helps determine how much light a color can reflect into the room and which shades will work best for your desired look. Read on to learn more about LRV and how it can help you create the perfect look for your home. Paint manufacturers generally list the LRV of color on the back of a paint swatch, or you can look it up online.

How Does LRV Work?

The LRV scale helps determine the brightness or darkness of a paint color. It ranges from 0-100, with 0 being the darkest, or least amount of light reflected back into the room, and 100 being the lightest or most amount of light reflected back into the room. White reflects one hundred percent of the light back, so it is considered to be at the highest end of this range. Black reflects back zero percent of the light and is, therefore, at the lowest end of this range.

When selecting a paint color for a given room, it’s important to consider how much natural light enters that space throughout the day. For example, if you have a lot of natural sunlight entering a room through windows or skylights, then going with lighter colors with higher LRVs can help make sure that your space feels bright and airy. Lighter colors that are highly reflective can also help you go green in your building by helping reduce the amount of additional lighting needed in a space.

On the other hand, if there isn’t much natural lighting entering your space, then darker colors with lower LRVs might be more suitable as they tend to absorb more of the available lighting instead of reflecting it off walls like lighter colors do.

Using Color Consistently

Another factor to consider when using LRV is consistency. When selecting paint colors for multiple rooms in your home, try to keep all their respective LRVs within a similar range so that each room flows seamlessly into one another without creating any jarring visual inconsistencies between them. For example, if one room has an LRV that falls around 50% while another has an LRV of around 80%, this could create an odd transition between them because they don’t have enough similarities in terms of brightness/darkness levels which could make them feel disjointed from one another even though they are parts of the same larger design scheme.


0-5 LRV – Very Dark


5-15 LRV – Dark


15-25 LRV – Medium Dark


25-50 LRV – Medium


50-60 LRV – Light Medium


60-75 LRV – Light


75-82 LRV – Off-Whites


80+ LRV – Whites

LRV and Choosing Paint Colors

Light reflectance value or “LRV” is an important aspect to consider when choosing paint colors for any given space in your home, as it can help ensure that all areas flow together seamlessly while also helping maintain consistent levels of brightness/darkness throughout your entire house. By understanding how different shades interact with different amounts of natural lighting, as well as keeping all chosen hues within similar ranges on this scale whenever possible, you can make sure to get just the right look for any area in your residence.

About Flowers Painting

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