Specialist Contract Fabrics

Light Reflective Values

As leading providers of contract textiles to healthcare environments, we know that it’s not just the technical performance of a fabric that’s important but also how that fabric helps to create a comfortable and stimulating living space.

Over recent years, there has been growing awareness of light reflective values (LRVs) and the positive effects of implementing them within interior design can have on individuals with impaired vision or forms of dementia.

Studies undertaken by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) advises that 96% of people registered as blind or partially sighted maintain some degree of residual vision. Employing high levels of visual contrast in interior design allows people to make the most of their reduced sight. Understanding light reflective values can help you to select the best fabrics to maximise colour contrast.

A light reflective value describes the amount of light reflected by a surface on a scale of 0-99. A lighter surface that reflects more light receives a higher score and a less reflective, dark surface scores lower.

When designing care environments for people with impaired vision or for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, who may have a reduced perception of their surroundings, the levels of contrast between adjacent surfaces is invaluable in helping them identify the layout of the room and navigate around it.

These include making sure that walls, ceilings, floors, doors and furniture have sufficient colour contrast between them to ensure that they are clearly identifiable.

In terms of measuring that contrast, the relevant codes of practice recommend that the LRV contrast between two areas should exceed 30 points.

As part of our commitment to assisting designers to create beautiful, comfortable and safer environments for their clients, we have commissioned LRV testing on hundreds of our fabrics, to help make selecting appropriate textiles to increase visual contrast faster and easier.

You can find the light reflective value in the product details section of any LRV tested Panaz fabric.