You may have heard the term Light Reflectance Value, and its acronym, LRV; and you probably asked yourself what it means exactly. Well, it's a method of gauging light quality in a particular paint. This makes it an incredibly useful tool for the commercial and industrial painting contractor. Customers should be clued into its benefits as well. So, I've put together a few pointers on LRV for business owners and facility managers.
Reflecting & Absorbing Light
LRV measures how much a paint reflects or absorbs light. In some manufacturing facilities and commercial retail spaces, you'll want that LRV to measure at a higher percentage. Pure black is 5%, while pure white is 85%. If you're relatively closer to 85%, the paint will be a better reflector of light and require fewer lighting fixtures, thus lowering electricity and overall energy costs for your facility.
Another upside is that the facility's greater illumination will make it safer for employees, in that they'll be better able to see their surroundings. And for those facilities that make use of natural light (some commercial retail spaces, for instance), a high LRV will bounce the natural light around to illuminate the space.
A paint with a high LRV will also be more environmentally-friendly than a low LRV paint. This goes back to the number and intensity of lighting fixtures I mentioned above. Less fixtures and dimmer lights mean less electricity, which is more economically sustainable than the alternative.
The right paint won't always be either low or high LRV, but somewhere in between. It's best to balance aesthetics—interior design and company colors—with energy saving efforts. The most ideal paint might well lie somewhere in the middle on the LRV scale. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's something to bring up in conversations with painting contractors, architects, and interior designers, depending on whether the project is an existing structure or a new build.