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How Light Reflective Value Impacts The Washroom Experience

When it comes to ensuring washrooms are safe and inclusive for those who may be visually impaired, light reflective value is key. Commercial and public washroom spaces could easily become unsafe places if light reflective value is not taken into consideration when colour schemes are picked out and elements of design are chosen.

The light reflective value ensures that there is sufficient visual contrast between various elements of the washroom, such as the wall and the grab rail, or the wall and the floor. The visual contrast allows users who have visual impairments and the elderly to see more clearly and distinguish between objects, making sure they can use the washroom in a safe and hassle-free manner.

Visual Contrast And Its Importance

Visual contrast is measured by LRV – light reflective value. The LRV of an object is the measure of the amount of visible light at all wavelengths that is reflected on a surface when illuminated by a light. Taking this scale into account and carefully selecting items for washrooms that have an acceptable LRV will ensure any washroom users with visual impairments can do so easily. This is especially important in public and commercial spaces.

More About Light Reflective Values

Certain fixtures need to contrast visually with the surface to which they are fixed so that they are easier to identify to those with partial sight. This includes things like grab rails, floors, walls, toilets, and sinks. 

Light Reflective Value is not a guesstimate. In official terms, it is a percentage figure given to a surface that represents the amount of visible light it reflects when illuminated by a light source. The recommended difference in LRV values should always be more than 30 points for it to be acceptable for those using the washroom. However, where rooms provide adequate illumination measured to greater than 200 lux, an LRV value no less than 20 would be acceptable. 

It’s important to pay attention to the layout of a room and the current light available in a room so that you can accurately make decisions regarding the light reflective value. It would not be acceptable to have white grab rails on white walls, for example, as this would be far too difficult to see for certain users. As a public or commercial space, your washroom design should be created with all kinds of users in mind. Those with visual impairments and other physical impairments should be considered throughout the design process, and LRV is just one of the most important factors to consider to ensure inclusivity and safety. 

How To Ensure Light Reflective Values Are Adhered To

Many manufacturers of washroom fixtures provide light reflective values for their products so you can easily see the light reflective value indicated before making a purchase. Architects, interior designers, color consultants, and those who hold jobs of a similar nature would all need to use light reflective values alongside the lumen rating of their light fittings in order to ensure that each and every room is lit and visible to an acceptable standard for all. A public washroom will often be used by people with various impairments, and ensuring the space is easy to use could make or break your business or establishment. 

Washroom accessibility hasn’t always been a given, but many businesses and establishments have realized over recent years how important it is to be inclusive. A disregard of inclusivity in 2020 could mean building a bad reputation for your business, and discouraging certain people from working with or visiting your business altogether. 

Conclusion: Should You Use The LRV Scale For Your Projects and Builds?

Using the LRV scale is essential if you are building a commercial or public space in which those with visual impairment can see clearly. If you want to ensure your reputation is kept intact, your customers and visitors kept safe, and your establishment inclusive for all, the light reflective value scale and lumen ratings should be used in conjunction to create the most accessible space.

Get In Touch With Interfix Today To Learn More About LRV

Contact Interfix today to learn more about light reflective values and how we can help you to create a washroom that is accessible and inclusive for all. A friendly member of the expert team is looking forward to answering your questions!