The impact of light reflection

Subtle differences between floors, walls, steps and doorways can cause enough uncertainty to result in a fall for people with various visual impairments. The amount of light reflected from surfaces that is the main factor in determining a person's ability to identify different surfaces.

Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) are the best way to measure contrast. Every material has an LRV marked out of 100 points. To meet requirements, there should be at least a 30 point variance in LRVs between adjacent surfaces such as floors and walls.

Floors and walls can be used to discourage entry to rooms such as the kitchen, or certain exits. Using flooring with very different LRVs creates a visual barrier, for example, Altro Reliance 25 in Arena (LRV: 41) could be installed in a dining room, with Altro Stronghold 30 in Velvet (LRV: 8) could be put in an adjacent kitchen. The difference in LRV is more than 30 points, making it clearer that it's a different room and discourage movement into the kitchen. This colour combinations work in grey-scale too, the true proof that two shades either contrast, or work together, as needed. .

  • An example of shades with similar LRVs that can run through, avoiding hesitation or misperception of a step, is Altro Pisces in Sea Urchin (LRV: 34) and Altro Suprema in Bubble  (LRV: 34).