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What is LRV?

Accessories on the coffee table in the Delaney Park house from Zombie House Flipping season two episode two

LRV stands for Light Reflectance Value. It’s a measurement of the amount of light a color reflects. If you’re choosing a new paint color for your home, LRV is something you will want to pay close attention to because it can change the way a color looks in your home. Have you ever noticed that a paint color you loved in the store looked completely different on your walls? It’s most likely because of that color’s LRV.

How Is LRV Measured?

LRV is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. If a color has an LRV of 0, it means that the color reflects no light at all. This value is associated with “absolute black.” An LRV of 100 means that the color reflects all light and is associated with the purest white. These extremes are not found in paint stores; generally speaking, the lowest LRV you are likely to see is 5 and the highest is around 90.

Where to Find the LRV

You can usually find a paint color’s LRV by looking at the back of the color swatch. Popular paint suppliers like Sherwin-Williams will also list the LRV in the information about a paint color online. Take our August color of the month (Dynamo SW 6841) for example. In the “Details” section of the Dynamo page, you will see an LRV value of 11. This means that Dynamo will reflect very little light. It will most likely appear darker on your walls than it looks on the paint swatch. If you are using this color in a room that is lacking in natural and artificial light, then expect the color to appear much darker.

LRV and Efficiency

Paying attention to color LRV will help you choose the right lighting fixtures for your home as well. A color that reflects a lot of light will require less lighting than one that reflects very little. If you would like to improve the sustainability of your home, choose colors with high LRVs so that you can reduce the amount of artificial lighting needed in each room.

Lighter colored walls also reflect more heat, which maximizes energy efficiency by reducing the need for air conditioning. This is especially true when choosing a color for the outside of your home. Dark colors absorb 70% to 90% of the radiant energy to which they are exposed. Unlike a light color, which will reflect most of the heat it’s exposed to, a dark color on the outside of your home will heat up your house—fast.

Choosing the Right Paint Color for Your Home

Here at MHM Professional Staging, we’ve written a lot about how to use color. Color can change the look and feel of a room. It can sell a house, make a large room feel cozy, and even make you hungry! Color is a very powerful aspect of any home design. That’s why we offer color consultations to help you choose the perfect colors for your home. Whether you’re refreshing your walls or adding soft furnishings in a new palette, we’re here to ensure that you make the right choices. For information about our easy and affordable color consultations, contact us today.

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