Luminous Contrast

What is Luminous Contrast?

Luminance contrast is defined in Australian Standard 1428.1-2009 as ‘the light reflected from one surface or component, compared to the light reflected from another surface or component’. It is not simply the difference in the colour contrast but the difference in the light reflective properties of each colour.

The Luminance contrast is calculated using the Light Reflectance Value (LRV) of the tactile and the surface in which it is installed on. The LRV is the total quantity of visible and usable light reflected by a surface in all directions and at all wavelengths when illuminated by a light source.

For all TGSI’s the luminance contrast to the base surface is as follows:

  • Integrated tactile indicators – not less than 30% across the entire area
  • Discrete tactile indicators – not less than 45%
  • Composite tactile indicators constructed of two colours or materials the raised section shall have a contrast not less than 60%

Why is it important?

The providing of sufficient luminance-contrast in the design of TGSI’s will enhance access to information for people with vision impairment and for all pedestrians.

The use of luminance-contrasting has been proven to improve safety for people who are vision impaired, as well as for all pedestrians.

Contrast Calculators 

If you have the LRV's of the tactile and surface luminous contrast calculators are a great way to see if you achieve your required contrast. All of Aussie Tactiles tactile indicators have been tested and reports are available upon request. 

We often use the luminous contrast calculators provided by Equal Access Pty Ltd. Equal Access has developed two online Luminance Contrast Calculators to assist designers and certifiers to  check if two colours will achieve a minimum luminance contrast. It simply requires the user to enter the two  values to determine the luminance contrast of the two colours.

The link is: