What is Reflection Factor?

Different objects reflect the light in different ways. For example, diffuse surfaces appear the same when viewed from different directions, whereas a mirror looks very different from different points of view!

Must Read: Aims of Good Lighting in a House
reflection factor-ratio

Reflection factor is a ratio of luminous flux reflected by a body (with or without diffusion) to the flux it receives .i.e.

Reflection factor = luminous flux reflected by a body / luminous flux received by the body


The ratio of the total amount of radiation, as of light, reflected by a surface to the total amount of radiation incident on the surface.

In other words, it is the fraction of radiant energy that is reflected from a surface.

Some symbols used for reflection factor are:

rc= Reflection factor of ceiling.

rw = Reflection factor of parts of the wall between the working surface and the luminaires.

rf= Reflection factor of floor.

Light reflecting factors of commonly used materials:
MaterialReflection Factor
Aluminum, pure, highly polished80 – 87
Aluminum, anodised, matt80 – 85
Aluminum, polished65 – 75
Aluminum, matt55 – 75
Aluminum coatings, matt55 – 56
Chrome, polished60 – 70
Vitreous Enamel, white65 – 75
Lacquer, pure white80 – 85
Copper, highly polished70 – 75
Nickel, highly polished50 – 60
Paper, white70 – 80
Silvered mirror, behind glass80 – 88
Silver, highly polished90 – 92
Oak, light polished25 – 35
Granite20 – 25
Limestone35 – 55
Marble, polished30 – 70
Plaster, light40 – 45
Plaster, dark15 – 25
Sandstone20 – 40
Plywood, rough25 – 40
Concrete, rough20 – 30
Brick, red10 – 15
Paint, white75 – 85
Paint, medium grey25 – 35
Paint, dark blue15 – 20
Paint, light green45 – 55
Paint, dark green15 – 20
Paint, light yellow60 – 70
Paint, brown20 – 30
Paint, dark red15 – 20

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Components of Daylight Factor

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