Lighting and Your Concrete Floor: An Unexpected Relationship
The Relationship Between Concrete Floors and Lighting
Concrete floors have many benefits. However, one advantage of finished concrete floors that is commonly overlooked is their ability to dramatically brighten up a room with their high levels of light reflectivity. Thanks to their gloss and sheen, light-colored polished concrete floor finishes can amplify incoming natural light during the day while reducing the need for artificial lighting in the evenings. As a result, this cost-efficient flooring will enable you to conserve energy and lower the cost of electricity bills.
Similarly, research shows that proper lighting can increase workplace productivity and improve mood, energy, and alertness. In some instances, these environmentally friendly floors are used to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and reduce energy consumption. Others prefer concrete flooring for purely aesthetic reasons. Bright, shiny, and polished concrete floors look much better than a dull and dreary surface.
Levels of Reflectivity
Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is a measurement used to inform how much light a color reflects and how much it absorbs. The scale ranges from 0% to 100%, with 0% being an absolute black and 100% being perfectly reflective white. Since white is an entirely reflective color, lighter-colored concrete floors are more effective at reflecting light than darker shades.
Different levels of sheen are achieved depending on the diamond grit that is used while polishing a concrete floor. Categorized by the Concrete Polishing Association of America, polished concrete finishes range from one through four, with level four being the glossiest. Finer diamond abrasives are used in successive passes to attain higher levels of shine.
Level one polish is hazy. Light reflectivity is minimal if any at all, and there is little to no clarity.
Level two polish produces a low-sheen matte finish. Some slight overhead reflection is visible.
Level three finish accomplishes a decent amount of light reflectivity. Its semi-polished sheen allows the flooring to reflect overhead and side lighting clearly.
Level four polish produces a level of shine akin to that of marble. When standing directly over the mirror-like surface, you will be able to see your reflection with 100% clarity.
Although concrete was once nothing more than a dull and drab surface, technological advances have transformed this masonry substance into one that is not only durable but also attractive. The high-gloss veneer is exceptional at reflecting light, making it a great flooring option for those seeking to reduce energy consumption as well as those just wanting to create a clean, fresh, and sleek environment.
Serving Wisconsin and select cities throughout the Midwest, the concrete floor finishing contractors at Lakeside Painting can help transform your old, worn-out concrete floors into beautiful, energy-efficient (and cost-effective) works of art.
If you’re still undecided about whether concrete floors are for you, you can check out our portfolio of polished concrete floor projects. If you’ve already made up your mind, fill out our form to request a free estimate, or call today and schedule your appointment.