By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


NCS Colour Contrast Kit

The kit comprises the NCS Colour Scan and the NCS Index and offers a time saving solution for surveying existing colours for refurbishment projects and specifying colour for accessible environments.         

The NCS Colour Scan measures  areas 2-8mm of flat or slightly textured surface colour and gives the NCS reference and LRV and the page number in the NCS Index where the colour can be seen. It has its own light source and stores up to 100 readings to which voice or text tags can be added.                  

The NCS Index shows the full range of 1,950 colours, available from all major paint companies. These colours can be used to specify many coloured products including render, powder coating, cladding, ceramic tiles, laminates, hard flooring, glass, plastic, etc. A list of manufacturers of coatings and other products can be seen on our website.

LRV - Light reflectance value

BS8300 and ADM require 20 - 30 points difference in LRV (light reflectance value) between adjacent surfaces, eg wall and door, to ensure buildings and transport are accessible to people with impaired vision.

LRV is an instrumental measurement of the proportion of light reflected by a surface, weighted for the sensitivity to light of the human eye. Expressed on a scale of 0-100, with black being about 5 and white about 90, it is also used to calculate lighting levels.

Assessing LRV is not intuitive: the four colour samples we’ve shown have the same nuance of 2060 (the same blackness & chromaticity) but the LRVs are very different. This is due to the wavelengths of the different hues.

The NCS Atlas has a scale of LRV on each page so that the approximate LRV is known as colours are being selected. This makes the creative part of colour specification much easier.

RNIB - Colour and tonal contrast

This publication by Janet John of RNIB Cymru explains the practical process of planning for colour contrast and illustrates a method which can be applied to a design specification. NCS UK provided advice on current colour contrast requirements, as well as supplying the Colour Contrast specifying tools used by the RNIB in their training programme.

‘…The publication builds on good practice with Wales and West Housing Association and demonstrates the commitment of the housing association movement and RNIB Cymru to jointly support the housing needs of people with visual impairments.’

Nick Bennett Chief Executive Community Housing Cymru.

A new approach to colour specification

Typically colour specifications for accessible environments take longer. They require the right information from manufacturers, colour specifying tools that enable informed decisions to be made more easily - and more knowledge about colour.

NCS colour training

You will find free access online CPD units at

We also run full day workshop style colour courses.

For further information

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

    The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

    AJ newsletters