Luminance Contrast


Luminance contrast between building elements is an important provision that allows appropriate way finding for people with vision impairments.


Luminance contrast between building elements is the difference in the amount of light reflected (luminance reflectance) from the 1st building element compared to the amount of light reflected from the 2nd building element as set out in AS1428.1-2009 section B3, B4 & B5.


The following elements need a :

Doors (minimum luminance contrast of 30%)
  • door leaf and door jamb, or
  • door leaf and adjacent wall, or
  • architrave and wall, or
  • door leaf and architrave, or
  • door jam and adjacent wall
Glazing (minimum luminance contrast of 30%)

Where there is no chair rail, handrail or transom, all frameless or fully glazed doors, sidelights, including any glazing capable of being mistaken for a doorway or opening, shall be clearly marked for their full width with a solid contrasting line. The contrasting line shall be not less than 75mm wide and shall extend across the full width of the glazing panel. The lower edge of the contrasting line shall be located between 900mm and 1000mm above the plane of the finished floor level. Any contrasting line on the glazing is measured when viewed against the floor surface or surfaces within 2m of the glazing on the opposite side.

Step Nosings (minimum luminance contrast of 30%)

At the nosing, each tread shall have a strip of not less than 50mm and not more than 75mm deep across the full width of the path of travel.

Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI)

TGSI shall have luminance-contrast to the base surface as follows:

  • where the integrated TGSIs are of the same colour as the underlying surface – not less than 30% across the entire area
  • where discrete TGSIs – not less than 45%
  • where discrete TGSIs are constructed using two colours or materials, the raised surface shall have a section that has 60% luminance contrast for a diameter of 24mm to 25mm tested as required.