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What is Color Rendering Index (CRI)

Horace He

Last Updated: December 26, 2023

What is Color Rendering Index (CRI)

Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a measurement to assess how accurately a light source can reproduce the colors of objects. It is represented on a numerical scale ranging from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating better color rendering capabilities. The purpose of CRI is to compare the color accuracy of objects under different light sources to how they would appear under natural light or incandescent lighting, which is considered the reference standard with a perfect CRI score of 100. A higher CRI value suggests that the light source can accurately render colors, while a lower CRI value may result in colors appearing distorted or unnatural.

CRI is important when choosing lighting fixtures or bulbs, particularly in settings where color accuracy is crucial, such as art galleries, retail stores, and photography studios. A CRI of 80 or above is generally considered good, while a CRI of 90 or better is considered excellent. CRI is different from color temperature, which measures the warmth or coolness of lighting in Kelvin. While color temperature is subjective and dependent on personal preference and the desired ambiance, CRI focuses on the ability of a light source to accurately reproduce colors.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are High CRI Lights Worth It

High CRI lighting is worth it because it accurately reproduces colors, providing a more realistic depiction. In contrast, lower CRI lights can distort colors. To illustrate this further, let’s consider hospitals. Different areas within a hospital have specific lighting requirements, emphasizing the importance of high CRI lighting.

Do LED Lights Have CRI

In regards to CRI for LED lights, it is common for most LED lights to have a CRI score ranging from approximately 80 to 90+ on the chart. This leads to a brighter room with a more natural and accurate light output. Unlike fluorescent lighting, which can give off an unnatural appearance, LEDs are more suitable for indoor environments.

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