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The Color Rendering Index CRI

Time:2015-08-24 Views:2783 Compile:SUNPER

CRI in full means color rendering index. It is a quantitative measure of the capability of a light source to reveal colors of different objects in comparison with a natural or ideal light source. Light source with high CRI are usually more desirable in color-critical applications like neonatal care, cinematography as well as photography. CRI is one of the terms that you may see when you are checking the specifications of the LED high bay light or the LED lighting fixtures.



CRI is a term that most consumers were not aware of till recently. This is because LED lighting products were not the mainstream lighting source till the last five to ten years. Before that time, there was no great need for one to be so concerned with the CRI in most of the household lighting applications.


The color rendering index is usually very simple. It is a numerical scale ranging from zero to 100. Its main purpose is to indicate how well the light source shall show the natural or true color of any object. If the source of the light is the sun, the index will read as 100 because the objects viewed in the direct sunlight normally appear in their true color. However, this was also true with most of the incandescent lights and thus there was very little use of the CRI for the consumers. This remained that way till there was emergence of the alternative light sources such as the LED lights. However, in the beginning, the light that was produced by the LEDs never showed the true color of the object as with the fluorescent light sources. People used to describe this light as deep blue. As time passed, LEDs gained recognition and popularity. Nowadays, the CRI is very helpful in guiding consumers as well as manufacturers.



However, it is highly recommended that prior you buy a LED fixture bulb, you look for this specification. A CRI of 75 or 80 was considered to be good until recently. Today, it is becoming a bit common to see a CRI of 85 or higher. Generally, the closer to 100 the CRI LED is, the better the colors that will appear. Higher CRI LED light fixtures and bulb typically cost more. This is because the higher CRI LED light sources are very critical in commercial applications such as retailers where clothing is displayed or food presented. A higher CRI LED bulb is better in dressing rooms or bathrooms where makeup is being applied as well as accessories such as neckties are selected. In a workplace, you should use higher CRI LED lights like high power LED high bay light to produce an environment that makes people feel more productive and energetic. In contrast to this, if you want a LED light bulb for replacing the incandescent bulb at the back porch fixture, you can use a more economical and lower CRI light bulb.


Lastly, the CRI is usually independent of the color temperature. An example to illustrate this is that a LED high bay light with a color temperature of about 5,000K cool white does not mean that the CRI will be higher than a 2,700 to 3,000K warm white LED high bay. Above is all what you should know concerning the CRI.



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