What is CRI?

There are a lot of terms used in the lighting industry which may seem confusing to outsiders. When it comes to CRI, you have probably heard about it, but might still have just a foggy concept of what it really means. So, what is CRI? Why is it important when choosing lighting solutions? Let’s take a closer look at this matter to get a better grasp on this important lighting concept.

What is CRI?

CRI is an acronym for color rendering index. This descriptor is seen in nearly every single type of lighting solution. The CRI is basically a scale to measure how well a light picks up and displays various colors on the scale. This is then communicated through a numerical figure with higher numbers denoting a better performance in terms of color detection and display. For instance, a lighting solution with a CRI of 60 will display fewer colors than a light with an 80 CRI or higher.

Why is CRI important?

The higher the CRI, the more color will be brought to life. It is basically a mode of detection and display. If you have two similarly toned objects under a light with an average or subpar CRI number, your eyes probably would have a difficult time deciphering the subtle difference between the two. With a higher CRI value, these two colors would be easier to pick out. Another reason the color rendering index value is important is because it has an effect on how natural the illumination will appear. For instance, with a lower value, the light will look more artificial and tinged whereas a higher value will offer a more natural look similar to natural daylight.

How do I choose the right CRI?

When it comes to choosing this factor, many people tend to think of it as the higher the better. While there won’t be any harm in having a higher CRI, you could probably get away with a CRI of 65 or 70 without needing to go for the higher performing CRI 80 and above category. Of course, it will depend on the size of the space you are looking to illuminate, as well as other factors. It is best to consult a professional lighting specialist to determine the right option for your exact needs.