Top 5: Color Rendering Index (CRI)

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strawberries lit with different CRI

CRI is undoubtedly a number you’ve seen before but probably paid no attention to. It’s commonly confused with CCT or Correlated Color Temperature and though equally as important, the two couldn’t be more different. When it comes to choosing the right light bulbs for your home or business, CRI can mean the difference in a drab or crisp appearance of furniture, decor, paint and more. Keep reading to learn more.

1. What is Color Rendering Index (CRI)?

Color Rendering Index is a measurement of a light source’s ability to display an object’s color realistically as compared to a “reference” light source like daylight. (I.E. an apple outside in a clear, bright, natural setting vs. how it appears in your kitchen under your island pendant light)

2. Measure Up

The Color Rendering Index is on a scale of 0-100. The higher the number, the more accurately a light source is showing an object’s color. Light sources with a CRI of 80 to 90 are considered good at color rendering, while light sources with a CRI of 90 or higher are excellent.

3. Color Temperature VS. Color Rendering

CRI is independent of CCT (Correlated Color Temperature). Light sources can have the exact same light color temperature and very different color rendering properties.See Example Below
apples lit with different CRI

4. Keep an Eye on it

Our eyes change as we get older. Therefore it is especially important for aging eyes to choose light bulbs with a CRI of 80 or above which will help you see true colors especially when it comes to distinguishing between blue and green.

5. Quality is Key

It’s important to note that light bulbs with a higher CRI are generally higher quality, and as a result, can sometimes come at a slightly higher cost. But when you’ve spent so much time and money carefully designing every aspect of your home or business, make sure you’re putting it in the best light possible. When choosing the right light bulbs for your space, you’ll want to look at the energy efficiency, color temperature, lumen count and now the CRI. For more information or help choosing the right lights for your home, visit your local Cardello Electrical Counter today.

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