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What is CRI, and where is this Information Applicable?

Posted by Light.co.nz on 20th Mar 2020


A colour rendering index (CRI) is a quantitative measure of a light source's ability to accurately show the colours of the object it illuminates, in comparison with a natural light source (like the sun). The higher the CRI of a light source, the more accurate it is in showing the colours of various objects in relation to sunlight. CRI is measured on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 representing the best depiction of the true colours of an object.

Common CRI values of lighting products in the market currently are:

  • CRI>80 (representing good CRI)
  • CRI>90 (representing top tier CRI)

Applications where CRI is important:

  • Supermarkets - High CRI>90 lights illuminating produce will transform a dull looking apple to a red and juicy one, which helps to sell more produce.
  • Art galleries - High CRI>90 lights show the true colours of paintings and makes the art pop. Show the art just how the artist intended.
  • High end residential homes - when you spend a lot of money on beautiful wooden or marble furnishings and flooring, why would you dull them down with low CRI lights? High CRI>90 lights help to depict them in the best light
  • Film and video production - dull colours are not a good marketing tool. Using high CRI lights will produce a better video in terms of colour
  • Mirror light - apply makeup and expect it to look the same when you step outside


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