What is CRI?

When choosing a light bulb such as  LED or fluorescent, you may see a notation for CRI and wonder what it is. In short, CRI or Color Rendering Index is a measure of how accurately an artificial light source displays colors. This is usually done by comparing the appearance of a colored object under an artificial light source and its appearance under an incandescent light. The higher the CRI, the more accurate the color.

How does this apply to real life? Well, light sources with a low CRI will make objects appear washed out and dull whereas light sources with a high CRI will make objects appear more vivid and bring life to subject.

That’s why we usually recommend a CRI of 80+  for residential applications.  However, for commercial applications such as retail stores, museum galleries, and beauty salons, it may be useful to have a higher CRI. In regards to Energy Star, qualified fixtures are required to have lamps with CRI of 80+.

Please see below for a visual guide.

Color Rendering Index

If you need any assistance choosing light bulbs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at customerservice@lbclighting.com.


Source: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=fixture_guide.pr_fixtures_guide_lightquality

Source: http://www.satco.com

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