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What does CRI mean?

One of the most useful measurements when referring to a lighting source is the Color Rendering Index, also known as the CRI, which a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reveal the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source. Light sources with a high CRI are desirable in color-critical applications such as neonatal care and art restoration. It is defined by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) as follows:

"Color rendering: Effect of an illuminant on the color appearance of objects by conscious or subconscious comparison with their color appearance under a reference illuminant."

color rendering index

Can’t tell the difference between the black and navy colored clothes in your wardrobe? Could be that your current lighting source has a very low CRI! Color Rendering Index is the measurement of how colors look under a light source when compared with sunlight. In other words, it is a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colors “realistically” or “naturally”. CRI is rated on a scale from 1-100, with a perfect 100 indicating that colors under the light source appear the same as they would under natural sunlight. This rating is also a measurement in the lighting industry to help discern naturalness, hue discrimination, vividness, preference, color naming accuracy and color harmony.

- Lights with a CRI that is measured greater than 80 are considered to be more than acceptable for most applications.

- Lights with a CRI that is measured greater than 90 is generally considered “High CRI” strip lights.

While all of our led strip lights have 80+ CRI ratings, our High CRI LED Strip Series have 90+ CRI rating, and ultra high CRI 95+ is also available. These light is the best choice for phtography, retail display, art galleries, museums, high end homes or anywhere extreme color accuracy is required.

Testing for CRI requires special machinery designed specifically for this purpose. During this test, the light spectrum of a lamp is analyzed onto eight different colors “R values”, termed R1 through R8. There're 15 measurements, but the CRI measurement only uses the first 8 R value. The lamp receives a score from 0-100 for each color, based on how natural the color is rendered in comparison with how the color looks under a “perfect” or “reference” light source at the same color temperature as that lamp.


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