What does CRI mean and why is CRI important in LED lighting?

Can’t tell the difference between the black and navy colored socks in your walk in closet? Could be that your current lighting source has a very low CRI! Not all light is made equal; some light renders color better than others. Color Rendering Index (CRI) is the measurement of how colors look under a light source when compared with sunlight. The index is measured from 0-100, 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” lights.

While all of our strips have 80+ CRI ratings, our UltraBright™ High CRI Series strips boast 93+ CRI ratings. These lights have important applications especially for photography, retail display and grocery lighting, where accurate color presentation is key. High CRI lighting is equally valuable in home use, as it can transform a room by highlighting design details and creating a comfortable, natural overall feel.

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 (or “R values”), termed R1 through R8 There are 15 measurements which can be seen below, but the CRI measurement only uses the first 8. 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.