Understanding Color Rendering Index

What is CRI? Simply put, it's the measurement of light in relation to how it affects the appearance of color.

Understanding the CRI of the bulbs and fixtures you choose plays a very important role in your home's appearance.

The Color Rendering Index & Lighting

The type of light bulb you use in your home could have a profound effect on the way a room looks. This is often attributed to something known as the color rendering index. Also referred to as CRI, this index measures the ability of a light source to reveal colors of objects in contrast to a natural light source, such as the sun filtering in through your windows.

Color Rendering Index & LED Light Bulbs

LED bulbs have grown in popularity recently, mainly due to their energy-efficient qualities and bright light production. In terms of CRI for LED, most LED lights produce a score of about 80 to 90 on the chart. The result is a brighter room, but with a much more natural, accurate output of light. Unlike fluorescent lighting which can create an unnatural look, LEDs are better suited to indoor environments. Aside from the color rendering index, the number of lumens output, or actual light produced, plays a role in the overall effectiveness of an LED bulb too.

Considering CRI for Lighting Fixtures

When it comes to choosing the right light bulbs for your home, CRI for lighting plays a role. You want colors to be crisp and everything to look sharp so that your décor, paint colors and furniture look the best they can. It may also affect your eyesight when you're doing certain task like reading a book, watching television or preparing food in the kitchen.

The CRI scale became more popular when LED lighting began to become prevalent in homes. Many modern light bulb manufacturers will post a "lighting facts" portion on the packaging to inform consumers of the bulb's properties. These facts should indicate the color rendering index scale, number of lumens, watts and efficiency metrics. Choose lighting that has a higher CRI rating so you can be sure you're getting the most accurate color portrayal in your home.

When you choose the right lighting for your home, there are many things to consider. Of course, energy efficiency and how many hours of use you'll get from each bulb is important. Checking the CRI scale can also help to ensure that your environment is brighter, clearer and filled with perfect color. LED lighting is certainly a smart choice, and today's LED bulbs are more affordable than ever before.