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What is the Colour Rendering Index? 

  • The colour rendering index, more commonly referred to as CRI, measures how accurately an artificial light source (such as an LED bulb) shows the colour of an object compared to a natural light source, such as the sun.
  •  The CRI is on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the CRI, the more accurately an objects colours are represented by the light source. 



What is a 'good' CRI? 

  • What we classify as a 'good' CRI will vary depending on the application. Not every situation requires the highest CRI score... 
    • CRI below 70: On motorways or large carpark areas, lighting systems with a lower CRI are often installed as it is not essential to distinguish colours accurately in these scenarios. The more important factor here is providing a bright light so people can be aware of surrounding objects or hazards. 
    • CRI greater than 70:  As a general rule of thumb in residential and office spaces, it is always better to select a lighting system that has a CRI greater than 70. 
    • CRI greater than 80: A CRI greater than 80 is recommended for where precision work takes place, for example in retail stores, kitchens or even hobby and craft tables.
    • CRI greater than 90: Places where colour accuracy is crucial is where you should look for lighting with a CRI of 90 and above. Think places such as museums, art galleries, medical facilities etc. In these types of environments, it's best when colours are depicted as true to form as possible.