What is CRI (Colour Rendering Index)?

Why is it Important In Lighting Design?

CRI (Colour Rendering Index) is the measurement of light in relation to how the lighting affects the appearance of colour in the surrounding area. The range has a direct correlation to the ‘temperature’ of a light also.

Colour rendering index is measured on a scale from 1 to 100 with 100 representing daylight. CRI was created so that one can evaluate how effectively light sources will represent colour across eight different colours. These colours are viewed under different lighting to find the best lighting and CRI needed to suit the needs of each room based on the colour scheme used.

Why is the Colour Rendering Index so Important in Lighting Design?

So, let’s say you have the colour scheme and design all planned out for your living room. With a higher colour rendering index, the colours in the room:

  • Will pop and stand out as opposed to being dull/muted,
  • any textures will stand out,
  • and finishes will have incredible depth and lustre. 

When designing that room or space, the colour, texture and finish all play a critical role in the entire design process. However, having the wrong colour rendering index that room can go from brilliant to bland leaving behind nothing but disappointment. Lighting is the fundamental element necessary for a great design and architectural lightingLighting design is just as important as the design of the room itself.

Lets take some examples:

1) A grocer selling fresh fruits and vegetables aims to highlight the vibrant colours, and crispness of their produce. Having a high of CRI>90 draws buyers to the produce. A poor CRI can reflect a ripe red apple as dull or ‘off-red’ leading the buyer to assume the apple is not fresh.

2) An interior architect has selected beautiful timber flooring, has a beautiful feature wall and carefully selected artworks and furniture. Having a high of CRI>90 will accentuate the warmth in the timber flooring, the feature wall will stand out as it should, the colours in the artwork will be striking while the textures in the furniture will be clearly visible.

3) A factory mixing paint for clients perform visual identification of samples. Looking at samples under a poor CRI luminaires will be making incorrect comparisons that may be disastrous to their clientele.

When determining the colour rendering index, the appearance of a coloured object under an artificial light source is taken and compared to its appearance under an incandescent light source at 100 CRI. The higher the colour rendering index the better the artificial source of light will render colours properly. The lower the CRI value is the more unnatural colours will appear when they are illuminated.

How do you achieve the right Colour Rendering Index?

At Actwell Lighting, we select specific branded LED chips for the correct application. We only use well renowned LED manufacturers such as Bridgelux (US), CREE (US), Epistar (TW), Sharp (JP), Samsung (KR) or Hongli (CN).

LED chips are calibrated with specific CRI were manufactured. A standard CRI for all our luminaires is CRI>80. A high CRI is that of >85. And our company manufactures LED lights with superior CRI>90 characteristics for specific applications.

Call us on (02) 9638 3333 for a consultation to find out more about CRI and to get the correct colour rendering on your project. 

What is CRI?

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