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Color Rendering Index – What Is CRI?

Color Rendering Index – What Is CRI?

A Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a quantitative metric of the ability of an artificial light source (i.e. LED, Fluorescent, Halogen, Incandescent, etc.) to accurately reveal the colors of the subject being lighted in comparison to a natural light source, the sun.

Sunlight, the standard for CRI, is considered to most accurately reveal the colors of a subject.

A CRI of 90 means that the artificial light source is replicating roughly 90% of the visible color spectrum that the sun would produce on the same color.

It is important to note that CRI is independent of color temperature (CCT).  

Applications that may require high 90+ CRI include art gallery lighting, lighting for museums, and retail lighting.

See Also
This image shows a museum visitor viewing Kerry James Marshall's art which is brightly lighted with LED art lighting

CRI is not a measure of brightness, but how sharp colors would appear under the given light source.

In any given space, the CRI of the light source could have a profound effect on how the paint looks, how the furniture look, and how the people look and feel.

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[…] C.R.I. is a quantitative metric of the ability of an artificial light source (i.e. LED, Fluorescent, Halogen, Incandescent, etc.) to accurately reveal the colors of the subject being lit in comparison to a natural light source, the sun.  Sunlight, the standard for C.R.I., is considered to most accurately reveal the… Read more »

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[…] lighting is very important for displaying or producing art. Sunlight has the highest CRI (Color Rendering Index). CRI is the measurement of a light source’s capacity to accurately reveal the colors of […]

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[…] lighting is essential for displaying or producing artwork. Daylight has the very best CRI (Color Rendering Index). CRI is the measurement of a light-weight supply’s capability to precisely reveal the colours of […]

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[…] lighting is very important for displaying or producing art. Sunlight has the highest CRI (Color Rendering Index). CRI is the measurement of a light source’s capacity to accurately reveal the colors of various […]