What Are The CRI And Color Temperature?

- Aug 13, 2018-

What Are The CRI And Color Temperature?

In terms of LED lighting , we always talk about CRI and Color Temperature. The jargon within the lighting world will usually get required. Color cacophonous index (CRI) and color temperature ar one amongst the foremost to be confused with one another. This post goes to clarify what the various between CRI and Color Temperature is thus we are able to finish this confusion. Here may be a short reason why the CRI is a lot of vital to specialize in before deciding for a color temperature. the color rendering index is that the most significant feature in sure applications because it determines the looks of objects, faces, and areas. If this facet isn't relevant, the CRI is as low as sixty or perhaps forty. But do you know the real definition of CRI and Color Temperature? Let me explain it for you.


What is Color Rendering Index?

The color rendering index (CRI) is a numeric evaluation of the light color accuracy with the reference of daylight (numbered 100). Sunlight and its broad spectrum will enable a person with normal vision to see 68 different colors in a color chart, but if the chart is illuminated by a light source of one wavelength only, each color from the color chart will appear as a different brightness of that one color. Some activities, such as walking or operating a vehicle, do not require the accurate perception of surface colors while others such as product selections in shops benefit from better color rendering features. Look at the application of the lighting installation. If the visual tasks are easy to perform the CRI doesn’t need to be high. In areas like offices, handcraft manufacturing and surgery, the requirements for visibility, contrast, visual guidance as well as face recognition need to be provided by a lighting system with a good CRI of >80 or even >90. How much is the light color affecting the space? 

CRI is a measurement of a light source’s accuracy in rendering different colors when compared to a reference light source with the same correlated color temperature. The closer a light source is to a score of 100, the better its color rendering. The higher the CRI, the better the visual perception of colors. What’s confusing to me is that an incandescent lamp gets a score of 100, even though it shifts colors into the yellow range. When it comes to alternative light sources, the basic premise is that an LED light or CFL alternative with a high CRI is close in its rendering of colors when compared to the lamp it is replacing. Now my head hurts.

What is a Good CRI?

The color rendering index (CRI) is measured as a number between 0 and 100. At zero (0), all colors look the same. A CRI of 100 shows the true colors of the object. Incandescent and halogen light sources have a CRI of 100.

Typically, light sources with a CRI of 80 to 90 are regarded as good and those with a CRI of 90+ are excellent! The general rule is: The higher the CRI, the better the color rendering capacity.

CRI is independent of color temperature. These are two different things. For example, a 5000K (daylight color temperature) fluorescent light source could have a CRI of 75, but another 5000K fluorescent light source can have a CRI of 90.

This chart is a good depiction of differing CRIs, with each image having the same warm color temperature (2700K):


What is Color Temperature?

The term color temperature describes the temperature of objects by which they emit light, modeled through the "black body radiator". When increasing the temperature of a "black body", it starts to emit visible light in a continuous spectrum. The filament of a 60W incandescent lamp heats up to about 3000°F, as a result the lamp emits light with a color temperature of 3000K. Many of our artificial light sources do not create light by heating up a material until it glows like an incandescent lamps. Instead of creating a continuous spectrum, they generate an assortment of color emission lines. A black body color temperature cannot be directly given to this non-blackbody type of emission, generated by high intensity discharge and fluorescent lamps for example. 

Color temperature is a description of the warmth or coolness of a light source. When a piece of metal (often mysteriously referred to as a black body radiator) is heated, the color of light it emits will change. This color begins as red in appearance and then slowly turns to orange, yellow, white, and then blue-white to deeper colors of blue. The temperature of this metal is measured in degrees Kelvin. What’s confusing is that higher Kelvin temperatures are cool and lower temperatures are warm; directly opposite to the temperature in an oven. Color temperature is not an indicator of physical heat. Cool light is preferred for visual tasks because it produces higher contrast than warm light. Warm light is preferred for living spaces because it is more flattering to skin tones. 

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