Why is CRI important?
When designing any space, color, texture, and finishes play a critical role in the process.
Lighting is equally important. With high-CRI lighting, colors pop, textures stand out, and finishes have depth and luster. Think of
lighting as the fourth element of good design, which turns colors and textures into a vibrant
palette of finishes and materials.
What is CRI? Color rendering index (CRI) is a measure of how accurately a light source
displays colors. CRI is measured on a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 representing daylight.
CRI was devised to evaluate how effectively light sources represent color across 14 colors,
from R1 to R14 (see below).
CRI is determined by comparing the appearance of a colorful object under an artificial light source
to its appearance under an incandescent light at 100 CRI. The higher the CRI, the better the artificial
light source is at rendering colors accurately. Equally important to the finishes and hues of objects are
how people look in the space. High CRI values produce natural skin tones with more depth. A CRI value
of 80+ will effectively portray colors and finishes. When the most accurate color rendering is essential,
90+ CRI values are recommended.
When choosing the right light, the correlated color temperature (CCT), or how warm, neutral, or cool the
light is, as well as the level of brightness, are also important. You will want to take CRI, CCT, and lumen
output (brightness) into account when selecting the perfect light for your space.