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3 Reasons Why the Color Rendering Index Matters

3 Reasons Why the Color Rendering Index Matters

What is the Color Rendering Index?

The color rendering index (CRI) is a very simple way of measuring how close artificial light can exhibit colors in the same manner as sunlight. Industry professionals measure and define colors based on how they are seen in natural light. Colors seen in natural light are also the easiest on the eyes. 

By using a scale from 1-100, 100 being a 1:1 replication of natural light, even non-industry professionals will be able to easily understand this specific metric of a lightbulb. 

Many people would assume that a CRI of 100 would be the most ideal for their projects, however this is not always the case. Below are 3 reasons why knowing how to effectively choose your CRI matters. 


1. CRI Gives Retail Spaces Their Chance to Shine. 

Every retail and hospitality space has their own goals that they are trying to achieve for their customers. A hotel lobby is meant to exude warmth, familiarity, whilst still impressing their guests. Meanwhile a cosmetics shop needs to provide an environment that creates such sharp visual clarity that their products look as best as they possibly can. 

The same thing applies to clothing shops, there is a phenomenon in which people try on clothes in the store and it looks great, but when they get home it doesn’t quite look as good. The size, shape, and color of the item hasn’t changed, rather it is how the customer is seeing the item in a different environment. The CRI plays a very big part in this, and some customers might consider this to be another marking tactic. However CRI is based on scientific research and evidence, and if anything this is an indicator that the CRI in the customer’s home needs improvement. 

2. CRI Enables Versatility in Designing a Home. 

When designing a home, the owner wants to be able to have as much freedom as possible to make their vision come to life. And one of the most sought after aspects is having enough natural light in the home, especially during the day. But when night time comes around, having an optimal CRI helps maintain that natural light feel. This goes even further for the homeowner in situations where providing natural light isn’t possible, for example in basements, and rooms where having a window is not possible. 

Having a 100 CRI throughout the home can be a great thing, especially for those with sensitive eyes. However, playing around with the CRI gives the owner some opportunities to maximize other aspects of their home. For example if someone wanted to build a bar in their basement so they can invite guests over to drink, play cards etc… Having a lower CRI could prove to be more beneficial as bars are usually frequented at night where there isn’t much natural light. By having a fundamental understanding of how the CRI affects the environment, homeowners are one step closer to bringing their favorite parts of the outside world into their very own home. 

3. Optimizing CRI promotes healthy eyes

Just like every other part of our body, keeping your eyes healthy is essential to living a productive and fruitful life. Every optician and ophthalmologist will tell you to limit your screen time, don't sit so close to the television, etc… However what they typically do not mention would be the CRI of the lights in your home or place of work. Now these are the two places people spend most of their time, so it should seem pretty obvious that the environment should not be causing any damage to their eyes. By adjusting the CRI in spaces for their specific purpose, people’s eyes will not incur any damage over time, and will be one less thing people have to worry about. 

Next article The 4 Pillars of Lighting your Retail Space