We’ll be the first to admit that it can really feel like you’re bombarded with so much everchanging information on bulbs. Inevitably this has led to just many more questions and we don’t blame you. Between understanding which energy friendly bulbs best fit your space and comprehending the vast array of different terms revolving around lighting, choosing a light bulb can be a bit…confusing, to say the least. We know how important it is that consumers are aware of what they’re really receiving every time they make a purchase which is why we wanted to help a little bit. In this article, we will (hopefully) answer all your queries about the CRI or Color Rendering Index. Below are the most commonly asked questions about CRI and what to look for when buying a light bulb.
What is it all about?
Have you ever noticed that objects can look different under certain types of light? The best and most relatable example is the moment you try clothes on in a dressing room and they look amazing; you happily buy them but then, at home in your bedroom mirror, they look totally different. Well, Colour Rendering Index (CRI) is behind this annoying mystery. Simply put, CRI is a system of measuring the accuracy of the colour of objects illuminated by a light source—in this case, LED light bulbs. The index gives us a way to measure how red reds look and how blues look under a certain light. The higher the CRI rating the richer colours look. Obviously, sunlight tops the index at 100, which why there’s very logical reasoning behind believing that natural light is the best kind of light.
How Can You Get Better CRI from your Lighting?
The higher the CRI, the more realistic the colours under that light will be. A CRI of 80 is common in many light bulbs on the market, and many consider this as a standard. Bulbs that have CRI scores below 80 are considered poor in CRI lighting. It makes complete sense to simply choose bulbs that have the highest CRI rating - we can guarantee that you’ll see a big difference in light and colour quality. It is important to remember that bulbs with higher CRI are perfect for spaces where you want to display different colours and textures in the highest quality. However, some rooms may require a more toned-down feel – it really does depend on what type of feel you’re going for.
One thing is for sure; knowing information on the CRI will definitely make shopping for the right bulbs so much easier. It’s an extra bit of invaluable knowledge that will come in handy when you’re next faced with the task of buying bulbs.
Is There any Difference in Light Bulb Types?
Absolutely, yes. Since different bulbs have different light qualities, their colour output can be very different, even if they score the same in the CRI. For example, CFL bulbs often have a more “yellow” toned light, although desirable in some situations, a yellow light can make objects harder to see. Conversely, LED light bulbs to give a clear white light, which not only helps to enhance the tone of the colours in the room, it also makes them more vivid. Turns out that “good selfie lighting” actually has a great science behind it. Who would have known?
Is it something I should consider?
A thousand time yes. We know for sure that knowing even a little bit about CRI can make your hunt for the perfect lighting a lot easier. Obviously, we’re completely aware that it just seems like it is added to the long list of light bulb requirements, right after energy saving properties and the hours spent using it, but CRI is completely worth it. Making sure you have a clearer, a brighter room is made a lot easier with this extra bit of knowledge.
It could be a case of trial and error for your space – seeing which CRI works for you, along with which colour temperature does.
It's important to be mindful of the so-called "replacement" LED lights that are usually incandescent and halogen bulbs. Yes, they may use less energy but the quality just doesn't compare to that of LED lights. The white light that the substitute bulbs emit is of relatively poor quality, which can impact a room considerably. In spaces where appearance is of paramount importance, light quality simply just cannot be compromised. As a consequence of our quality over quantity mindset, all of the bulbs in the classic collection are CRI90 and the new bulbs in the vintage collection are CRI95.