All light sources act differently. Two lights might look the same from a distance but might actually be rendering the color differently making the area being lit look and feel differently.
When you’re choosing the perfect light for your space, you must know about two important factors: Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Rendering Index (CRI).
Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)
CCT is an important factor which indicates the “warmth” or “coolness” of a light. For example, when a metal is heated, different colors of light are emitted. The color begins as red and then graduates to orange, yellow, white and then changes into deeper colors of blue. The Correlated Color Temperature of a light is measured in degree Kelvin.
Higher CCT (3600-5500 K) are considered cool and lower temperatures (2700-3000 K) are considered warm. Warm lights appear to be red, orange or yellow in color whereas cooler lights appear to be whiter or bluer. It is well-illustrated in the chart below:
Popular applications for different CCT are listed below.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
Color rendering index is a measure of the accuracy of a light source to render the object’s colors when compared to a reference light source. In other words, color rendering describes how a light source makes the color of an object appear to human eyes and how well the small variations in light shades are seen.
The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a scale which reads from 0 to 100 percent.
The higher the CRI is, the better the color rendering ability of a light source and objects are seen close to their natural color. Light sources with a CRI of over 60 are considered good at color rendering whereas light sources with a CRI of 80 or higher are excellent at color rendering and should be used for tasks requiring the most accurate color discrimination.
CRI is independent of the color temperature. Lights of any CCT can come with any CRI rating.
Use the table below to help you with proper selection of CRI
Before choosing the light for your business, it is very important to know and decide the color temperature and color rendering that you want. Hopefully this post has been helpful to you. If you need any advice, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to post them in the comments below!