High CRI LED lights. Are they worth the hype?




What is CRI?

CRI as an acronym for Colour Rendering Index. Colour Rendering Index is a scale to 100. The higher the CRI rating, the closer light it produces is to natural sunlight or good halogen lamp. Essentially, CRI is the measure of quality of light.

Street Lights

Street light’s quality of light does not matter compared to the cost of lamp, so some streetlights have poor CRI rating of 30. The light that street lights produce does not reproduce the colours of objects very well.  The cost of lamps and their longevity, as opposed to brightness or quality of light is the deciding factor for the agencies when choosing lights.
Factory lights and poor quality residential lights have better CRI, varying at around CRI 70-80 mark. When choosing factory lights, the brightness and longevity are deciding factors, not the quality of light. Occasionally poor quality lights with CRI in low 80’s make their way into residential home lighting sold as budget lights.
Home lighting CRI varies between mid 80’s and high 90’s.  High CRI LED light fittings have become common within the last several years

Factory Lights

Factory lights and poor quality residential lights have better CRI, varying at around CRI 70-80 mark. When choosing factory lights, the brightness and longevity are deciding factors, not quality of light. Occasionally poor quality lights with CRI in low 80’s make their way into residential home lighting sold as budget lights.

Home lighting CRI varies between mid 80’s and high 90’s.  As previously mentioned, there are many low quality lights on the market and, unfortunately many found their way into new developments and renovations.

High CRI LED Lights = High Quality

High CRI LED light fittings have become common within the last several years. While high CRI lights used to be expensive and belonged in the museums and art galleries, they found their way into average home lighting systems. Apart from high quality LED spotlights, it is not uncommon to find high-end LED Downlights with CRI 90, like these downlight from Vertex.  installed in residential properties. If you have artwork on the walls, you will appreciate tilting downlight highlighting the artworks bringing out the most of their colour.
With competition between manufacturers ramping up, the good quality LED lights have become affordable as many manufacturers realised that people demand quality of light.

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