What Is Color Rendering Index (CRI) And Why Is It Important?


Do you ever wonder why some colors just seem to pop off the walls and others look dull? Have you been curious about what makes certain lighting fixtures more vibrant than others? Are you interested in understanding which bulbs will give your living space a true-to-life feel with an accurate color display? If so, then reading about Color Rendering Index (CRI) is essential for you! CRI is an important metric of light quality that measures its ability to accurately render colors.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into not only what CRI is but also how it affects our everyday lives and why having illumination with high CRI ratings makes such a difference. Get ready to explore the world of light quality, standardization tests, and the importance of being equipped with accurate color knowledge.

What Is CRI And What Does It Measure?

The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is an international light measurement standard that measures the ability of a light source to accurately and naturally render colors. It ranges from 1-100, with higher numbers indicating that colors appear more vibrant when illuminated by that light source.

CRI is divided into two components: a General Color Rendering Index (Ra) which shows how accurate colors are rendered when compared to natural daylight, and a Special Color Rendering Index (R9) which indicates how true reds usually look in different light sources. To get the most accurate measure of CRI possible, it’s important to use good quality color patches, each tested three times from different directions to calculate both Ra and R9 values. Our OLAMLED lighting fixtures have an average CRI of 95-98 which is considered very well.

How Does CRI Affect The Appearance Of Colors In A Space?

To get a good sense of how lighting affects the appearance of colors in our homes, offices, and other spaces, it’s essential to understand just how CRI works. OLAMLED helps to illustrate this point with its powerful, high-CRI LED lighting fixtures. Below are a few steps to understand how CRI affects the appearance of colors in a space:

1. Low CRI Lighting Fixtures.

First of all, when you use lighting fixtures that are not very high CRI, colors just don’t seem to look as they should; they may appear too yellow, overly dull, or just plain off-color. Not only does this take away from the beauty of a space, but it can also affect how accurately artwork and other items appear.

2. High CRI Lighting Fixtures.

In contrast, utilizing quality fixtures with high Color Rendering Index (CRI) will make colors appear more vivid and lifelike. This can be a game changer for making rooms feel more alive and vibrant. Colors become true to life, which makes everything look better and more consistent throughout the space.

3. Natural Daylight CRI.

The best source of lighting is still natural sunlight, as it provides the most accurate and true-to-life color rendering. If you can, open the blinds and let natural light into your space. The CRI for sunlight is generally around 100, making it the most ideal source of light for accurately rendering colors.

4. Accurate Color Representation.

Having a good CRI ensures that colors are accurately represented and appear true to life. This is especially important for those in the design and interior decoration industries, as CRI helps in providing a consistent look across the board. Also, with a high CRI, your artwork and other items will look like they’re supposed to when illuminated.

5. Improved Visual Experience.

For anyone looking to upgrade their lighting, having a high CRI is essential for an improved visual experience. When colors appear more vibrant and lifelike, they can completely transform the look and feel of any space.

6. Enhancing Atmosphere.

High CRI lighting is also great for creating warm and inviting atmospheres. It helps to lift the mood of a room and make it feel more alive, without having to do anything else in the space. Providing an accurate representation of colors can make a room look more inviting and enjoyable.

Why Is CRI Important For Lighting Design Projects?

We believe that our OLAMLED high CRI lighting fixtures are essential for any lighting design project. With a superior Color Rendering Index (CRI), these lights make it effortless to craft an ambiance with authentic and true-to-life colors that are awe-inspiring. For lighting design projects, Color Rendering Index (CRI) is indispensable for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few:

1. Achieve Precise Color Saturation For An Impressive Visual Impact.

Most of the time, the way colors appear in space is determined by the quality of light used. With high CRI lighting fixtures from OLAMLED, it’s easy to get impressive color saturation and vibrancy that stands out.

2. Crisp, Accurate Colors For Life-Like Replication Of Artwork.

For those in the design and interior decoration industries, having accurate colors for the life-like replication of artworks are essential. That’s why high CRI lighting is crucial for ensuring that everything looks like it’s supposed to.

3. Create An Inviting Ambiance With Warm, Natural Tones.

High CRI lighting fixtures can be a great way to create warm and inviting tones in a space. With vivid color reproduction, bringing out the best in any room is effortless while adding a hint of charm. Also, colors that appear more vibrant and lifelike can create an uplifting mood.

4. Showcase Colors And Materials With True-To-Life Accuracy.

Having a good CRI is important for making sure that colors are accurately represented and appear true to life. This means that any material used will be showcased in its entirety, without compromising on the details or accuracy.

5. Enhance Visual Appeal With Greater Clarity And Precision.

For anyone looking to upgrade their lighting, having a high CRI is essential for an improved visual experience. It helps to make any space look more alive and vibrant without having to do anything else in the space.

What Are Some Tips For Selecting Lamps And Light Fixtures With High CRI Ratings?

Whenever you’re shopping for lamps or light fixtures, it’s essential to always look for high CRI ratings. Our OLAMLED always provides lighting with a CRI of >90, ensuring that you’re getting the best quality. Here are some tips for selecting lamps and light fixtures with high CRI ratings:

1. Look For Lamps Or Light Fixtures With A CRI Of Over 90.

If you are seeking a reliable lamp or light fixture that can accurately reproduce colors, the higher its rating is, the better. A CRI of over 90 denotes excellent quality and should be your goal when making such purchases.

2. Select Lighting That Provides A Wide Range Of Colors.

With its superior color rendition index, High CRI lighting can offer a complete range of colors from the warmest reds and yellows to the coolest blues and violets. This ensures that no detail or nuance is lost in the lighting and that colors can be accurately replicated.

3. Research Manufacturers And Brands For Trustworthy Lights.

When shopping for high CRI lighting, it’s crucial to research manufacturers and brands for trustworthy lights. OLAMLED is known for providing superior lighting in terms of both performance and reliability so that you can purchase with confidence.

How Can You Tell If A Light Fixture Has A High Or Low CRI Rating?

You can tell if a light fixture has a high or low CRI rating by checking its label. Once you know the CRI rating, you can be sure that what you’ve purchased has the best quality in terms of accurately reproducing colors. Below are a few tips given on how to interpret CRI ratings:

1. A Rating Of 80 Or Above Denotes High CRI Lights.

Anything rated above 80 is considered to be a high CRI light, which means that you’re getting the best quality in terms of color accuracy and vibrancy.

2. A Rating Of 70 Or Below Denotes Low CRI Lights.

Lights with a CRI rating below 70 are deemed low-quality lights, meaning that colors may not be represented accurately or seem as vivid.

3. A Rating Of 90-100 Is Ideal For Accurate Color Representation.

Rating between 90-100 is considered ideal, as they provide the most accurate color representation and vibrancy. So if you’re looking for the best quality, be sure to look for lights with ratings in this range.

4. Check The Color Temperature Of The Light.

It’s also essential to check the color temperature of the light, as this can affect how colors appear in space. Lights with a higher Kelvin rating will appear to be bluer in hue, while those with lower temperatures have a more yellowish cast.

5. Think Of Lighting As An Investment.

Although high CRI lighting costs more than low CRI lighting, it is essential to take into account the quality of light you are investing in. Higher CRI lights will last longer and provide a more accurate representation of colors, making them a worthwhile investment.


CRI is a measure of the ability of a light source to accurately render all colors in an object. A high CRI means that the colors will appear more natural, while a low CRI means that the colors may appear distorted or unnatural. However, CRI is not the only factor to consider when choosing a light source. OLAMLED also offers products with high CRI and can help you find the right product for your needs.

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