Lamp CRI – Detailed and Expert Explanation (2022)

We bet you have seen that acronym, CRI, before. What is it? The abbreviation stands for Color Rendering Index.

One of the most important features of a lamp is its color rendering index because it affects how natural colors are displayed on your walls and furniture in your home or office space.

what is lamp CRI

What Is Lamp CRI?

The CRI of a light bulb is used to measure how accurate the color of an object appears when illuminated by that light.

The higher the CRI, the more precise colors will appear under that light source.

A CRI is a measure of the color rendering ability of a light source; it ranges from 0 to 100.

A low CRI number means that colors looked washed out or bleak on that particular device, while a high number would mean rich and vibrant hues are shown accurately or close to what they look like in natural light.

  • Incandescent bulbs have a CRI of 100 because they emit light at the same temperature as objects in their surroundings.
  • Halogen bulbs have similar ratings.
  • Fluorescent is rated at between 55-72.
  • CFL lights have a CRI of 72 to 82 depending on color temperature.
  • LEDs can be rated up to 95.

Higher CRI lights lead to perfect color rendition, which increases the visual complexity.

The main benefit of high CRI LED light is that it has a warmer appearance, making colors seem more vibrant, and the lights are easier on the eyes.

High CRI LEDs are better for reading because they produce less blue-spectrum light.

High CRI lighting closely resembles sunlight and shows all colors in their truest shades.

Lowe CRI lights tend to be more yellow and will distort the color of your d├ęcor.

If you work from home or have an office at home, studies show that mood and performance are enhanced when natural light can be used in addition to overhead lighting.

How to Measure CRI Rating?

CRI is not an absolute measure of the quality of bulbs.

The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a metric that measures how well an object or substance can reproduce the colors of another.

A CRI is often used to measure a light source such as an LED, CFL, fluorescent bulb, or Halogen lamp.

The CRI is calculated by measuring the number of lumens that it takes for certain colors to drop in luminance evenly at the same rate as other colors.

The higher the CRI number, the more faithful color reproduction will be when compared with other sources.

A good way to measure CRI, or Color Rendering Index, is measuring the color of a reference object next to the light.

The lower the difference in color between an object’s left and right sides and across each triplet, the higher CRI it has.

Sometimes this will be expressed as an overall CRI, which is calculated by looking at how natural Red, Green, and Blue colors look under different lights.

These three metrics are then combined into a score out of 100 to determine the “effectiveness” of illumination for maintaining true color perception.

The higher the number, the better it renders color and quality of light.

The best bulbs have a rating over 90, with 100 being perfect. But most of the bulbs on the market marks 85 CRI.

Why Buy a High CRI Light/Bulb?

High CRI bulbs are more expensive than standard fluorescent bulbs, but they produce a much better quality of light.

They’re also safer for your eyes because they emit less blue light, which can be harmful to the retina over time.

The human eye can detect up to 10 million colors.

But, the more a light source has, the better your eyes will be able to see things around you. A high CRI (color rendering index) indicates how well a light bulb or other type of illumination produces colors.

The higher the number, the truer it renders colors and objects in their natural state with less deviation from what we would see naturally.

If you’re looking for something that offers excellent color rendition and will last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, then look no further than LED lights!

LEDs have a chromaticity almost identical to daylight and typically emit much more of their energy in the blue-green spectrum than cool white fluorescent tubes.

Who Should Use High CRI Lamps?

If you are looking for a lamp that has been designed to produce the most accurate color possible, then it’s time to look at high CRI lamps.

These bulbs have been specifically engineered with the goal of matching natural light as closely as possible.

Natural light is crucial for circadian rhythm function and important for maintaining good sleep quality.

High-CRI lights provide those benefits without the harshness or mental fatigue that comes with an unnatural color temperature.

High CRI lamps are the best choice for high-end commercial or residential applications, as they offer color rendering performance that is superior to incandescent and LED sources.

There will be noticeable improvements in visual acuity and variation of hues in objects.

High CRI lamps will also provide better illumination accuracy when working with more finely detailed items such as jewelry, textiles, or manicured nails.


1. What is a Good CRI for LED Bulbs?

A good color rendering index (CRI) for an LED bulb is at least 85.

Higher numbers such as 95+ will lead to truer colors, but lower numbers should do the job just fine.

If you’re looking for the perfect balance between brightness and warmth for your living space, try out an LED bulb with a CRI rating of 85+.

2. Does Color Temperature Affect CRI?

Contrary to what many believe, the color temperature of a bulb alone does not affect how well that bulb scores on the CRI index.

That is because color temperature gauges the warmth or coolness of light and not light intensity.

Instead, the color lamps emit in response to varying levels of warmth/coolness that define their CRI rating.


In order for a lamp to have good color rendering, it needs to be able to render all colors with the same intensity.

Color rendering index is a measure of how accurately the lamp can show an object’s color.

A high CRI rating (above 90) means colors are rendered well and will look more natural in your home or office space with this type of lighting.