What is CRI… and why to do I care?

What is CRI… and why to do I care? 1498 1000 k—da

What is the Color Rendering Index (CRI) and why should I care?

Why investing in high quality light can make a difference.

Understanding the Color Rendering Index (CRI) is crucial in interior design, particularly when it comes to lighting your space. CRI measures how accurately a light source reveals the true colors of objects it illuminates. To delve deeper, color is our brain’s interpretation of different light wave frequencies. When light strikes an object, specific frequencies are absorbed while others are reflected. For instance, a red apple absorbs all frequencies except red, which is reflected to our eyes. However, to reflect these frequencies, they must be present in the light source in the first place.

The Science Behind CRI

The quality of light, especially artificial light, varies in its ability to ‘render’ or showcase true color. This variation is due to the spectrum of light that the source emits. Light sources with a broader and more complete spectrum can render colors more accurately. In essence, the CRI is a quantitative measure of a light source’s ability to reproduce the colors of various objects faithfully compared to a natural light source.

CRI’s Impact on Spaces and Perception

We’ve all experienced how certain lighting can enhance or diminish our appearance. This principle holds true for spaces as well. A beautifully designed room can lose its allure if lit poorly or with low-quality light sources, making it appear dull and uninviting. Conversely, good lighting can elevate a space, enhancing its colors and design elements, and thereby transforming it into a vibrant and appealing area.

Practical Applications in Interior Design

When designing and lighting your home or any interior space, understanding and considering CRI is essential. Higher CRI values (closer to 100) indicate that the light source renders colors more accurately. While this is particularly important in spaces where color perception is critical, such as art studios or galleries, we believe its should be considered as a standard in order to make your material pallet live up to its full potential. 

Incorporating high-CRI lighting can make a significant difference in how colors and textures are perceived, thereby influencing a space’s overall ambiance and mood. Whether it’s for residential or commercial interiors, choosing the right lighting with a suitable CRI can greatly enhance the space’s functionality and aesthetic appeal.

In summary, the Color Rendering Index is a key factor in lighting design that directly affects how we perceive the colors and ambiance of a space. By selecting light sources with a high CRI, you can ensure that your spaces are seen in their best light, literally and figuratively. Remember, lighting is not just about brightness; it’s about bringing out the true beauty of your space through color and light.

We all know that we look better in some light than others.  That is true of our spaces as well.  A beautiful space that is poorly lit or lit with inferior light sources can suddenly appear drab and depressing.   It is important when designing and lighting your home to understand CRI and how lighting can affect your perception of space.