Color rendering index
The English used in this article or section may not be easy for everybody to understand. (July 2017)
Color rendering index (CRI) is a number rating given to light bulbs or lamps for how "right" they make colors look. This number is usually written on the side of light bulb's box. The CRI number can be as high as 100, or as low as zero; and sometimes it can go under zero. High CRI number is good; it means colors will look right and real. Low CRI number is bad; it means colors will look wrong and weird.
However, there is a limit of what a CRI number can tell. Good CRI number can guarantee correct colors only when the light itself is white. This is because of limits on how science people test them. Candles and incandescent light bulbs have CRI 100 but they are not white, so we cannot rely on them to make stuffs show real colors.
The CRI number of daylight at noon is 100, because this is the natural way people see colors. Good fluorescent tubes or LED lamps have a CRI 80 or more. Anything white with a CRI 80 or more are good enough for homes. The orange sodium vapor lamp has CRI lower than 0, so they are only used as streetlamps.
- "Color Rendering Index (CRI) Explained". Full Spectrum Solutions. Retrieved 4 July 2017.