CRI and your LED Lights

Today we’ll be discussing CRI, standing for “Colour Rendering Index,” and why you should keep it in mind when buying LEDs to replace your traditional lighting.

Have you ever gone to a store, tried on navy clothes in their well-lit, mirrored changing room, only to go home and find it looks black under your household lighting? That’s CRI.  

CRI is the measurement of a light’s ability to faithfully render colours when compared to natural light/daylight, and is important for not only retail applications where colour is key (galleries, high fashion, hairdressing) but for your day to day use as well.  

It’s perhaps the biggest consideration when changing to LED. As, while they have a variety of perks over halogen, including energy saving, longer life, and little to no radiation, LEDs are still struggling to catch up to their predecessors when it concerns colour rendering, and are the reason many galleries and retail outlets still use halogen.


What the numbers mean

Don’t get confused -

There there are a number of statistics that refer to lighting colour, intensity, temperature, and more – and shouldn’t be confused with CRI.

Colour temperature is a common example – day light, warm light, cool light. Always keep in mind that just because an LED is “Warm” or “Daylight” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s CRI will be high as well - this is also the case for high lumen. A brighter light =/= a higher CRI.


For reference -

CRI is judged on a scale of 0 -100; a light with a CRI of above 80 is consider best for most applications – in the home, office lighting, and more, and in most applications, the difference is not enough to notice. However, if you want to display art, or not get your navy and blacks confused in your wardrobe, a CRI of over 90 will give you the most accurate colours.

Not all globes will specify CRI on their packaging, and may require further reasearch into the manufactors data sheet. 


Final thoughts

If having the best colour presentation is important to you, CRI should be the first thing you look at when shopping for LED lighting. As a rule, halogen lights almost always have a rating above 90, while quality LEDs average around 80 - 85.

When in doubt about the best lighting fopr your home or business, our team at Lightonline are always ready to answer your questions. Call us on 03 9819 1777, or send an email to 

Check out our full LED lighting range HERE