What is the CRI value of LED lamps?
The first generations of LED light sources had a low color rendering index of 60 to 70. This often led to disappointment after the old incandescent lamp was replaced by a suitable retrofit model. The LED light was then often described as unnatural. Fortunately these times are over and the LED technology has developed quite a bit. LED lamps with CRI 95 are now available.
Also according to lighting regulatory guidelines a CRI of at least 80 is prescribed for the lighting in the living area. Our company Laidishine’s products, LED lightings for commercial refrigerator and freezer, or shelf, CRI are all >80. For outdoor and industrial applications, at least CRI 65 is required. This is why many lamps on the market now have a color rendering index of at least 80. In many cases, cheap no-name lamps do not even have a CRI value. Here you should expect a CRI of < 80.
Which CRI/Ra value to buy?
The color rendering of Ra 80 LED lamps is basically not bad. In direct comparison, however, the color rendering of a Ra 90 or even Ra 95 lamp appears much more natural. No general recommendation can be made here. Ultimately, it is a matter of taste whether the color rendering index really has to be as high as that of an incandescent lamp in order to be pleasant with the perceived light.
Comparison of different CRI/Ra lamps
In order to find the color rendering index that is pleasant for you, it is helpful to compare the lamps in the shop or order two or three lamps with different Ra values.
Color rendering vs efficiency
A small disadvantage of LED lamps with a high CRI value should not be concealed. As the CRI value increases, the efficiency of LED lamps usually decreases slightly. Manufacturers are trying to counteract this by mixing different light colors in the light source. This allows good color rendering to be achieved with high efficiency at the same time.
Paying attention to high efficiency
When buying LED lamps, especially those with high CRI values, you should pay attention to good efficiency.
Now you know what the color rendering index or Ra/CRI value means. With this information you can compare the naturalness of the color rendering of different light sources. In living areas, LED lamps with a CRI between 80 and 90 are recommended. For particularly high demands on natural color rendering, there are also lamps with CRI 95 available.