What is the Colour Rendering Index?

The colour rendering index (CRI) is the measurement of how colours look when illuminated by a luminaire, in comparison to natural sunlight. CRI is measured out of 100, with natural sunlight being the highest. Luminaires with a higher CRI will show colours more accurately. 

A CRI of 80 is now accepted as the norm, with a CRI of 90 considered exceptional, and is most applicable for retail environments, to accentuate the true colours of products.

A low CRI, often found with poor quality LED or fluorescent lighting, will make colours appear dull.

High quality LED lighting, with a high CRI, will showcase products at their best. Groceries, clothing and cars are just some examples of products that look more appealing under lighting with high quality colour rendering. The latest LED technology can enhance colours can appear more vibrant, whites appear purer, and black items are more defined, accentuating those luxury products.

As one of the key challenges for stores is to compete with online retailers, creating an experience that cannot be met with online shopping is critical. Bringing out the best of specific colours, presenting stunning visual displays, and painting the walls with light offers a memorable experience for customers and visitors.

For more information on the role that lighting plays in a retail or leisure environment, visit the Retail Sector Page, or contact our sales team.