Colour Rendering Index (CRI) is a method to describe colour accuracy, ie the colour appearance of objects under different light sources, when compared to a reference light source.
The maximum CRI is 100.
As an example, a common modern fluorescent tube may have a CRI of 85, while an old model fluorescent tube that may still be in use may have a CRI of 65.
It is widely accepted that a CRI of 80 is the minimum requirement for residential LED lighting.
With the evolution of LED starting to displace the essence of the CRI system, new methods are being formulated to make comparisons.
Until the new system is implemented, we are continuing to use the CRI system as the best method to compare how different LED products illuminate colour in objects.
A higher CRI specification will provide better colour rendition of materials in your home and work environments. This may be critical for areas displaying art, or learning environments.
High colour rendering would be mandatory, for example, in a museum environment.