We recently did a light comparison video  for the show where we discussed CRI. But we didn’t go into detail as to what CRI is or how it is measured.

CRI stands for color rendering index which is a measure of a light sources color in comparison to natural light. When buying LED lighting most manufacturers will list the CRI in the details of the light. The ideal number is 100. 100 is as close to natural light as you can get.

CRI is calculated by comparing the color rendering of one source to that of a accurate source of color temperature. The closer the light is to the accurate or perfect source the higher the CRI. When the light has a lower CRI value you will begin to see colors that may appear unnatural. This can been seen in shades of magenta on white walls for example that you then have to color balance against.

When looking to purchase new lights for your next shoot the color rendering index is not the only thing you should look at when purchasing your lights, but it is a very important number to look at and should not be missed in the comparison. Aim to get as close to 100 as possible within your budget.