How to choose the right CRI? CRI80 vs CRI90

The Color Rendering Index (CRI) indicates the ability of a light source, such as LED, to accurately reproduce colors compared to a natural light source. A higher CRI value indicates better color rendering. When you choose between CRI80 LED or CRI90 LED, there are several factors to consider:


  1. COLOR RENDERING QUALITY: a CRI90 LED offers better color rendering compared to a CRI80 LED. This means that colors will be more accurate and vibrant when illuminated by a CRI90 source. This is particularly important in applications where color accuracy is critical, such as clothing stores, art exhibitions, or work environments where precise color and detail distinction is necessary.
  2. SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS: in some applications, such as street or industrial lighting, CRI90 may not be essential, as the main focus is to provide good general illumination rather than precise color rendering. In these cases, a CRI80 LED may be more than sufficient for the lighting needs.
  3. ENERGY EFFICIENCY: generally, LEDs with a higher CRI have a slightly lower luminous efficiency compared to those with a lower CRI. Therefore, if energy efficiency is a significant priority for the application, a CRI80 LED might be preferable, as it could offer higher luminous efficiency compared to a CRI90 LED.
  4. BUDGET: typically, LEDs with a higher CRI, such as CRI90, can be more expensive than those with CRI80. If the budget is an important consideration, a CRI80 LED might be a more cost-effective choice without excessively compromising the color rendering.


It’s important to notice that the difference in efficiency between a CRI80 LED and a CRI90 LED is usually minimal and may not be noticeable in most general lighting applications. Furthermore, technological advancements in LED industry are constantly improving the efficiency of high-CRI LEDs, minimizing the efficiency gap compared to lower-CRI LEDs.

In conclusion, the choice between a CRI80 LED and a CRI90 LED will depend on the specific requirements of the application, the importance of color rendering, energy efficiency, and the available budget.

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