What Is CRI And Why Is It Important When Choosing A Custom LED Mirror?

What Is CRI And Why Is It Important When Choosing A Custom LED Mirror?

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When it comes to custom LED mirrors, CRI is a vital aspect to consider. LED mirrors have gained immense popularity over the years, especially in modern homes and commercial spaces. The importance of CRI cannot be overlooked when selecting a custom LED mirror.

In this article, we'll explore what CRI is, how it affects the way you perceive colors, and why it's important when selecting a custom LED mirror.

what is cri

Image source: What is CRI?

What Is CRI?

CRI is a measure of a light source's ability to accurately reproduce the colors of an object compared to natural sunlight. CRI should not be confused with correlated color temperature (CCT). CCT measures the color of the light emitted by a source in Kelvin, while CRI measures the light source's ability to reproduce colors accurately. While color temperature can vary throughout the day, CRI remains constant.

Measuring CRI

Image source:Measuring CRI

Measuring CRI

CRI is determined by comparing the light source's spectral distribution to a standardized light source with a known spectrum, such as natural daylight. The closer the spectral distribution of the light source is to the standardized light source, the higher the CRI score. The CRI scale ranges from 0 to 100, with a score of 100 indicating that the colors of an object appear as they would under natural sunlight.

The light source being tested is directed onto the reference colors, and its color rendering performance is measured by a spectrophotometer. The difference in performance between the benchmark and the tested light source is calculated and given as a percentage for each of the eight colors.

The traditional CRI metric is based on a set of eight reference colors. The eight colors are red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, magenta, orange, and purple. The eight values are then averaged to give an overall CRI rating. The closer the light source renders these colors to their appearance under the reference light source, the higher the CRI score.

In general, a CRI score of 80 or above is considered good, while a score of 90 or higher is excellent. Here is an overview of the CRI ranges:

CRI 90-95

Amazing color rendering. Almost all colors stand out and are easily distinguished. A CRI of 90 is required for noticeably good lighting.

CRI 80 - 90

Color rendering is good, with most colors rendered correctly. Most commercial applications are acceptable. Items may not be as fully saturated as you would like.

CRI Less Than 80

Lighting with a CRI under 80 is considered to have poor color rendering. Items and colors may appear desaturated, drab, and sometimes unidentifiable. It would be hard to tell the difference between colors that are similar.


Image source:TM-30-15

CRI Measuring Limitations And Other Measuring Methods

It's important to note that CRI is not the only measure of color quality. The Lighting Research Institute recommends using a combination of CRI and TM-30-20 Gamut Area Index to get a more complete picture of a light source's color rendering ability.

The eight-color CRI metric is limited because it doesn't take into account other important colors in the visible spectrum, especially red tones. That’s where other methods come in.

TM-30-15, a method created by the Illumination Engineering Society (IES), has a comprehensive set of 99 reference colors. The new standard also quantifies color saturation using the Gamut Index and gauges how closely the color appearance of objects reproduces (render) compared to the color appearance of objects under a reference light using the Color Fidelity Index.

While these measures can provide a more complete picture of color quality than CRI alone, CRI is still the most widely used metric for color rendering.

Factors Affecting CRI

Several factors can impact CRI, including color temperature and light intensity. Color temperature refers to the perceived warmth or coolness of a light source, measured in Kelvin (K). Light sources with higher color temperatures, such as daylight or cool white LEDs, tend to have higher CRI scores because they render colors more accurately.

Light intensity, measured in lumens, can also impact CRI. Lower-intensity light sources may have lower CRI scores because they can cause colors to appear dull or washed out. Higher-intensity light sources may have higher CRI scores because they can make colors appear more vibrant.

How Does CRI Affect Color Perception?

The CRI score of a light source has a significant impact on how colors appear under that light source. If the CRI score is low, some colors may appear washed out or distorted. For example, reds may appear more orange, blues may appear greener, and whites may appear yellowish.

On the other hand, a light source with a high CRI score will accurately reproduce colors, making them appear vibrant and true to life. This is especially important in settings where accurate color perception is crucial, such as in art studios, retail stores, and makeup studios.

In custom LED mirrors, CRI has drastic effects on color perception. When you're applying makeup or grooming, the colors of your skin, hair, and clothing should be accurately reflected in the mirror. If the mirror has a low CRI value, the colors may appear distorted or washed out, which can make it difficult to achieve the desired look. A custom LED mirror with a high CRI value, on the other hand, will provide a clear and accurate reflection of colors, making it easier to achieve the desired look.

custom led mirrors

Image source:Inyouths Iyra Custom Led Mirror

Why Is CRI Important For Choosing A Custom LED Mirror?

When it comes to custom LED mirrors, CRI is essential for several reasons:


Firstly, a mirror with a high CRI score will allow you to see your reflection in accurate colors. This is particularly important for activities such as applying makeup or styling hair, where accurate color perception is crucial.


Secondly, a custom LED mirror with a high CRI score can improve the overall ambiance of a space. Accurately rendered colors can make a room feel brighter, more inviting, and more comfortable. This is particularly important in settings such as hotels, restaurants, and spas, where the atmosphere is a crucial part of the experience.

Ease Of Use

Finally, a custom LED mirror with a high CRI score can help reduce eyestrain and fatigue. When colors are accurately rendered, the eyes don't have to work as hard to differentiate between shades, reducing the strain on the eyes and potentially reducing fatigue.

There are a few different factors that can impact the CRI value in custom LED mirrors. These factors are:

1. LED Quality - The quality of the LEDs used in the mirror can have a significant impact on the CRI value. Higher-quality LEDs generally have a higher CRI value, as they are better able to accurately render colors.

2. Color Temperature - In general, LEDs with a color temperature of around 3000K to 4000K tend to have a higher CRI value than those with a cooler or warmer color temperature.

3. Diffuser - A high-quality diffuser can help to ensure that the light is evenly distributed across the mirror, which can help to improve the CRI value.

4. Size And Shape - A larger mirror may require more LEDs to ensure even lighting, while a mirror with an irregular shape may be more challenging to light evenly.


In conclusion, CRI is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a custom LED mirror. When shopping for a custom LED mirror, be sure to look for a product with a high CRI score to ensure that you get the most out of your purchase.

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