What is the color rendering of the light source?

February 15, 2023


The color rendering of the light source refers to the degree to which the light source presents the natural primary color of the object. That is, the degree of color fidelity, usually called "color rendering index" (Ra). Color rendering is divided into two categories: "faithful color rendering" and "effect color rendering". We usually refer to faithful color rendering.

CIE sets the color rendering index of sunlight as 100, and stipulates 15 test colors, and R1-R15 represents the display index of these 15 colors respectively. When comparing a light source to a specified reference light source, an index value of 100 is best.

What are R1-R15?

Each light source has a color that is relatively sensitive. For example, if a certain light source is more sensitive to red, then under its illumination, the color displayed by red objects will be more realistic, but objects of other colors will be more realistic under its illumination. Under the irradiation, it may not be able to achieve a very real color reproduction effect.

To evaluate the color rendering of a light source is mainly to consider its reduction level to 8 natural colors R1-R8, 7 test colors R9-R15, a total of 15 colors, and what we usually talk about Ra refers to the light source’s effect on R1-R1- R8 is the average of 8 natural color reproduction levels, R9-R15 is not included in the calculation. We usually see that lighting manufacturers will write Ra > 90 (R9 > 50) and other similar labeling methods when marking products. Ra > 90 indicates that the color rendering of the lighting is very high for the 8 natural colors of R1-R8. R9>50 indicates that the lamp has good color reproduction ability for red objects.

How to choose lamps according to the color of the item?


The R9 color rendering index is particularly important for the lighting source of the meat display window in supermarkets and shops. For studios, studios and other occasions that need to truly reproduce the skin color, the R15 index of the lighting source cannot be low. Museums, art galleries, etc. The site requires a high degree of true reproduction of all colors, and the requirements for Ra and R1-R15 indexes are even stricter.

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