Cheap LED Lights: What is CRI and does it matter
As a long time reader of the blog, you probably already know that not all LED are made equal. One of the prime parameter indicating the quality of light that an LED panel gives out is its CRI (Color Rendering Index) rating. The higher the CRI, the more colors that light is able to render, giving a more precise image for the camera to capture.
If you heard about the green tint or the purple hue LED horror stories, those are both a result (or the cause) for a low CRI rating.
The folks at Videomaker put a colorful object under 4 types of light: tungsten (very close to CRI of 100), and three LED lights: a 77 CRI light, a 99 CRI light and a light with a unknown CRI (which probably means very low) and compared the results.
As a thumb rule, anything that you want rendered well, should be lit with a light qualified to 85+ CRI rating and preferably 90+.
Here are the four scene shot, each with a different light, can you pin each photo to it light source? (here they are again: tungsten77 CRI light, 99 CRI light unknown CRI light)
Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.