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The Importance Of CRI

Due to the massive transition to live streaming, broadcasting, and hybrid events this year more than ever we have been fielding calls and questions that go something like this:

We just spent $XXXXX on all these new cameras and lens packages but we're still struggling to have the color of what we're seeing translate through the camera.

While some of the issue could be in the physical settings of the camera a majority of the issues are stemming from poor lighting more specifically the CRI of their lighting rig. For the purpose of this blog we won't dive into all the lighting issues that we've seen this year. Issues like color temperature variance, lighting layers, lumen variance, and so on. Those topics will be discussed more in depth in a later blog.

Before we dive head first into what CRI is we need to know what the heck CRI is and what it means.

CRI otherwise know as Color Rendering Index is the ability of a light source to accurately render all frequencies of the color spectrum when compared to a perfect reference lighting.

In layman's terms CRI is a lights ability to accurately portray an object in its true color as shown in the image below. Low CRI and we have dull colors. High CRI we have vibrant colors. I don't know about you but I chose vibrant and rich colors over dull any day of the week.

Color Rending is measures on a scale of 1-100 with 1 being the lowest possible rendering and 100 being the most optimal or best rendering possible. In an ideal lighting set up we would want as many fixtures as possible to have a high CRI - we like to keep it in the 90+ range for most theaters, stages, and church installs. This gives everyone on the team or event site the best possible experience of color whether there physically in the room or enjoying the event at home.

Unfortunately, CRI is something a ton of people overlook when they purchase lights. People tend to automatically gravitate to a lighting that has the most output (lumens). With the thought that because we can throw more light at an object it will accurately translate to our eye and through the iris of a camera. My hope with this blog is to help you see that just because you have the most advanced camera system it's Achilles tendon is still lighting.

If you or your organization is looking for help regarding lighting give us a call. We have a team of passionate and knowledgeable people willing to help.

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