Where do you need high CRI?
Maintaining high CRI might be a problem when we look at LED solutions since the light output has to be compromised: a drop from 140 lm/W to 90lm/W on LED level. In another words, the light output increases with more than 50% if the LED is designed to be set at CRI80 instead of CRI95. This is important to know when a new design takes place because neither setting is wrong. Still there is similar amount of energy emitted from the LED modules at higher CRI to those at lower CRI.
What’s the difference?
Major difference lies in that the CRI80 LED has much lower light output in the deep red area than CRI95, this leads to the next question: where is it necessary to have this deep red colour? Human eyes have lower absorption on deep red than on normal red colour. In order to see different variations of colour, the LED module must be able to emit all different colours so they can reflect all into the human eyes. Nothing comes easy!
What is good for you?
For us companies developing LED modules, it is much easier to develop CRI80 as a standard, due to easier and better access to phosphor solutions. However there are solutions where CRI 90 or 95 are necessary to implement such as in Medical lighting or High-end Retail Lighting. Meanwhile, CRI 80 has to have some red in it to be good and then it will be good enough to be used in home environment or retail business. So, what is good enough for you?