Technical Explanation: The CRI is a unit that measures the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal source of light, or natural sources such as sunlight. The CRI is a determined value from 0 to 100, with 100 being the value “perfect” or daylight.
Real World Explanation: The CRI determines how you and your surroundings appear to you and the other people in your environment.
A few years ago I did a lighting plan for the new house my wife and I were building. I had recessed lights located in just the right places and was dreaming about how perfect the house would be. I did a Lutron whole house lighting control system, touch one button and all the lights go out, touch a button in your car and lights come on, etc. Wonderful! And an electric roller window shade. In short a lighting designer’s dream house.
It seems there were a couple of flaws in my grand plan. I did not know as much about framing as I should have known. The framing interfered with the placement of recessed lights so my plan for recessed did not work out the way I envisioned. The plumber and heating people got to work before the electrician so there were pipes and duct work were in the way of some of the other recessed lights. The Lutron whole house control system was great except my wife and kids could not figure out how to turn just one light on or off (there are no switches, just buttons). In order for the system to work it has to be programmed and there aren’t a lot of Lutron certified programmers around to call when you want to change how a button works…and they charge by the hour. We had a whole house generator that came on automatically if the power went off. That was good, but it caused the Lutron system to go crazy. Lights would blink on and off and buzz and do all sorts of weird things. We even had the component that prevented the weird stuff from happening, didn’t work.
The good news is that I learned a lot about how to design lighting. The mistakes I made were at my own expense. Since then I take nothing for granted and visit house sites to make sure that the framing will not interfere with the lighting, etc. Whole home systems work and can work well but the homeowner should be aware of some of the in and outs of committing to the system because once it is installed it can not be replaced easily.
Lighting is fun. Enjoy your experience and do not become overwhelmed. Please visit FoggLighting.com and call or email with any comments or questions.