When it comes to LED lighting, you often see a lot of technical terms like Color Rendering, Color Temperature, and Luminaire Efficacy. What do these mean, and how does one type of LED lighting compare to another? Here is an easy to read chart that compares some of the more common types of LED and shows how they compare to our LED Lights.   Versus other comparable LED lights, our LED light strips have a higher color rendering index, greater luminaire efficacy, and greater color temperature range.

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So now that you see the comparison, what do these three terms  really mean…

Color Rendering Index
The Color rendering index, or CRI, is a measure of the quality of color light, devised by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE). It generally ranges from zero for a source like a low-pressure sodium vapor lamp, which is monochromatic, to one hundred, for a source like an incandescent light bulb, which emits essentially blackbody radiation. It is related to color temperature, in that the CRI measures for a pair of light sources can only be compared if they have the same color temperature. A standard "cool white" fluorescent lamp will have a CRI near 62.

Color Temperature
Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light that has important applications in lighting, photography, videography, publishing, manufacturing, astrophysics, and other fields. The color temperature of a light source is the temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that radiates light of comparable hue to that of the light source. Color temperature is conventionally stated in the unit of absolute temperature, the kelvin, having the unit symbol K.

Color temperatures over 5,000K are called cool colors (blueish white), while lower color temperatures (2,700–3,000 K) are called warm colors (yellowish white through red).

Luminaire Efficacy
Luminaire Efficacy Rating is exactly what it sounds like – it is a measure of how efficient a luminaire is, which basically means "how much light does it put out based on how much energy it consumes?"  Imagine it as "miles per gallon" for lighting fixtures; that example is pretty oversimplified, but it's a good comparison of how the LER relates to the overall efficiency of a luminaire.  LER is expressed in "lumens per watt," which makes sense if you think about it very briefly – how many lumens does a fixture produce per each watt of power that it uses, or how much light does this thing produce when it eat this much power?

The Luminaire Efficacy Rating generally deals with three important criteria:

  • the efficacy of the luminaire, or how much light it delivers per watt
  • the ability for the luminaire to direct light outside of itself
  • the ability of the luminaire's ballasts to deliver power to the lamps efficiently
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