The Color Rendering Index (CRI) represents the ability of a light source to reproduce object colors as if they were being seen in daylight. In other words, high CRI lighting brings out more accurate and natural colors. LED technology has advanced enough so that LED lighting now gives the same appearance to objects as if in daylight.
Downlights Go Natural
The LED Lighting Facts Program is a U.S. Department of Energy initiative to encourage LED lighting manufacturers to provide product performance information on the label. There are now 63,000 products from 2,900 partners registered on its database.
Of these 63,000 products, there is a noticeable trend in downlighting toward higher CRI: the proportion of high CRI (≥90) products increased significantly from 4% to 49% between 2013 and 2017. This surge seems to have been driven by market demands for more accurate rendering of natural color, as downlights are mostly intended for residential and hospitality applications.