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Thanks to advances in semiconductors, optics, materials, and manufacturing, LEDs have progressed in light output, energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, ruggedness, and color options. As a result, LED applications have grown exponentially, and fixtures are now available for industrial lighting applications, expediting the phase out of metal halide and high pressure sodium lamps. LED is quickly becoming the dominant technology for all kinds of industrial and commercial lighting applications. Several key factors have driven uptake in these environments.

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Achieving the best light levels with the lowest possible energy consumption is critical for any company especially as energy costs rise. In addition to the maintenance benefits of LED lights, performance is also one of the key advantages of industrial LED lighting. We’re talking Color Rendering Index.


A general definition of color rendering index is that it is the “measure of the quality of color light.” CRI is intended to be an objective index, measured on a scale from 0 to 100, that compares a light source to the light emitted by natural sunlight. Natural sunlight has a CRI of 100. The most commonly-used LED light sources have CRI’s in a range of 80 to 90. The color rendering index of an LED light source will indicate how closely that source will replicate bright, natural sunlight, and how well that source will illuminate objects to show the true colors to the observer.

However, we can’t talk about CRI without talking about correlated color temperature. A light source’s color temperature is measured on a scale of degrees Kelvin. The CRI of two light sources are best compared against each other if those sources have the same color temperature.

Industrial LED Lighting

So what does all of this mean for industrial and commercial lighting?

An LED lamp’s color rendering index tells an observer how well that source will show fine details in an object. In warehouse operations, shipping yards, factories, or any industrial or commercial facility, this is extremely important. Not just for the obvious safety requirements, but especially where workers need to see markings on boxes, components, shipping containers, instructions, and manuals.

Simply put, LED lighting enables facilities to provide the most productive light levels for working conditions, no longer simply monochromatic blue-white light or a humming orange.

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Industrial LED lighting is the right choice. A variety of light-distribution patterns allow facilities managers to maximize fixture spacing while maintaining light levels, minimizing the number of total fixtures needed and improving uniformity. As a result, overall operations expenses are reduced while employee safety, efficiency, and quality is improved.