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December 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Experience True Color – CRI Explained

When comparing light bulbs, you’ll likely see a specification called “CRI,” followed by a number. Most people do not know that this is a measurement of a light bulb’s color rendering index, and many of those who understand what the acronym is short for do not understand what that actually means.

A light bulb’s CRI measures the effect a light source has on the perceived color of objects and surfaces. High CRI lights makes virtually all colors look natural and vibrant. Low CRI causes colors to appear washed out, less saturated, or even to take on a completely different hue.

Compare the picture below. On the left, a high CRI light bulb is used to display colored pencils in vibrant, true color. On the right, a low CRI light bulb displays the same colored pencils, but the effect on their displayed colors is immediately noticeable. The low CRI light bulb displays the colored pencils with duller colors, producing less contrast and vibrancy in the picture.

CRI

It’s important to keep in mind that both the lights used in the example above have the same color temperature, meaning the color of the light they produce is the same. When comparing the CRI of any two light bulbs, it’s imperative that the color temperature of each are the same, or else the measurement is not comparable.

The closer a bulb’s CRI is to 100, the less shift in color is produced. The CRI scale is based off natural daylight, which has a color temperature of roughly 5000 to 6000K. This is the ideal range of color temperatures when using CRI. Color temperatures that are too low (common in conventional incandescent lighting) produce light that is very yellow, while color temperatures that are too high will produce light that is very blue.

Choosing your lighting source for your home or business is very important. Knowing what a bulb’s CRI rating is great, but knowing what that means is crucial. When armed with this knowledge, you can to make the right choices today, and experience true color for each day to come.

January 16, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

Why was the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) enacted?

The Act is designed “to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes.”

Why is the government setting efficiency standards for light bulbs?

The government has been setting minimum efficiency standards for many years on products such as clothes washers, cars, and refrigerators. This encourages manufacturers to develop products for consumers that are more energy efficient and therefore less expensive to operate. It also helps protect our natural resources, saves energy, and reduces our dependency on foreign oil.

Does EISA ban incandescent bulbs?

No, but its minimum efficiency standards are high enough that the incandescent light bulbs most commonly used by consumers today will not meet the new requirements. Once implemented, the Act will essentially eliminate 40W, 60W, 75W, and 100W medium screw base incandescent light bulbs.

Which bulbs will EISA affect?

EISA sets efficiency standards for general service lamps, which currently include the following light bulbs:

  • General service incandescent lamps
  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
  • General service light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) lamps

Are any bulbs exempt from EISA?

Yes. Twenty-two types of incandescent lamps are exempt from the new minimum efficiency standards defined by EISA:

  1. Appliance lamps
  2. Black light lamps
  3. Bug lamps
  4. Colored lamps
  5. Infrared lamps
  6. Left-hand thread lamps
  7. Marine lamps
  8. Marine’s signal service lamps
  9. Mine service lamps
  10. Plant light lamps
  11. Reflector lamps
  12. Rough service lamps
  13. Shatter-resistant lamps (including shatter-proof and shatter-protected)
  14. Sign service lamps
  15. Silver bowl lamps
  16. Showcase lamps
  17. 3-way incandescent lamps
  18. Traffic signal lamps
  19. Vibration service lamps
  20. G-shape lamps with a diameter of 5” or more
  21. T-shape lamps that use no more than 40W or are longer than 10”
  22. B, BA, CA, F, G16-1/2, G-25, G-30, M-14, or S lamps of 40W or less

When will the new standards be phased in?

The lighting standards mandated by EISA began to take effect in January 2012, with the traditional 100W bulb being phased out. Traditional 75W incandescent light bulbs were no longer available as of January 1, 2013 and traditional 40 and 60W incandescent light bulbs will no longer be available as of January 1, 2014.**

* The EISA 2007 act specifically limits the import or manufacture of inefficient bulbs. Stores will be able to sell remaining inventory.

** In California, all of the new lighting standards were in effect as of January 1, 2013.

What will the lighting standards mandated by EISA 2007 mean to consumers?

Consumers who switch to the energy-saving bulbs will immediately spend less money on their monthly energy bills for the same amount of light. Upgrading 15 traditional incandescent bulbs in your home with energy-saving bulbs could save you about $50 per year.

Consumers will have the choice to continue using traditional incandescent bulbs for as long as they last, or switch to more efficient bulbs. These new standards apply specifically to lighting manufacturers and wholesalers, who will not be permitted to sell bulbs that do not meet the minimum efficiency standards. As a result, consumers will see fewer incandescent bulbs on the store shelves as the applicable dates approach.