Colour rendering: Improving precision and productivity

Cedric Collard - Schréder Sports Segment Manager
Cédric Collard
Business Segment Manager - Industry & large area

Imagine performing detailed tasks in a factory or warehouse with low levels of natural light. Without well-designed lighting systems, this could seriously affect your morale, safety and also your ability to work with precision and efficiency.

Crucially, out-dated lighting may also make it difficult to see colours clearly. In an industrial setting, this may not sound like a big problem, but excellent visibility is not a luxury. In fact, it is vital for the well-being and productivity of your staff.

Thankfully, quality LED lighting is able to mitigate the issues associated with a lack of natural light. Not only is it energy-efficient, versatile and low-maintenance, it also has the power to accurately represent true colour. This ability is measured by the Colour Rendering Index, also known as CRI.

What is CRI?

Explained simply, the Colour Rendering Index of a light source is a way of measuring its similarity to natural light. It tells us the colour spectrum of light produced by a given source and, therefore, how realistically it reveals a range of true colours. This ability is measured on a scale ranging from zero to 100, with the higher numbers signifying a better performance. Sunlight, for example, has a CRI of 100.

What makes LEDs different?

While no artificial luminaire matches the CRI of sunlight, LEDs can come close. Much traditional industrial lighting has a CRI of less than 30, but Schréder’s quality luminaires boast a CRI of 80 and above. The result? Your facility is no longer lit by an orange glow, which commonly distorts certain shades. Instead, it is bathed in a light that emphasises every colour.

Why is this important?

You might ask why colour clarity is relevant in an industrial setting, but it is of vital significance. For their own safety, workers need to quickly identify the warning colours on hazmat placards, floor markings or low-hanging overheads, all of which rely on colour-coding to effectively prevent injury. Likewise, anyone working with electrical components must be able to easily distinguish between the different wires.

Accurate colour recognition is crucial for performance too. For example, packers often rely on colour to help them rapidly and accurately identify labels, which helps them avoid making costly errors. And in industries such as textiles or printing, staff need to differentiate between a range of textures and shades to produce quality products.

Is a high CRI always essential?

Of course, not every space requires high CRI lighting. For example, an external footpath needs to be brightly illuminated, but accurate colour rendition is less essential. But another big benefit of our LED systems is their flexibility – we have a huge range of fixtures and fittings to suit every location and task. As your lighting partner, Schréder can audit your space and give you the ideal products for your business.

Do LEDs have other advantages?

Schréder’s luminaires don’t just provide the best light levels, they also offer a low energy alternative. It’s probable that lighting accounts for approximately 40% of your electricity bill, but investing in our LEDs will dramatically reduce your business costs. This means they have a positive impact on your finances, the environment and your reputation. Most importantly, our lighting solutions can provide the optimum working conditions for your staff.

About the writer

Cédric joined Schréder in 2013 with a solid experience in marketing. With his expertise and industry knowledge, Cédric leads the Industry and Large Area Business segments including Sport Lighting and Breeam certification. He collaborates with our research, product development, sales teams worldwide and sport associations to deliver sustainable and energy efficient lighting solutions, tailored to each individual project using the latest in lighting calculation software, lighting management systems and BIM techniques.

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