Here’s How We Created LEDs With The World’s Highest Light Quality

15th February 2022

Michael Jordan, Michael Schumacher, and the Gomezes. What do they have in common? They’re the world’s greatest. You know the Michaels. (We hope.) But, the Gomezes? Yeah, nah.

The Gomezes are the world’s largest hairy family. Take that in. Let it sink in. Grab a razor if you need to.

What does this have to do with our lights? Well. We’re pretty humble hue-mans at Brightgreen, but not when it comes to our light quality. We’ve got the world’s best light quality (Tru-Colour®), and we’re not shy about telling you, your neighbour, or a goat herder in Albania.

Several elements make our light quality the world’s best. And while we’ve already covered the science behind Tru-Colour® before, this article is a short guide on some of the heavy-hitters: CCT, Lux, CRI, and TM-30–the last two being heaviest of hitters.

Want to see Tru-Colour in Action?

If reading is not your vibe, watch our supreme leader illuminate the basics in this video. And, if we had you at “world’s highest light quality”, don’t be a stranger, and get in touch. You might even score yourself a sample.

Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) and Lux

What is CCT?

CCT or correlated colour temperature (measured in kelvins) is used to describe how warm or cool a light looks. If you wander down to your local supermarché (not a supermarket because we lighting folk—you and me—we’re fancy), you’ll find LEDs labelled as ‘cool white’ or ‘warm white’. This is referring to CCT.

The lower the CCT, the warmer the hue. You can find lights with CCTs anywhere between 1,000 (warm or orange) and 10,000 kelvin (cool or blue). And in commercial and residential spaces, the CCT will usually sit between 1,800 and 6,500 kelvin.

If you’re struggling to choose the right colour temperature for your space, there’s one question that you can ask yourself: ‘What mood am I trying to create?” For example:

(a) a warm light signals relaxation and is perfect for the bedroom; and

(b) a cool light stimulates energy and is ideal for an office.

You could also use our Tru-Colour® LEDs, which do all the choosing for you. But hey, you do you.

What about Lux?

We know what you’re thinking. And no, it’s not the bar soap you use to scrub-a-dub-dub. (Although we hear pink petal smells divine.)

You can’t have lux without lumens, so let’s start there.

  1. Lumens are a measure of the total amount of light emitted by a source (luminous flux). It’s basically brightness.
  2. Lux is a measure of illuminance, which is the amount of luminous flux per square metre of area. So, it’s a measure of the light falling on a surface, and 1 lux is 1 lumen per square metre.

In short, lux tells you how bright a surface will look. Typical lux levels under direct sunlight are between 32,000 and 100,000. And under the moon, the lux is around 1. The difference is night and day. Literally.

You’ll need to consult the standards available in your country when working out your lux requirements. If you need some help, you can use handy calculators like the ones here and here.

What’s this about circadian lighting?

Circadian rhythm refers to our body’s internal clock—the natural internal process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. We’ve already covered circadian lighting in detail, but just remember that lighting is the biggest influence on this rhythm.

When our Tru-Colour® technology is combined with Day Shift and Night Shift®, you’ll get the complete human-centric package. This is just a fancy way of saying that our LEDs dynamically transition CCT and lumens throughout your day to match your rhythm. Our Day Shift and Night Shift® are the first and only responsive circadian lighting controls on the market. By gradually increasing and decreasing light intensity and colour temperature, Day Shift and Night Shift® help regulate melatonin production. And this, in turn, assists with wellness, comfort, and productivity.

It’s more than just lighting.

Colour Rendering Index (CRI)

TL;DR

Tru-Colour® LEDs have a whooping 98 CRI on the extended colour palette (R1-R14) and the purest red on the market. It's why our LEDs have the world’s best light quality. Boom.

What is CRI?

Colour Rendering Index is a method of measuring how sharp or accurate colours appear under a light source when compared against an ideal or natural light source—usually, daylight (the sun). The ‘rendering’ refers to a light source’s ability to render colour compared to a reference light source.

So, CRI is a handy way to assess how well the light source reproduces the relevant object’s colours.

How is CRI measured?

CRI is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 represents this ideal, natural light source. So, for example, a CRI of 70 represents a 70% reproduction of the visible colour spectrum of the reference light source by the artificial light source.

8 standard colours are used when testing for CRI—each with an R-value. And these values represent a light source’s ability to render a specific colour (scored out of 100), and usually, CRI is calculated based on the average of these colours (R1 to R8). We call this general CRI, and it’s on this scale that most ‘high-CRI’ lights on the market are tested.

But, there’s a wrinkle to this general method—saturated colours (like red and blue) are swept under the rug. And it’s these colours that matter.

A high CRI score on the extended CRI scale is what you should be looking for in your lights. As the name implies, the extended CRI considers an additional six colours (R9 to R14), with red (R9) being the most critical.

Red is everywhere. Your blood. Your furniture. Your floorboards. The sun. And without a high R9 score (like most lights on the market), objects look washed out and dull.

But, you’re in luck.

Tru-Colour® LEDs have the purest red on the market, resulting in richer colours and perfect colour accuracy.

What others won’t tell you (reflectors)

So, if CRI is measured on the general scale, it’s an inaccurate representation of light quality. But that’s not the whole story. You’ll also need to audit when CRI is measured. What do we mean?

Let’s think about an engine. To determine a car’s top speed, you would wait until the engine is in the car, weighed down by metal, wheels, and other bits. You wouldn’t rely on the engine’s output alone to determine a car’s top speed. In other words, finished form matters. It’s the same for CRI.

Many manufacturers in the cosmos measure CRI before assembling their products (at the source). And this neglects the earthshaking drop in light quality caused by reflectors. Those shiny things might look nice, but their coatings cause total internal reflection, colour shift, and high absorption. They even hold larger volumes of air causing oxidation of the phosphors and light-quality degradation to occur materially faster. It’s scary stuff.

At Brightgreen, we measure our lights’ CRI in their finished forms—as if installed in your spaces. We’ve ditched reflectors for optical-grade, PMMA lenses, which provide high transmissibility of light and deliver high light quality (while eliminating degradation). Hello, saviours.

Does (CRI) size matter?

As with most answers to complicated questions—it’s not how big it is, it’s how you use it. No, seriously, it depends on general or extended CRI.

Of course, this only applies if you’re not using one of our lights. Our Tru-Colour® LEDs score a 98 on the CRI scale, which means our lights are pretty much neck to neck with the ideal light source. What’s more, the score is standard across all our lights. That’s the type of drool-worthy CRI score your parents would be proud of. Look at me now, mum!

TM-30

A bit about TM-30

TM-30 is a new-and-improved version of general CRI—if that new-and-improved version is the difference between ‘Store Clerk #1’ and Leonardo DiCaprio in a Hollywood blockbuster.

While CRI only measures colour fidelity, TM-30 measures accuracy across three metrics: fidelity, gamut, and vector graphic (a visual representation of hue and saturation).

What’s revolutionary about TM-30’s fidelity index is the number of colour samples tested. Instead of the standard 8-pastel palette, TM-30 uses 99 colours and scores each colour between 0 and 100. The colours are categorised into seven groups: nature, skin, textiles, paints, plastics, printed material, and colour systems—to indicate how the light performs in specific applications.

Unsurprisingly, our Tru-Colour® LEDs surpass competitors on the TM-30 scale, too.

The Wrap Up: Your Life in Colour

If you had the choice between a Hyundai and a Ferrari, why the feather would you choose the Hyundai? Apply the same logic to your lighting. And choose Tru-Colour®.

We’re pretty chuffed about creating LEDs with the world’s best light quality. It enhances the visual impact of flooring, artwork, furnishing, and even skin tones by up to 30%. It’s just really good lighting.

With about a billion colours in our LEDs at your fingertips, the decision is easy. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s talk light beams.