Hi CRI or neutral white ?

hsa

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Neutral tint is better than something cooler when snow is on the ground, helps with the glare. There isn't much color to render from the winter woods anyway. Don't they make high cri neutral tints?

edit: oops, looks like the one knuckle mentioned above is the way to go.
 
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defloyd77

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So neutral white vs warm or cool high CRI is the question?

How are we defining neutral white color temp wise? Do we have to choose between warm and cool high CRI or can we have both as long as we don't mix them? Do we have to go by already existing emitters or can we have ideal hypotheticals?
 

bykfixer

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Only one can exist… high CRI or neutral white flashlights 🔦. Which do you pick and why ?
What is neutral white? Maybe that describes a caucasion dude who likes both Coke and Pepsi?

I prefer to brighten things up with a nice 6200k and let my eyes discern what color something is or isn't. Anything below 5700 starts confusing my eyes at times, especially earth tones.
 

knucklegary

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Agree with Byk, when outdoors searching, last thing on my mind is hi Cri. Indoors is another matter.. I've read that during fine art restorations the restorers use Cri 9080r. Making sure crimson (blood) reds stand out in Van Gogh self portrait
 

defloyd77

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What is neutral white? Maybe that describes a caucasion dude who likes both Coke and Pepsi?

I prefer to brighten things up with a nice 6200k and let my eyes discern what color something is or isn't. Anything below 5700 starts confusing my eyes at times, especially earth tones.

I'm just the opposite. Cold white, especially not high CRI just washes colors out.

There's a good reason why I got sucked into neutral and then high CRI lights, I got tired of not seeing dog crap nobody picked up when taking my pups out at night. Also, my old neighbor used to have an orange cat that used to sneak out all the time. It's kind of surprising how well an orange cat blends into bushes and gardens and standard cool white emitters made it even harder to spot the little stinker.

This also applies to all sorts of critters at night, frogs, turtles and deer are all things that during bike rides I didn't see until it was almost too late. I've made a habit lately to mount a good high CRI flashlight on my bike so when I ride through wooded areas, those things pop out much more and I have more time to react.
 

sven_m

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Only one can exist… high CRI or neutral white flashlights [...]

An interesting serve :- ) Well, I don't think so. For me these are (almost) independent. And: you can have both.

My guess: The source of confusion is the fact, that CRI (color rendering index) is not an intiuitive or an absolute value. It depends on the color temperature, how much it is worth for our perception. Exaggerated:
  • CRI 100 at 2500 K is easy to achieve.
  • CRI 100 at 6000 K is pure perfection, only very few sources can deliver this at all. LEDs can not at all, yet.
Explanation why CRI is not related to color temperature:
  • neutral, warm, cool white: These are mere descriptions of the color temperature (yellowish, white, blueish)
    Simple to see with the eye looking at the source.
    WW can be a candle or tungsten lamp (on low) on the one hand, or a yellow sodium vapour street lamp on the other hand. All are sort of similar "orange" -- yet, they are quite different! that is, their CRI.
  • CRI means the ability to differentiate colours when shining at things (with the given color temperature).
    Only distinguishable with other(!) reflecting objects, or color cards at best.
    After all, it's about the following: Does the emitter have only a few color lines in its spectrum, which mix up to the given color -- or a nice flat, continous spectrum with all colors possible at this color temperature? With the latter you are able to differentiate tiny color variations much better (skin color variations, fruits, colors which are strange in comparison to the source like violet to an orange street lamp).
    The sodium vapour street lamp is an extreme, nice example. You can hardly tell about different colors at all. The reason is that is has only few emission lines in its spectrum (EDIT: low pressure variant)
So far so simple, BUT: CRI is calculated separately for each color temperature.
  • So, although a candle or tungsten lamp have a perfect spectrum ("black body emitter"), you don't have good color rendition in the blue range at all. Yet, these sources have the best abilities (CRI 100) to render colors in comparison to other sources with this color temperature: A sodium vapour lamp is crap in comparison (CRI from hell!)
  • On the other hand: A candle (CRI 100) in comparison to sunlight (CRI 100) is also crap.
  • Or: you will agree, that a tungsten lamp on high (halogen bulb) has a much better color rendition than a simple old bulb on low, again both have CRI 100, but only separately at their respective color temperature.
=> Short: There is no easy way to compare CRI values of sources with different color temperatures. CRI is not related to the color temperature.

PS: to come back to your comparison - LEDs are difficult, I don't know good examples. But a Maxabeam flashlight (pure Xenon arc) looks rather neutral white to me (even tends to cool white). In contrast to Nichia LEDs (4000-5000K?), this is one of the rare examples of an almost-100 CRI source with 6000K. It's comparable to sunlight. Not just the color temperature itself, but it has an outstanding color rendition at this color temperature.
 
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defloyd77

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An interesting serve :- ) Well, I don't think so. For me these are (almost) independent. And: you can have both.

My guess: The source of confusion is the fact, that CRI (color rendering index) is not an intiuitive or an absolute value. It depends on the color temperature, how much it is worth for our perception. Exaggerated:
  • CRI 100 at 2500 K is easy to achieve.
  • CRI 100 at 6000 K is pure perfection, only very few sources can deliver this at all. LEDs can not at all, yet.
Explanation why CRI is not related to color temperature:
  • neutral, warm, cool white: These are mere descriptions of the color temperature (yellowish, white, blueish)
    Simple to see with the eye looking at the source.
    WW can be a candle or tungsten lamp (on low) on the one hand, or a yellow sodium vapour street lamp on the other hand. All are sort of similar "orange" -- yet, they are quite different! that is, their CRI.
  • CRI means the ability to differentiate colours when shining at things (with the given color temperature).
    Only distinguishable with other(!) reflecting objects, or color cards at best.
    After all, it's about the following: Does the emitter have only a few color lines in its spectrum, which mix up to the given color -- or a nice flat, continous spectrum with all colors possible at this color temperature? With the latter you are able to differentiate tiny color variations much better (skin color variations, fruits, colors which are strange in comparison to the source like violet to an orange street lamp).
    The sodium vapour street lamp is an extreme, nice example. You can hardly tell about some colors in the blue range at all. The reason is that is has only few emission lines in its spectrum.
So far so simple, BUT: CRI is calculated separately for each color temperature.
  • So, although a candle or tungsten lamp have a perfect spectrum ("black body emitter"), you don't have good color rendition in the blue range at all. Yet, these sources have the best abilities (CRI 100) to render colors in comparison to other sources with this color temperature: A sodium vapour lamp is crap in comparison (CRI from hell!)
  • On the other hand: A candle (CRI 100) in comparison to sunlight (CRI 100) is also crap.
  • Or: you will agree, that a tungsten lamp on high (halogen bulb) has a much better color rendition than a simple old bulb on low, again both have CRI 100, but only separately at their respective color temperature.
=> Short: There is no easy way to compare CRI values of sources with different color temperatures. CRI is not related to the color temperature.

PS: to come back to your comparison - LEDs are difficult, I don't know good examples. But a Maxabeam flashlight (pure Xenon arc) looks rather neutral white to me (even tends to cool white). In contrast to Nichia LEDs (4000-5000K?), this is one of the rare examples of an almost-100 CRI source with 6000K. It's comparable to sunlight. Not just the color temperature itself, but it has an outstanding color rendition at this color temperature.

This is a good post, but it kind of misses the point of the OP, which is purely hypothetical, like all of those "If you could only have 1 flashlight" threads.
 

KITROBASKIN

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2 points (and no expertise is claimed):

The main idea of post #2 is that the label 'neutral' in terms of color temperature is so often a point of disagreement when the discussion becomes specific; that using degrees Kelvin to describe color temperature lessens misinterpretation.

Saying that CRI is not related to color temperature, while accurate in terms of the measurements relating to assigning a CRI, does not take into account what our eyes see regarding similar color rendering from different emitters of very different color temperature.
 

TMedina

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I'm just the opposite. Cold white, especially not high CRI just washes colors out.

There's a good reason why I got sucked into neutral and then high CRI lights, I got tired of not seeing dog crap nobody picked up when taking my pups out at night. Also, my old neighbor used to have an orange cat that used to sneak out all the time. It's kind of surprising how well an orange cat blends into bushes and gardens and standard cool white emitters made it even harder to spot the little stinker.

This also applies to all sorts of critters at night, frogs, turtles and deer are all things that during bike rides I didn't see until it was almost too late. I've made a habit lately to mount a good high CRI flashlight on my bike so when I ride through wooded areas, those things pop out much more and I have more time to react.
Interesting. I've always thought washing out colors made it *easier* to spot things because it enhanced the outline more.

Your experience is the opposite.

Hmm.
 
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I haven't used one in a long time but I'm just going to say incandescent. If I could have an Incan with the flood and battery life of my Delta on medium it would be pure love.
 

SMar

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As others mentioned previously you can have high CRI with warm, neutral, or cool white temps. My personal choice is for high CRI in a neutral white temp.
 

defloyd77

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Interesting. I've always thought washing out colors made it *easier* to spot things because it enhanced the outline more.

Your experience is the opposite.

Hmm.

That might work if only the thing that was being looked at was washed out, but not when the background is too. That's why low pressure sodium lights suck as far as being able to see much of anything as they have a truly low CRI of 25.

It's a lot easier to notice things when you are able to see that they aren't the same color
 

defloyd77

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As others mentioned previously you can have high CRI with warm, neutral, or cool white temps. My personal choice is for high CRI in a neutral white temp.

That doesn't matter in this thread, it's a purely hypothetical question. We all know you can have high CRI in neutral white, that's the most typical and popular type of high CRI LED and probably why this thread exists. Making people have to choose between the two. Do more people prioritize CRI or color temperature?

So for a possible real world scenario, let's say there was a shortage (well there is, but worse in this scenario) of LEDs. Due to their popularity, high CRI neutral white LEDs are unavailable. So you have to choose between a standard CRI neutral white emitter or a warm or cool white high CRI emitter.
 

kaichu dento

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Just when you thought everyone in the forum actually understood both terms, this comes up.

Thanks Sven, but it seems that not only are there those who don't understand, they actually don't want to.
 
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