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Not all LEDs are the same - Color Rendition (CRI) makes a huge difference!

Hi all... Just a short, personal rant for the record.

I read a lot of complaints in articles about how LEDs are hard to look at... that blu-ish light that can cause migraines and stress. And then, I got a call from a friend looking for 'bright' LEDs for his RV (a screw in that we don't make)...and wanted to know if 7000k lights would be the brightest. All that prompted me to write this blog today.

Firstly, let's address color temp (including CRI and R9 value) vs lumen output.

This 7000k bulb my friend was showing me was advertised as 'cool white'. I would have to say more like 'ice white'! There, I just created a new color category! Let me first clear up color temperature.

2700k to 3200k could be considered tungsten. This is a very yellow-ish color that can be very pleasing IF the CRI (color rendition index) is high...above 90...and the R9 value is high.. 95>... if these 2 numbers are low (below 90) the light will still carry a lot of green/blue values...even though it's a warmer temperature...and it's just not a very pleasing color. The high CRI high R9 numbers are critical to ANY color temperature. Lower numbers will produce a light that is hard to look at and work under.

3200k to 3700k is usually considered warm white.

4000k to 4700k is usually considered cool white.

5000k to 5600k is usually considered day light.

And anything above 6000k (in my humble opinion) is suitable lighting for Superman's Ice Cave!

Now, to answer my friend's question "are the 7000k bulbs the brightest... partially yes... the extra blue / green tends to read slightly higher in brightness...but is irritating to look at. Brightness is really about lumens...the actual output of the light. It's about chip technology...how much power is being sent to the LED from the driver... and how much can the chip handle without degradation. So for brightness, you want to compare lumen output. Interestingly, when I was researching this particular screw in for my friend, NONE of the bulbs I checked mentioned ANYTHING about lumen output! Kind of dicey if you ask me. What are they hiding?

It's kind of like the Wild West out there in terms of information about LED products, and tons of manufacturers and distributors popping up all over. You have to be very careful in choosing a product you'll be pleased with. Color rendition (including CRI and R9 value), lumen output, dimmability, repairability and length of life are all a factor.

We pride ourselves on our attention to color and quality... so the next time you research LED lighting, keep Hollywood Lights LED in mind... I think you'll like what you see!

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