Originally published in Interiors & Sources

06/23/2010

New Metrics Outline Color Specification in Retail Lighting

A new publication recommends two-metric approaches for specifying light sources to achieve desired color appearance of the illumination

 
New Metrics Outline Color Specification in Retail Lighting

Lighting plays an important role in supporting retail operations, from attracting customers to influencing product appearance to corporate branding. A recent survey of lighting designers and specifiers by the National Lighting Product Information Program showed that, for retail applications, light source color properties are considered more important than any other light source criterion, including energy efficiency. 

 

To define light source color properties, the lighting industry predominantly relies on two metrics: correlated color temperature (CCT, which is commonly used as an indication of the apparent “warmth” or “coolness” of the light emitted by a source), and color rendering index (CRI), which is an indication of the light source’s ability to make illuminated objects appear natural. 

 

However, these two metrics, developed in the last century, are facing increased challenges and criticisms as new types of light sources, particularly LEDs, become more prevalent.

 

To help retail lighting designers better understand CCT and CRI, and choose the best lighting product for specific retail applications, the Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST) published a new volume in its ASSIST Recommends series.

 

Recommendations for Specifying Color Properties of Light Sources for Retail Merchandising recommends two-metric approaches for specifying light sources to achieve desired color appearance of the illumination, as well as good color rendering in retail applications.

 

For example, to meet the expectations for good color rendering in retail applications, ASSIST advises using the well-established CRI along with another metric: gamut area index (GAI). GAI represents the relative separation of object colors illuminated by a light source; the greater the GAI, the greater the apparent saturation or vividness of the object colors, according to Mark Rea, director of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center and co-author of the publication.

 

Practical, step-by-step methods are included in the publication for the two-metric color rendering approach described here, as well as a two-metric approach for achieving consistent results in desired color appearance of the illumination.

 

The two new ASSIST Recommends publications are available for free download from the ASSIST: www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/solidstate/assist/recommends/lightcolor.asp.

 

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When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

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Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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