Hello folks! I’m finally setting up a small shop, after decades of yearning, and I find I have a dilemma. For lighting, I was looking at those 4-foot shop lights with integrated LEDs, because I’d need only four of them or so. But the ones I’ve seen have Color Rendition Index (CRI), in the low 80’s, when they even bother to mention it. I need good color accuracy, both because of some of the work I’ll do (furniture restoration) and for my own sanity.
I have found one strip light on Amazon that claims to have CRI in the 90’s, but it’s very Chinese, and I’m a little skeptical.
There are standard household bulbs with good CRI, but I’d have to use clamp lamps or some other fixtures, which would be fine for task lighting but not for overall background lighting.
There might be better choices out there too, I just recall that brand from a project I worked on that required illumination for machine vision. I wasn’t involved with picking the lights but I remember those being used in the project.
I’ve used “tape” style high-CRI strip lights from this company too, and they were excellent: https://www.waveformlighting.com
They probably have ceiling fixtures too.
I bought 3-4 different ones from Amazon; Asian imports for sure.
They are low CRI, but other than that, work very well. Lots of Lumens for inexpensive price. I have had them running for over 2 years and none have had issues, they all work.
One caveat, the frequency suppressors or filters in them do not work well or at all. They all are supposedly passed FCC regulations, but none of these do…and I have at least 3 different brands.
I mention this because if you work in your shop with a radio, forget it, no reception. If you do not have music or use a source that is not radio frequency (CD, MP3, off of your phone…etc), then you are OK.
You are correct, CRI is almost never mentioned. In my workshop/garage, I didn’t care, but recently any flashlights I get I always opt for 90 CRI or better.
For sure, there are some high CRI lights for what you need, but will need to find a specialized place that carries a wide assortment of lighting. Also, because they are not that common, almost for sure you will need to pay a premium to get the higher CRI.