4:00 – 5:00pm, March 15, 2013 in 489 Minor Hall

Improving the CIE Color Rendering Index — How This Can be Done and Why it Matters

presented by

Lorne A. Whitehead, PhD
Professor and NSERC/3M Applied Physics Chair
University of British Columbia


Colour rendering of light sources is a surprisingly subtle concept that many find difficult to fully understand. It is becoming increasingly important because of the unavoidable trade-off between the color rendering quality of light sources and their luminous efficacy — which has significant economic and social consequences. A related issue is that recent observations shows the current CIE Color Rendering Index (CRI) does a poor job of assessing the color rendering quality of the light from some narrow-band light sources. This presentation concerns a recent collaboration of four universities, in which we have found that at least part of the problem is non-uniformity of the spectral sensitivity of the current CRI metric. We have developed an improved computational procedure that eliminates that problem, and numerous groups are now assessing it. The hope is that a better measure of color rendering will assist researchers in establishing the importance of lighting quality as opposed to quantity, in turn leading to more pleasant and sustainable interior environments.


Host: Marty Banks

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