High CRI... not what I expected? (Happy ending in post 118)

Got my Skilhunt H04 today. Fabulous light, love the customizable secondary UI mode. I don’t really see much difference with the high-CRI LD351D emitter compared to all my other lights (Fenix, Olight, etc) and whatever ~70 CRI emitters they use. Colors look a hair more dull in the other beams, but it’s not quite the drastic difference I was expecting.

Oh well, it was a good excuse to buy a new light. I’ve always wanted a right-angle/headlamp, and the TIR optic is just fabulous.

Try to compare to similar colour temperatures on something red and swap back and forth between 70 CRI and 90 CRI.
On other colours further away from red on the colour spectrum, the perceivable difference is minimal.

The R9 value for red colour rendering is not included in the traditional CRI index. So 90 CRI LED’s will have varying R9 values.
They are usually in the 30-50 CRI for R9. The SST20 and Nichia 219b 9080 or E21A 9080’s have minimum of 80 CRI in R9. Comparing those to a 70 CRI flashlight with R9 value of 0 is quite noticeable in my experience.

The LH351D is not as rich in colours to the SST20, but a nice compromise of power and CRI. Then again, a 5000K LH351D will be completely different to a 4000K SST20 due to colour temperature alone.

I’m with you eicca. Makes little difference to me but I know there are some who want nothing less than high cri in their collection. Each to their own I guess. I like aux lights but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea either.

Nice to have hi-cri for floodlights, headlamps, but for thrower its useless.

I disagree; I have assembled many small throwers (C8, D80v2, and similar) with different CCTs and CRI for nighttime trail hikes. I find that high CRI significantly improves the color and contrast of objects, particularly earthy tones like the browns of tree bark or dried foliage. With low CRI emitters, all of these objects appear as various desaturated shades of gray. I find that having high CRI emitters in these medium-range throwers makes the whole experience much more enjoyable.

The saturation of greens seem to be affected by tint more than CRI.

My current go-to trail lights are a D80v2 with sliced 4000K LH351D and C8 with 219b sw40.

Initially, I felt the same way as the original poster. High-CRI seems so subtle. Color Temp, Tint, Intensity and Output all seemed more important.

Now that I’ve gotten used to it, the beautiful tint of 4000K high CRI SST20 FA2 makes 4000K XPL HI look rather crappy. The difference is pretty noticeable. Especially when looking at anything with red or brown in it.

You might think that the forum is filled with 3rd shift produce or art inspectors, (and it might be!), but hobbyists just like to push the boundaries.
A decent tint and a nice beam profile is all you need most of the time if you just want to see the Lego on the floor before you step on it. With the emitters of yesteryear you might not be able to tell what color it was because of the extreme blue or angry purple output but things are better now.
If you’re using it for nighttime communications wiring with every color of the rainbow twisted pairs then HCRI might give you an advantage.

No matter how you use it; have fun with your new headlamp!

Not only more enjoyable, it’s just easier to tell a grey rock from a brown leaf than a grey rock from a grey leaf.
That’s not a major difference often but I’ve had a hike where I found it really hard to walk by a low CRI light.

I recently converted a 219b triple to a XHP50.2 3V - it is a huge difference. Once your eyes get used to high-CRI they will notice the change.
On throwers I notice it less, but only because I don’t use them outside. I just point them at the sky or play around with them, if I’d use them on a trail or in the forest, I would see it too.

It’s the same like listening to high(er) fidelity audio. Still as a n00b and with a relatively “tin ear”, you might not notice any difference at first, but once you acclimate to it, going back to lo-fi sounds like crap.


That makes sense having it explained that way. Maybe I’m just too slow at picking up on the trend.

LH351D has very bad R9, of course it doesn’t look much better. It’s a crap emitter imo. The only high CRI emitters worth using will have 80+ R9. So, SST20/E21A/219b, and much more superior emitters like Sunlike, Thrive, Optisolis, etc.
Even Sunlike make my skin the wrong color - cri ratings are misleading -> you need to look at the spectrum. All LEDs have a gradual cutoff at 650+nm and hardly any near IR

CRI is pretty subtle anyway, until you’re looking at natural things like wood or birds. Much harder to tell with man made things
ngl, the 70 cri emitters in GT94 give me a headache, colors are very wrong, even with a wall of light it’s harder to quickly determine what I’m looking at, but this is actually more a problem with cool cct -> they should not exist imo

A little off-topic but if you do a double blind-test of the same track from the same recording you will find that you can’t tell the difference and its only an illusion like almost anything in hifi (apart from good speakers). Many hi-resolution tracks sound better but this is because of a better mastering so they can sell the illusion, also the brain will trick you just because it should be better.

It’s all a matter of preference in the end. Maybe the longer you use it the more you’ll notice the subtleties? You see high CRI all the time from sunlight so your eyes might just be used to it a bit unconsciously.

Nothing wrong with High CRI at all, I have several High CRI lights.
But that being said, it is just not the be all end all it is cracked up to be “as far as I am concerned”.

Sure, as was mentioned; in some situations High CRI may give an advantage in color recognition. But honestly, in real life; I rarely encounter those situations.
As mentioned above, I am more concerned with tint & beam profile. To each their own. :wink: :white_check_mark:

I think its more of a combination of the sound setup. Quality of the speakers. Sure, party speakers can get really loud, but they sound like garbage compared to studio monitors. Even a cheap garbage tier 2.1 setup sounds much better than built in TV speakers nowadays. Also its almost impossible to discern 256Kbit MP3 from Flac on most music on good sound setups.

Party/Outdoor Speakers = High output but low sound quality (Low CRI high output LEDs)
Studio monitors = Output not as high but much better sound quality (High CRI LEDs)

I’d much rather have studio monitors for listening to music.

compare xpg2 and 4000k 219b… Chicken ala CRI:

otoh, Low CRI, on the left, makes green things look nice and greener:

That oversaturated skin tone is why I have a love/hate relationship with 219b… 103 rg :frowning:

Sunlike much nicer, good sst20 bins too

the LH351d is a popular alternative
it does not have the sw45k signature hyper pink feature/bug

glad you dont find them too green… :beer:

Someone should do a poll/survey comparing colorblind vs not people and whether 70 vs 90 CRI is perceptibly very different.

For me, it’s such a huge difference. Even before owning any neutral white LED flashlights - let alone 90+ CRI! - I hated the color quality. Reminds me of the worst florescent lighting I’ve seen, and really felt like it “blended” the colors of things together, making it harder to distinguish different things of even fairly different color.