|Its a little dark on my background so open to get a better view if you want.|
I recently went out with the wife to the great shrine known as Canadian Tire, and purchased myself an overhead mounting Fluorescent light. My little desk one was not doing the job in my confined space that houses, my hobby, work place and most of my life. So back to buying the light, we stood looking over the selection and reading the numbers on the boxes and bulbs and asked each other "What does this all mean?"
My wife is a professional wood spray finisher and color matcher, she knows all about how colors look different in different lights and had a rough idea of what the numbers meant. So being ignorant I thought I would enlighten myself and anyone that happens to read this.
Looking at the bulbs in the store I noticed they had two ratings CCT, and CRI. Each stands for Correlated Colour Temperature, and Colour Rendering Index.
CCT is essentially the measure of the lights shade, an office florescent is 4100 K, while a light in your home is around 2700 K, The daylight bulbs which is supposed to be as close to daylight as we can get is between 5000 K and 6500 K. This is the range we hobbyists are looking for, and its still a blueish-white light.
CRI is a measure of how colours are perceived. A simple rule for CRI is the higher the better, real-life fluorescents have a CRI between 50 and 100. A CRI thats too low will emit too little red and make reds look pinky and unhealthy.
So in summery if your like me and don't have access to natural light and want a fluorescent that will work nice with our hobby your looking for a real-life dayglow bulb with a CCT between 5000 K and 6500 K, and a CRI between 50 and 100, closer to 100 the better.