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Light Sources and Color
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Title:  Light Sources and Color
Date:  2004
Last updated:  December 2012
Author(s):  Mark Rea, Lei Deng, Robert Wolsey
Number of Pages:  35
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Color is not a physical property of objects, but rather a human physiological and psychological response to light. Lighting Answers: Light Sources and Color describes methods used to characterize the color properties of light sources. Because the human visual system is so complex, these methods are approximations, and their usefulness is limited. This report addresses these methods' strengths and weaknesses and provides information useful for specifying electric light sources properly. Part 1 of this report discusses metrics used to describe the appearance of light emitted from a light source and describes the human color vision system. Part 2 focuses on the color appearance of objects when illuminated by a light source and proposes a "triangulation" method for describing color rendering to aid in selecting light sources based on their ability to show object colors. This section also discusses the relationship between color rendering and luminous efficacy.


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