Lighting Research Center

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Communicating Color

The color of light sources (such as incandescent or fluorescent lamps) is not widely understood by consumers. The Lighting Research Center proposed a system to communicate color to consumers and conducted six focus groups in three U.S. cities: Sacramento, Columbus, and Atlanta. Researchers documented and analyzed consumer attitudes and awareness about color and purchasing lamps for their homes. They also presented variations of a proposed color communication system to the groups to assess consumer interest, comprehension, and suggested modes of educating consumers.

Although color was not seen as a primary driver for most consumers, this research showed that it could become more important. Once informed about color differences among light sources, most focus group members said a color communication system would be helpful for consumers.

Papers detailing this research are available below.

A System for Communicating Color: Foundations and Rationale - MS Rea and L Deng

A System for Communicating Color: What Do Consumers Think? - RP Leslie and MS Rea

These papers were presented at the Sixth International Lighting Research Symposium on Light and Color (conducted by the Lighting Research Office, a service of the Electric Power Research Institute).

This research received financial support from:

  • NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association)
  • U.S. Dept. of Energy
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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