Color


Table of Contents

Overview
The Interactions of Color, Human Health and Environmental Impacts
Color Contrast
Sources, Surfaces and Eyes: Calculational Procedures Incorporating Spectral Distribution Information
The Spectra of Choices in the Choice of Spectrum
What Blue Skies Tell Us About Light Pollution
Links


Overview

Color in lighting can refer to many different aspects, effects or issues. Some of them are discussed or presented below, including links to some great sites for learning more about light, vision and color. If you have suggestions, comments or recommended sites, please contact ALI

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The Interactions of Color, Human Health and Environmental Impacts

The color of light is one of its principal characteristics (along with quantity and direction) and in particular has a powerful interaction with both human health and environmental impacts from light pollution. Some discussion about the interactions of the electro-magnetic radiation that makes up light with human health issues is available here, along with recommended further reading.

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Sources, Surfaces and Eyes:
Calculational Procedures Incorporating Spectral Distribution Information

J. Knox and D. Keith presented a paper at the 2003 IESNA Annual Conference discussing the interaction of sources' radiation with surfaces, evaluated using conventional luminous units and also for color difference measured by CIE L*a*b*. The Powerpoint presentation is here (pdf format, 1.6 MB).

Among the findings for this paper are that compared to MH sources providing the same illuminance, HPS and incandescent sources make red, orange and yellow surfaces brighter. The reflectance values for the HPS and incandescent (such as headlights) sources, using the recommended calculational procedure, are around 50% higher for those colors than the values for the MH sources. The investigation also reports that the color differences for sign color combinations of yellow and black or orange and black were greater under HPS and incandescent than for the MH sources. Furthermore the color differences for yellow pavement marking and asphalt or concrete surfaces were greater under HPS and incandescent than under MH sources. This shows that spectral consideration of color effects recommends the use of HPS and incandescent sources for roadway tasks that include signs including caution, construction and of course the traffic control signs such as STOP and YIELD.

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The Spectra of Choices in the Choice of Spectrum

is the Powerpoint presentation (pdf format, 2.6 MB) made to the 2004 IESNA Street and Area Lighting Conference. This includes discussions about sources' performance in terms of color, lamp life, economics, disposal and even health and light pollution issues. Links to additional information about the topics discussed in the presentation are here.

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Links about Color

If you have suggestions, comments or recommended sites, please contact ALI

Causes of Color
has an extensive introductory discussion about color fundamentals.
Chromaticity Diagram Applet
is an excellent interactive demonstration of color mixing shown using the chromaticity diagram.
Design Notes: Color
introduces all the concepts of color fundamentals in a very understandable way.
modern color theory (concepts)
is a comprehensive discussion on the concepts in color theory, with links to further discussions about relevant applications.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Color
has a substantial discussion about the way people think about color and color perception.
Alliance for Lighting Information home page


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