Various Light Sources and Their Use In Color Matching

Proper lighting is important because the appearance of an object is significantly influenced by the light source and the environment in which it is viewed. All stakeholders in a supply chain need to evaluate a color under a consistent light source. To help achieve this goal industries have developed international standards for the viewing of color.

The primary two standards are ISO 3664:2009 and ASTM D1729-2016. ISO 3664:2009, which specifies a D50 daylight viewing condition, is used by the graphic arts and photographic industries. ASTM D1729-2016, which specifies D65 as the primary daylight viewing condition and others as secondary sources to check for metamerism, has been adopted by many industrial color applications including plastics, paints, textiles, and automotive. Other standards such as SAE J361 and BS-950 Part 2 are used in select applications.

Metamerism occurs when two colors match under one lighting condition but not under another. This can be a problem for manufacturers and shows the importance of evaluating colors under spectrally dissimilar light sources in addition to the daylight source specified by your industries specification.

For a full breakdown of common light sources explained, download the full document from GTI Graphic Technology here.