How Can Lighting Conditions Create Colour Difference?

Reviewed by Anurag Mishra (Sr. Technical Consultant)

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When it comes to colour, people often have conflicting views regarding their identification. Due to the difference in the way we perceive a colour or due to vision, lighting conditions of surroundings and many other factors contribute to perception. This is a completely natural phenomenon, but the after effects might hamper the business relationships where colour is an important quality parameter.

In industries where coloured raw materials are procured, metamerism can create conflicting opinion. On one hand, supplier is delivering the materials as per his observation in his lighting conditions. On the other hand, manufacturer perceiving the colour of raw material as per his observation in his lighting conditions.

What is Metamerism?

It is a natural phenomenon. When a colour appears differently in different lighting conditions, it is called metamerism. A very common example of this is colour viewing under UV lights. An ordinary tone appears fluorescent in UV light. This matters a lot. Especially in the fashion industry where colour is the prime factor for clothes and apparels. Just imagine, a ramp show is organised to showcase the latest collection. Due to UV lighting conditions, the colour of garments completely lost their originality. This could be a blunder of a lifetime for the designer if samples were not checked in colour viewing booth.

What’s a colour viewing booth?

It’s an enclosed cabinet where different lighting conditions can be simulated. This is a very simple to use device and observations are made by visual inspection. Also called a colour matching cabinet. It is designed to have 5 different types of light in one cabinet.

  • Cool fluorescent light
  • UV light
  • Tungsten light
  • Point of sale
  • Artificial day light

It is specially used for colour matching of the master with samples. Both pieces are kept in the cabinet at an angle of 45°. The reason for keeping the test material at an angle is to avoid the effect of shadow. One by one, the lights are turned on and observations are made. The colour matching test is performed in the dark room to avoid any interference from the external light source.

For which industries colour matching cabinet gives successful results?

Industries in which colour matching is an important factor are employing colour viewing booth. The best part about using this machine is that a layman can perform the test based on his observation. So, industries don’t have to recruit or train the operators to use this machine. It is very cost effective and has hassle free procedure to get the desired results.

Textile, automotive, labelling, packaging, printing, dyeing, cosmetics, plastics, paints, coatings, are some of the industries that are largely relying on this device for colour matching tasks.

  • Color Viewing Booth & D65 Light Box
  • Digital Gloss Meter – Tri-angle
  • Precision Color Device
  • Portable Spectrophotometer

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