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Map Colors of a CIE Plot and Color Temperature Using an RGB Color Sensor

Authored on: Oct 24, 2012 by Arpit Mehta

Technical Paper / Application Note

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This application note will show how all the colors within the color gamut formed by red, green, and blue constants in a CIE plot can be measured and mapped with an RGB color sensor. This RGB sensor can also monitor the color output of LEDs in a display and/or provide feedback to maintain a reference color. An RGB sensor will also be mapped to measure the color temperature of practical light sources.
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ColorMan Posted Mar 13, 2013

The same process can be achieved more directly using the methods of the ICC color managment in which RGB sensor values are mapped to CIE XYZ by a 3x3 matrix as shown here and then by 1D LUTs to correct for the errors in the 3x3, which can be substantial. In the description of color temperature the adjectives for the visual quality of the light are reversed. The solar disk + sky light, sometimes call noon daylight has a correlated color temperature of around 5000K and that is nearly spectrally neutral. Daylight with correlated color temperatures around 6500K will appear bluish and are often termed north sky light or overcast daylight. Daylight in shadow regions can often be recorded to have a CCT of 10,000K or more. This is the challenge of traffic safety sign manufacturers - maintaining the discernable color from sunset conditions (2300K) to shadow conditions (15,000K)

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