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A Simple Model for Understanding the Accuracy of Human Colour Vision and Consequent Implications for Lighting Design

September 22, 2016 @ 11:30 am - 2:00 pm



An important goal in characterizing human color vision is to understand and quantify the colour appearance of surfaces. This has led to various increasingly complex mathematical models. While these models successfully predict colour appearances, they do so with little real connection to the actual mechanisms of color vision. In this presentation I will present a recently developed physiologically-based model that incorporates plausible assumptions for how and why color vision evolved. This approach helps to explain the surprising accuracy of our perception of surface color in a wide variety of circumstances and the consequent importance of ensuring that electric light sources do not interfere unduly with that perception quality.


1. Attendees will be able to describe the basic concepts behind the importance of human colour vision.

2. Attendees will be able to identify circumstances for which accuracy in colour vision was important for survival and therefore why it evolved as it did.

3. Attendees will be able to interpret basic information related to color surface appearance and to translate this understanding to their work as lighting professionals.