[Update – a kind reader pointed out that using regular Daylight bulbs as I suggest may very well not be good enough. If your work is colour critical you’ll need to control your lighting more and exclusively use proper ISO 3664 accredited D50 light bulbs. If colour is critical to you you really should also consider a D50 light booth and/or being very careful with the decoration in your studio as, of course, any pure light that’s reflected off your environment is very unlikely to still be pure.]
Referencing a Pantone colour guide book or working with on-screen colour and you want to keep things accurate?
Make sure your studio lights are running on daylight cool white lamps. Daylight or 5,000K colour temperature lamps are a must to avoid colour casts affecting your perception.
While warm-white lamps in your living spaces at home are always preferable — for the relaxed atmosphere they invoke — they’re no good for colour matching. 5,000k daylight lamps are no more expensive than regular lamps and in abundant supply. Also, rather handily, your workspace won’t feel quite so sleepy so you’ll save a bit on coffee. 😉
If you’re running a home-studio, make sure you keep your 5000K daylights about you.
Verify your lighting
A handy extra feature of Pantone colour guides is the inclusion of a magic D50 Light Indicator (sticker pack). As you can see in the main image above, these guides clearly indicate when lighting is c.5000K, OK! …or not-so-good. Run sub-optimal lighting and you’ll see two distinct strips. Magical! Or, rather more likely, chemical.