[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.
29th May 2020 at 11:40 am
Sorry, but this recommendation is not complete, or worse, misleading.
The standard or norm your viewing condition needs to be confirm to is called ISO 3664 (latest revision from 2009).
This includes specifications for light source, wave lengths, intensity, ambient light, surrounding colors, etc.
Only by meeting all requirements a test strip like the Pantone Light Indicator or the UGRA metamerism strip will show no visual differences.
For color matchings in the graphical industry the light source must be D50 according to ISO 3664 (not D65).
D50 includes a lot more than only a color temperature of 5000K as for instance an equal spectral distribution of all waveslengths across the visible spectrum plus a specified component of UV-light.
Therefore the recommendation to use “daylight lamps” or “5000K lamps” is dangerous and completely misleading.
So called “daylight lamps” like the ones you can get at a typical hardware store do not meet any of the requirements.
You need to use a verified D50 light source according to ISO 3664 to get a reliable color impression.
That´s why these lamps cost about 15$ – 20$ each instead of 2$ – 3$.
The huge impact of light sources to color matching is underestimated very often and using cheap “daylight” lamps offers you a wrong sense of safety.
29th May 2020 at 2:35 pm
Many thanks for taking the time to explain this clearly. I’ll update this post as soon as possible.