Color Warmth

Also called "Color Temperature," "White Balance" or "White Point," this is a color measurement scale used to quantify the color characteristics of light. Different mediums and light sources provide very different Color Temperatures, resulting in the same image or object looking very different when viewed under different circumstances.

Color warmth is measured in degrees Kelvin.

Color warmth should not be mixed up with brightness, which is measured in lumens or "candle power."

For example, in your house if you look at a blue wall in bright sunlight, and then look at the same wall at night when you are shining a tungsten lamp on it, you will find that the color of the wall seems to be very different. This is because average daytime sunlight has a color warmth of 6500K and an average tungsten lightbulb only has a color warmth of 2800K.

This issue recently became important to the Anime community when the Japanese DVD version of Spirited Away was supposedly produced with high end Plasma screens (9300K) in mind and not regular TV sets. The result was that Japanese viewers with traditional TV screens saw a 'red tint' on the DVD.

You can also test this process on most computer monitors by changing their color warmth.

Computer monitor 9300K (adjustable)
Plasma Screen 9300K
Average daylight 6500K
Television monitor 6500K
Cool white fluorescent 4300K
Tungsten lamp 2800K
Sunlight at sunset 2000K

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