Increasing color saturation by optimizing light spectra constrained on color rendering properties

H. Wu, J. Dong, G.Q. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Enhancing the color saturation of objects via illumination with specially designed light spectra is promising in many commercial and scientific applications. Existing literature has focused on studying the colors that can be rendered by white light with various correlated color temperatures, and by the mixed light from various monochromatic light-emitting diodes. However, very little literature has been devoted to methods that can actively configure the light spectrum to enhance the color saturation of an arbitrary object. This paper proposes an optimization-based method to extend the gamut that can be achieved by a given polychromatic lamp toward a chosen direction, i.e., to increase the saturation of a specific color. Moreover, to trade-off the increased saturation of a color sample with the reduced colorfulness of other samples, constraints with tunable thresholds are imposed to the optimization problem to bound the variation of a contrast color sample. In addition, the effect of uncontrollable ambient light can be taken into account by mild modifications of the optimization problem. Simulation results show that the optimized light spectrum can effectively enhance the saturation of any specific color, while maintaining the other rendered colors as intact as possible. Visual experiments have also been conducted with 22 human subjects, whose responses agree with the simulation results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-204
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Optical effects on vision
  • Color, rendering and metamerism
  • Light-emitting diodes


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