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Color temperature

Color temperature is used to describe the color of an illuminator. The background in the term is that the illumination is produced by a glowing material, e.g. by tungsten filament or sun. When the material is heated up into a glowing temperature, the color of the material is always the same in a certain temperature. Furthermore, the color spectrum is always the same.

If all lights would be produced only by using glowing material, color temperature would be enough to describe the color of the illuminator.

Objects look different under different illumination. The color spectrum of an illuminator affects to the perceived color of a colored object. The color spectrum of a glowing material is smooth and bell shaped. On the other hand, the color spectrum of an office light is more complex with a number of peaks on different wavelengths.

Color temperature is not enough to describe the color of an illuminator.