Automated LED color adjustment based on environment

Microprocessor converts the color temperature of the visible light to RGB values and outputs the correlated light

Photonics Software & Information Technology

Navy scientists have developed an efficient, wireless color temperature metering and adjustment system to match the color of lighting to the color of an environment for photography and other applications using full spectrum light emitting diodes. Innovative businesses can leverage the research by licensing the technology for integration into new products or services.

Kaique Rocha/Pexels

Differing light sources produce different colors of light from warm oranges to harsher blues. This characteristic of light is expressed as a color temperature (K) and adds a unique dimension to how we perceive light. Lower temperature burnt oranges similar to a candle flame are used to create a more relaxing environment. Higher temperature whites and bluish-white akin to the mid-day sun are used in classrooms to promote concentration.

In conventional photography and other lighting scenarios where accurate color temperatures of visible light are desired, color correcting gels are used to manually adjust the color temperature of a visible light source to match the color temperature of an environment. This is time-consuming and often inaccurate. Post-processing in software is also used to adjust the color temperature of visible light in an image, However, post-processing consumes considerable time, processing, and energy resources.

Color temperature spectrum enumerated with the Kelvin scale.

In order to automatically make this adjustment, a light meter measures a color temperature of the visible light within the environment. This color temperature is then converted into red, green, and blue (RGB) values or cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) values. The converted RGB or CMYK values are then used to calibrate an available light source to match the color temperature of the environment.

The visible light output by the full-spectrum LED light source matches the color temperature of visible light within the environment. This eliminates a need to post-process color temperature conflicts within video or pictures taken in the environment. This also eliminates a need to manually adjust visible light output using gels or other imprecise methods to match a color temperature.

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