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Color Spectroscopy

Color measurements using color spectroscopy employs reflection spectroscopy to measure exact wavelengths of light. The sensitivity of the human eye can distinguish approximately 10 million different colors. This may sound like a lot but in the grand scheme of color, it comes up inadequate, and not nearly quantitative enough for many important color applications.

The perception of color results when light strikes an object and some wavelengths of light are absorbed while other wavelengths are reflected. The wavelengths that are reflected then enter the eye, the color that is perceived is dependent on which wavelengths are reflected. The visible light spectrum (roughly between 380-750 nm on the electromagnetic spectrum), but the human eye is more sensitive to some wavelengths than others with a sensitivity peak in the green spectrum near 555 nm causing greens to appear brighter. At 490 nm, for example, sensitivity is only about 20% of that at 555 nm. Color spectroscopy is therefore ideal for obtaining exact wavelengths of color and objectively quantifying color values.

Color measurement systems are generally designed to cover the range between 380-780 nm with a spectral resolution around 5 nm (FWHM). Avantes offers the advantage of fast data acquisition that allows for high production rates when measuring the color of objects or the color of light from a source.

In addition to high-resolution, fast acquisition spectrometers, Avantes also offers the specialized sampling accessories that reflection color measurements often require such as reflection probes and integrating spheres. The Avasoft-COL module available for the AvaSoft suite delivers L*a*b* color model results including parameters for brightness, hue, and chroma based on standards from the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) and displays the results in a CIELAB chart complete with with the corresponding ΔELab, ΔL*, Δa*, or Δb* values or as a series over time. This module includes a color database, reference color can be saved to or loaded from this database.

Applications for Color Spectroscopy

Color measurements are useful in a variety of industrial applications such as the manufacturing of paints, dyes, cosmetics, textiles, paper, as well as agricultural applications in wine production and fruit harvesting as well as in the manufacturing of LEDs. In the biological sciences, color measurements might be used to study the structure of flower petals or the composition of bird feathers and butterfly wings.

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Color Measurement Instruments

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AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO

The StarLine AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO offers you this latest technology using CMOS instead of the conventional CCD technology. In combination with our latest AS-7010 electronics, it offers you a versatile device including USB3.0 communication with 10x higher speed communications and 50x more memory. The AvaSpec-ULS2048CL-EVO is also available as OEM unit, bench-only or rackmount version.

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AvaSpec-ULS2048x64TEC

The SensLine AvaSpec-ULS2048x64TEC backthinned detecor has good sensitivity in the UV and IR regionand .89 mm pixel height maximizes photon collection while the cooling enables long integration times up to 500 seconds with low noise values. three-stage Peltier cooling device integrated into our exclusive ultra-low stray-light optical bench improves the dark baseline and reduces the dark noise by a factor of 2-3.

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AvaSphere-50-LS-HAL

The AvaSphere-50-LS-HAL is a combination of an integrating sphere and a halogen light source provides diffused halogen light on your sample without the losses associated with fiber-optic coupling. It is useful for dark or low reflecting materials and NIR spectral measurements where signal strength can be limited.

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Color Measurement Resources

Color Measurement Bundle for Small Areas

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Color Measurement Bundle for Surfaces

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Application Note: Flower Coloration

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AvaSoft Software Color Application Module

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Application Note: Field Spectroscopy in the Rocky Mountains

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Video: How to do a Color Measurement

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Download: PDF info sheet on Color Measurements

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