Correlated color temperature: Use and limitations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Correlated color temperature (CCT) is a one-dimensional metric that aims to quantify the perceived visual quality of nominal white light sources. It is often used as a proxy for the color quality of light sources due to its ease of use. However, CCT lacks the accuracy in communicating color information for research purposes. Two light sources with identical CCTs can appear perceptually different, and these differences are not estimated by CCT due to the loss of information caused by reducing spectral power distribution of light sources into a one-dimensional metric. Using supplemental metrics in addition to CCT, providing the absolute spectral power distribution of light sources in graphical and tabular form, and documenting and accounting for potential confounding factors, such as chromatic adaptation, can increase the validity of research results, improve the repeatability of studies, and help address replication concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-375
Number of pages13
JournalLighting Research and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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