Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo

CIE Tristimulus Values

  • Ming Ronnier Luo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_371-1




Tristimulus values are defined as the amounts of the 3 reference color stimuli, in a given trichromatic system, required to match the color of the stimulus considered


The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) recommended CIE color specification system as the basis for colorimetry [1]. The ISO and CIE are also provided a series of joint standards [2, 3, 4]. The fundamental of colorimetry is Tristimulus Values [4]. They are used for color communication and reproduction. The three key elements of color perception are: human vision system, light, and object. If missing one of three elements, we will not be able to perceive color. These elements have been defined by CIE as color matching functions of \( \overline{x}\left(\lambda \right) \)


Spectral Reflectance Spectral Radiance Spectral Irradiance Typical Instrument Normal Color Vision 
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  1. 1.
    CIE Pub. No. 15:2004: Colorimetry (Central Bureau of the CIE, Vienna)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    ISO 11664-1:2007(E)/CIE S 014-1/E:2006 Joint ISO/CIE Standard: Colorimetry — Part 1: CIE Standard Colorimetric Observers (Central Bureau of the CIE, Vienna)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    ISO 11664-2:2007(E)/CIE S 014-2/E:2006 Joint ISO/CIE Standard: Colorimetry — Part 2: CIE Standard Illuminants for Colorimetry (Central Bureau of the CIE, Vienna)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    ISO 11664-3:2012(E)/CIE S 014-3/E:2012 Joint ISO/CIE Standard: Colorimetry — Part 3: CIE Tristimulus Values (Central Bureau of the CIE, Vienna)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of United Kingdom 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Modern Optical InstrumentationZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of DesignUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Colour and IlluminationNational Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaipeiR.O.C.