Color Infidelity: Why Using a Light Source Incorrectly is Cheating on your Data
Knowledge is power when minimizing error in imaging
Whether you are capturing an image of a beetle carapace or attempting to document a mission critical pathology slide, color matters. There are many influences on color in the imaging process including lighting, optics, sensor, and monitor, and ultimately print. The first, and generally most important, is lighting.
The solution is not as simple as choosing the correct light source. Put simply, there is no perfect light source! When considering color temperature and color accuracy, the light produced by sunlight at noon is ideal. However, even the sun produces variable light depending on time, weather conditions, and location on the globe! Harnessing noon daylight and packaging it into a light source for microscopes is impossible with current technology – so users are left to choose a light source and optimize its performance.
There are plenty of options for light sources, Halogen, LED, and arc lamps are among the most popular for microscopes. Each light source has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is up to the user to learn which is best for the sample and application.
Read the full article to help identify which is best for you!
Image: The CIE 1931 x,y chromaticity space, also showing the chromaticities of black-body light sources of various temperatures (Planckian locus), and lines of constant correlated color temperature. Source: Color Temperature, Wikipedia
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