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Colorimetry: CIELUV Color Space

Excerpt from Field Guide to Visual and Ophthalmic Optics

The 1976 CIELUV color space is one attempt at providing a perceptually uniform color space. In this color space, the distance between two points approximately tells how different the colors are in luminance, chroma, and hue. The CIELUV coordinates (L*,u*,v*) can be calculated from the tristimulus values XYZ or the chromaticity coordinates (x,y) with the following formulas. The subscript n denotes the values for the white point.

CIELUV Coordinates Equations

The color difference ΔE between two colors in the CIELUV space is

Color Difference Equation

A value of ΔE of unity represents a just noticeable difference (JND). These coordinates can also be expressed in cylindrical coordinates with chroma being defined as

Cylindrical Coordinates with Chroma Equation

and hue being defined as

Defining Hue Equation


J. Schwiegerling, Field Guide to Visual and Ophthalmic Optics, SPIE Press, Bellingham, WA (2004).

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