This pocket-sized gadget takes the guesswork out of matching colors

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I would think a color on paper would be hard to compare to a color on a screen. But what do I know?

To evaluate this, I would need to know the actual CRI value (a number that ranges up to 100). “High CRI” is content-free marketing speak, like “low calorie”. In the meantime, color me skeptical that a color sample obtained with LED lighting will compare to that color illuminated by a natural light source.

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Modern print tends to depend on that color on a screen.


The key is that the device is taking a reading of the wavelength with a calibrated starting light. The reading will give an accurate measure of the wavelength, which is not subjective. Of course, my only experience is with high end industrial versions of this type of device, so millage may vary.

This thing apparently isn’t wonderful. Theres an iPhone app called Cone that does at least as good a job for a lot less money. As I understand it those who are serious about wanting a pocket gadget to do this go for the Pantone one.

That’s a great start, but the difficulty is that there is no single wavelength involved. The light shining on it is going to be a mixture of wavelengths which will vary depending on where the light is coming from. Even when you calibrate the light for this device, it’s not going to the same mixture that the object is usually viewed in. That’s why digital cameras often have a settings to adjust for different light sources. When you add in the fact that the display is using additive colors and the pigments used in the original object and the paint that you’re trying to match to it are not likely to be the same, this is only going to give you an approximate match. Which is probably good enough for most of us.

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