Color - Brightness (Light Perception)


Brightness is:

  • a subjective attribute of light
  • a perception

Brightness is also known as lightness

It cannot be measured objectively (but can be scaled, e.g. in %).

The perception:

  • is not linear to luminance,
  • relies on the context of the viewing environment.

For instance, a monitor can be adjusted to a level of light between very dim and very bright.

The inverse of brightness is dullness.

Formal definition

The brightness is:

  • the value of an area judged
  • relative to the brightness of a similarly illuminated area that appears to be white (ie highly transmitting).

It is then the representation of variation (relative) in the perception of a color or color space's brightness.

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