What is CIE Lab Color Space?

By | 09/17/2018

CIE 1976 L*a*b* Color SpaceColor space is a three dimensional color model for precise color communication – to describe color numerically.  Commission Internationale de l´Eclairage (CIE) is a worldwide cooperation and standardisation organisation on color and vision.  In 1976, CIE recommended CIE L*a*b* color space for precise color communication.

The color space expresses color numerically and is use for precise color communication.  Today, CIE L*a*b* is used in manufacturing to ensure consistent color reproduction.  In the L*a*b* color space, L* indicates lightness and a* and b* are chromaticity coordinates.  The a* and b* coordinates are red / green and yellow / blue axis.

Color can be expressed with the L*a*b* coordinates and is use in communicating color differences too.  Automotive manufacturers use the color coordinates to ensure product acceptance from their supply chain.  Flour millers use the CIE L*a*b* color space for flour color analysis.

Check out this education booklet – Precise Color Communication for a complete description of CIE L*a*b* and how you can implement it into your color work.