Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Spotlight: Yoshi Ohno and the Vision Lab

Yoshi Ohno poses behind a table holding brightly colored foods like red peppers and bananas.
Credit: R. Wilson/NIST

In arguably the coziest laboratory on NIST’s campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland, fellow Yoshi Ohno and his colleagues make measurements on the white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that illuminate dark spaces in so many of our modern world’s places.

Here in the NIST Spectrally Tunable Lighting Facility, Yoshi and team can adjust the properties of white LED light in a roomlike setting to study how people prefer to perceive color. When they illuminated a bowl of fruit, for example, subjects of their experiments chose the white light that produced higher color saturation (vividness) in the fruit over light closer to natural sunlight. Right now, the color-rendering standard used commercially actually penalizes the lights that participants preferred with lower scores.

With possible new standards for color preference in addition to the traditional standards for color fidelity (how close it is to sunlight), manufacturers can refine their products to match our tastes. You’ll literally see white LEDs in a whole new light.

Follow us on social media for more like this from all across NIST!

Released May 12, 2020, Updated February 11, 2022