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Spectral responsivity based calibration of photometer and colorimeter standards



George P. Eppeldauer


Several new generation transfer- and working-standard illuminance meters and tristimulus colorimeters have been developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to measure all kinds of light sources with low uncertainty. The spectral and broad-band (illuminance) responsivities of the photometer (Y) channels of two tristimulus meters were determined at both the Spectral Irradiance and Radiance Responsivity Calibrations using Uniform Sources (SIRCUS) facility and the Spectral Comparator Facility (SCF). The two illuminance responsivities agreed within 0.1 % with an overall uncertainty of 0.2 % (k=2) which is a factor of two improvement over the present NIST photometric scale. The first detector-based tristimulus color scale was realized. All channels of the reference tristimulus colorimeter were calibrated at the SIRCUS. The other tristimulus meters were calibrated at the SCF and also against the reference meter on the Photometry bench in broad-band measurement mode. The agreement between detector- and source-based calibrations was within 3 K when a tungsten lamp-standard was measured at 2856 K and 3100 K. The color-temperature uncertainty of tungsten lamp measurements was 4 K (k=2) between 2300 K and 3200 K which is a factor of two improvement over the presently used NIST source-based color temperature scale. One colorimeter was extended with an additional (fifth) channel to apply software implemented matrix corrections. With this correction, the spectral mismatch caused color difference errors were decreased by a factor of 20 for single-color LEDs.
Journal of Modern Optics


color calibration, detector-based colorimetry, illuminance responsivity, LED colorimetry, matrix correction, photometer standard, tristimulus colorimeter


Eppeldauer, G. (2013), Spectral responsivity based calibration of photometer and colorimeter standards, Journal of Modern Optics, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created June 19, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017