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Red Green Blue Light Emitting Diode – more commonly know by the shortened RGB LED. So what is RGB and why is it the most essential component of colour lighting?

Red Green Blue Color Model

The RGB color model is based on the mixing of additive primary colors Red, Green and Blue to produce a wide array of colours, with the first technology to utilise this being television and video cameras. However the theory of red, green and blue has existed for much longer and is based on the human perception of colour, that being we have three colour receptors for vision
– trichromatic – combining three different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum in order to perceive the world around us in colour.


Although theatre lighting designers have been very familiar with mixing of Red Green and Blue light to produce different color effects on stage through the use
of filters, it is only recently that LEDs have become available which incorporate all three colours within the same module. As a result it is now possible for architectural lighting designers to take advantage of this phenomenon and
apply it to their projects. 

Know more about RGB LED

Our articles are available on the website, information about colour-changing LEDs and others.


Why Red Green Blue (RGB) and not the traditional primary colours of Red Yellow and Blue (RYB)?

: Traditional color theory is based on experience with pigments, more than on the science of light. In 1920, Snow and Froehlich explained, “It does not matter to the makers of dyes if, as the physicist says, red light and green light in mixture make yellow light, when they find by experiment that red pigment and green pigment in mixture produce gray. No matter what the spectroscope may demonstrate regarding the combination of yellow rays of light and blue rays of light, the fact remains that yellow pigment mixed with the blue pigment produces green pigment. …” 

What is the RGB color model based on?
: The RGB color model is based on human vision of perceiving three separate wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum for full colour vision.
Before RGB LEDs – how was this technology first utilised?

: Television and video cameras were the first to take on RGB technology in order to reproduce a comprehensive gamut of the color spectrum. 

How did architects and lighting designers used coloured light before the introduction of RGB LEDs?

: Until RGB LEDs became available, the main way in which coloured light would be used within a project is through the use of specific coloured filters. In some cases these may still be used since there are colours which the RGB model is not able to reproduce.