Color spectrometers are important for testing the color quality of lights used in your video and film projects. Many common color indices — such as CRI and TLCI — only tell a small fraction of a very large picture. Without fully looking at the color quality of your lights you may find out in post that you used a low quality light for your scenes, which ended up destroying the color in your image.
This article discusses how to use the average color spectrometer, what color characteristics to look out for, how to understand all the data and graphs, and how to take the spectrometer to the next level such as comparing light from a fixture before and after adding gels like CTO, minus green, and others.
In future articles we will look at specific spectrometers — such as Sekonic C700, UPRTek CV600, Asensetek Lighting Passport Essence Pro, and Asensetek Lighting Passport Standard Pro — along with their specific features and some of their limitations.