L, a, b Color Space

The First Color Space

The first color space established for color measurements was the CIE 1931 XYZ Color Space (also known as CIE 1931 color space), created by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) in 1931.

The CIE XYZ color space was derived from a series of experiments done in the late 1920s on how the human eye perceives color. In an attempt to produce a uniform color space two color spaces are commonly used today. The L, a, b scale or CIE Lab (L* a* b*) are both derived from the CIE XYZ Master scale Lab Color Scale.

In both the L, a, b scale and CIE L* a* b*, the L a b values have the same meaning, but they are calculated slightly differently, thus a description of L, a and b is valid for both scales.

L indicates the lightness from 0=Black to 100 =white. Following the L axis, we can see a grey scale.

a and b are the chromatic (Color) coordinates.

a is the green to red axis with negative values indicating green colors and positive values indicating red colors.

b is the blue yellow axis with negative b values indicating blue colors and positive values indicating yellow colors

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