Understanding the types of instruments available for measuring color is important when choosing the instrument to purchase or use for your application. The terms “colorimeter” and “spectrophotometer” cause some confusion, so their differences are outlined in the table below. Note, however, that both types of instruments provide data obtained over the same range of visible wavelengths (about 400-700 nm), but they may treat this data differently.
Below are illustrations of many of these factors:
Billmeyer, Fred W., Jr. and Saltzman, Max, Principles of Color Technology, New York: John Wiley &
Sons, Inc., 1981.
Hunter, Richard S. and Harold, Richard W., The Measurement of Appearance, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1987.