2007-07-19

Hot colors and cold colors

Most people think of red as a "hot color" and blue as a "cold color". This is, of course, completely wrong from the thermodynamical point of view. All astronomers and photographers known that. However, even the later still call the R and B sensor pixels as "hot" and "cold" ones sometimes, instead of vice versa.

The confusion is probably from the fact that people have only seen relatively cold objects, like the sun or a light bulb, which are just a few thousands of ÂșC.

So, it's suggested that from now on we refer to them as "hot" and "very hot" to avoid confusion. And by the way, pink is both hot and cold, and green is neither.

1 comment:

Artyom said...

Most of people do not relate to the temperature of black body in order to describe hot/cold colors -- most of them do not know or consider what temperature means.

However it is even more problematic when we talk about color science or color processing.

For example:
The screen that has 3500K temperature is too hot, you need to increase the temperature to 4500K for daylight that is "colder" or even to temperature 7500K that are cold temperatures

This happens when someone relates to the temperature of white point and tells that hot colors has lower temperature.

I do not agree with you about "people have only seen relatively cold objects". It is all about linguistics.

Hot means pleasant, warm colors usually more friendly then "cold" colors that are "unpleasant".

Hot means -- nice and cold "not nice". This is the way we relate to colors -- their psychological meaning.