I just bought X-rite calibration kit but one thing makes me curious. Should I set colder white point (6500K) for summertime and warmer (5000K) for winter? Will global warming cause atmospheric effects which might meaningfully change the ambient light in my area?

  • I was fine with this being on topic until you said global warming. This is not a topic for this site as is. – dpollitt Jan 19 '15 at 18:15
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    The appropriate white point is based on the color of the light in the room where you'll be viewing the picture, not on any conditions where the picture was taken. – Mark Ransom Jan 19 '15 at 23:13
  • What type of lighting have you got in your room where this monitor is? If you have consistent lighting (halogen, LED, florescent... etc) and no windows/doorways where other light sources can get in, then no. You don't need to seasonally adjust your monitor. However, you might need to daily adjust your monitor at different times of day if you have day light or other light sources coming in at regular timing. Seems a bit futile, if you ask me. – BBking Jan 20 '15 at 8:43
  • @dpollitt there is global dimming which is tangential to the issue, though not in the way the OP is thinking of the question. – user13451 Jan 20 '15 at 18:48

Monitor calibration is for standardized color rendering among displays (nominally 6500K) or between displays and prints (typically 5000K). For any single outdoor location, skylight correlated color temperature varies widely by time of day, weather and season. Those relatively short term fluctuations (e.g. between 4000K and over 10000K) are provoked mostly from dust and water vapor; carbon dioxide has negible absorption at visible spectra.


Color temperature refers to the color a hot body appears, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature for a complete description, but briefly, the sun seen through more atmosphere (sunrise/set, higher latitudes) looks redder, which is often called "warmer", but would be closer to the cooler 5,000 K setting. On oxyacetylene torch, by comparison, is only ~3,500 K.

BTW, newer LED lights are marked for approximate color temperature, so you compare the color temperature at hardware stores with LED lamps on display. ;-)

  • But what about a seasonal effect? – mattdm Jan 19 '15 at 17:54
  • @mattdm there's no seasonal effect. The time of day might matter, but not the time of year. – Mark Ransom Jan 19 '15 at 23:12
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    Since that is the question, put that in your answer? – mattdm Jan 19 '15 at 23:12
  • It's the amount of atmosphere that matters, both time of day and season play a part. The sun has to poke through a lot more air at noon in the winter than in the summer. – Rene Jan 20 '15 at 10:13

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