Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. In colorimetry and color appearance models, lightness is a prediction of how an illuminated color will appear to a standard observer. While luminance is a linear measurement of light, lightness is a linear prediction of the human perception of that light.

Three hues in the Munsell color model. Each color differs in value from top to bottom in equal perception steps. The right column undergoes a dramatic change in perceived color.

This is because human vision's lightness perception is non-linear relative to light. Doubling the quantity of light does not result in a doubling in perceived lightness, only a modest increase.

The symbol for perceptual lightness is usually either as used in CIECAM02 or as used in CIELAB and CIELUV. ("Lstar") is not to be confused with as used for luminance. In some color ordering systems such as Munsell, Lightness is referenced as value.

Chiaroscuro and Tenebrism both take advantage of dramatic contrasts of value to heighten drama in art. Artists may also employ shading, subtle manipulation of value.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Lightness, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.