Everything LCD Display Technology: Explaining the Concept of Color Gamut

Color gamut is one of the most excessively used terms in the context of LCD display technology. But what exactly does it mean, and how does it define the color regeneration capability of a LCD displays?

This “back to basics” article will explain.

However, before we get to discussing color gamut, it’s important to first understand the concept of color itself and how we see “color”.

The World of Color

Color is nothing but a visual perception detected by the human eye through interpretation of the light information received by the human brain.

When light hits an object, the object absorbs a portion of it and reflects the rest. The reflected light reaches the human eye and hits the light sensitive area at the back of the eye, called the retina.

The retina has millions of specialized cells (cones) that are sensitive to different light spectra – short, medium and long. The light rays reflected off the object stimulate the cones in the retina to varying degrees depending on their spectral values. This information is then processed by the brain and reproduced in the form of color perception.

All colors are created as a combination of red, blue and green light wavelengths. For example, the color “magenta” is a combination of red and blue hues;“yellow” is a combination of red and green hues;“cyan” is a combination of blue and green hues, and so on.

The color perception range of the human eye is represented via CIE chromaticity diagram. It maps the complete spectral distribution that’s capable of being perceived by a normal human eye, as color space.


In other words, any color that falls within the “color space” on the chromaticity diagram can be viewed by the human eye.

Now that you know what color is and how the human eye perceives it, let’s explore the concept of color gamut.

Color Gamut—Explained!

Color gamut is the measure of the range of colors that a display (such as an LCD display) can produce. It’s the subset of the color space defined by the chromaticity diagram.

For years, display manufacturers have been trying to accomplish “wider” color gamutfor their products to reproduce colors closer to the color perception range of the human eye. So far, they’ve only been able to achieve limited success.

The color gamut standard that comes closest to replicating the color reproduction of the human eye is BT 2020 which covers 57.2% of the color space of the human eye. Other, less effective standards include:

  • RGB standard which covers 33.2% of the color space
  • sRGB standard which covers 38.7% of the color space
  • DCI-P3 standard which covers 41.7% of the color space

Color and LCD displays

LCD displays produce colors through color filters. Every LCD display has three types of color filters installed at the front of its liquid crystal (LC) layer: red, blue and green. By controlling the voltages across each subpixel, the processing unit of the display adjusts the intensity of each color and produces the required image on a pixel.

This wraps up our discussion of color gamut. Do you have any questions about color gamut that you would like to ask? Feel free to reach out; REVO will be happy to answer them.

About REVO

REVO is a global supplier of high-performing industrial LCD display solutions. The company works with OEMs, contract manufacturers and independent electronic distributors and supplies them high quality displays and display kits for their specialty product design needs. For more details, please call 1-866-738-6797 or visit the company’s official website.

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