LED technology - a hot topic in garment stores creates a need for action in the production

We can expect that many garment and textile companies will start to use LED light in their stores. The inventors of Blue LED technology have 2014 been awarded a Nobel Prize as it is more energy efficient, reducing power bills and using less of the planets resources. It also gives a healthier fuller spectrum of light, making a significant contribution to global humanity (however many are skeptical of the validity of this reasoning).

Since LED can be in any light, we may even see different illuminants in the store with one illuminant for home textile, one for swimwear etc.

This goes straight back to the production.

Today we do not see any coming LED illuminant standard. This means that the different standard illuminants could change from todays 5-6 different standards (D 65, UL35, A, TL84…) to hundreds of illuminants. Different retailers and brands could specify different illuminants and the same retailer or brand could specify multiple illuminants depending on product category.

What impact will this have on the color communication and assessment in the supply chain?
Once the LED light(s) for the store are defined by a retailer/brand, this must be communicated to vendors and suppliers. It should be added to the brand/retailer’s own color manual, which is used as a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) by suppliers. For digital color communication, illuminant files are also normally communicated and uploaded to the suppliers color matching software. Once this is taken care of, the day-to-day work needs to be handled smoothly in the supply chain.

Digital color communication and assessment:

By adding an extension product to natific’s ColorWarehouse, brands and retailers can easily change and specify any new illuminant, and use different illuminants per product category. Each illuminant file is uploaded online for immediate use by suppliers.

At the same time it is a tool for the supplier to keep track on what illuminant(s) each brand and retailer require. The ColorWarehouse enables the supplier to visualize the match and transparently communicate all results to the retailer or brand for any specified illuminant.

Visual color communication and assessment:

Most light boxes do not offer LED light sources. Even so, the LED is likely to be static and does not allow mirroring the many variations of lights (Spectral Power Distributions, SPD) a brand or retailer might choose for their store. The “LED Color Proof Light” from Just Normlicht allows the simulation of any kind of light by storing a particular SPD (see picture).

We recommend having an assessment of the light box in place to check the specified illuminant(s) by measuring the SPD of the stored illuminants in the light box.

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