L*a*b* color space

The L*a*b color space is one of the most widely used and useful of the color models. L*a*b was developed by CIE in 1976 as a refinement of the XYZ color space. As XYZ, L*a*b is also device independent and represents every color through three components.

The L value represents luminance and ranges from 0 for black to 100 for white in uniform steps.

The a and b values are represented as +a/-a for red/green and +b/-b for blue/yellow.

One of the main application area of the L*a*b color space is in color faxing and JPEG compression.