What is RGB and CMY in lighting?

RGB/RGBW & CMY are two types of color mixing system.

RGB/RGBW means Red, Green, Blue and White. RGB are primary colors.

Any of a group of colors from which all other colors can be obtained by mixing.

The more you mix and add, the brighter the light.

CMY means Cyan, Megan, Yellow. The color produced by CMY color mixing system is called subtractive color, because it reduces the reflected light required for the visual system to recognize color. CMY system is similar to RGB one, but CMY is subtraction while RGB is addition.

For stage lighting, RGB/RGBW system is always used in LED fixtures.

For example, Light Sky PL6103 IP65 led par light, using 61pcs *3W CREE led chip (R, G, B 17pcs each, W 10pcs).

In this way, the leds are divided into 3 or 4 color groups, different light output colors can be achieved by adjusting the brightness of each led color group.

And also have another type used more nowadays, adopted RGB 3in1/RGBW 4in1 led chip, which can make brighter and softer color.

For example, the hot selling bee eye type led wash—Aquapearl-pro, IP66 waterproof rate, with 19×40W OSRAM RGBW 4 in 1 LED, individually led control, kaleidoscope effect. It’s been highly recognizes by the market for its excellent performance. Gorgeous colors, high IP rate, high brightness, suitable for outdoor big gigs and tours.

CMY is mostly used in tradition lamp light and led module lighting source.

There are three color wheels, each for one color, and the color is from dark to light, can match almost all the color requirement.

For example, this Light Sky Aquabeam is a super bright moving beam with IP54 waterproof rate. Showed its extraordinary capacity in 2016 Eurovision Song contest, and 2022 Six60 gigs in New Zealand, amazed everyone.


And this Super Scope Max, 1200W LED light source, high brightness, long life, green environmental protection, low heat radiation. Beam spot wash profile 4 in 1 function.


Both are adopted high quality CMY color mixing system (See the following pictures), yeah, different CMY wheels will have different effect, some manufacturers might wanna reduce the cost by cutting corners, that’s why when you put 2 lights with CMY function and the same power together for comparison and you will find out their colors have huge difference.

Now you know the difference between RGB and CMY, tell me which one do you prefer.