Amber (color)

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Amber as a tertiary color on the RYB color wheel
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet#FFBF00
sRGBB  (rgb)(255, 191, 0)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k)(0, 25, 100, 0)
HSV       (h, s, v)(45°, 100%, 100%)
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)
Ant preserved in amber
Ant preserved in amber

The color amber is a pure chroma color, located on the color wheel midway between the colors of yellow and orange. The color name is derived from the material also known as amber, which is commonly found in a range of yellow-orange-brown-red colors; likewise, as a color amber can refer to a range of yellow-orange colors. In English the first recorded use of the term as a color name, rather than a reference to the specific substance, was in 1500.[1]

SAE/ECE amber[edit]

About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet#FF7E00
sRGBB  (rgb)(255, 126, 0)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k)(0, 51, 100, 0)
HSV       (h, s, v)(30°, 100%, 100%)
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Amber is one of several technically defined colors used in automotive signal lamps. In North America, SAE standard J578 governs the colorimetry of vehicle lights,[2] while outside North America the internationalized European ECE regulations hold force.[3] Both standards designate a range of orange-yellow hues in the CIE color space as "amber".

An amber traffic light
An amber traffic light

In the past, the ECE amber definition was more restrictive than the SAE definition, but the current ECE definition is identical to the more permissive SAE standard. The SAE formally uses the term "yellow amber", though the color is most often referred to as "yellow". This is not the same as selective yellow, a color used in some fog lamps and headlamps.

Formal definitions[edit]

Previously, ECE amber was defined according to the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic,[4] as follows:

Limit towards green
Limit towards red
Limit towards white

Recent revisions to the ECE regulations have aligned ECE Amber with SAE Yellow, defined as follows:

Limit towards green
Limit towards red
Limit towards white

The entirety[clarification needed] of these definitions lie outside the gamut of the sRGB color space — such a pure color cannot be represented using RGB primaries. The color box shown above is a desaturated approximation, created by taking the centroid of the standard definition and moving it towards the D65 white point, until it meets the sRGB gamut triangle.[citation needed]

Amber in culture[edit]

These pendants made of amber are also amber colored.


Interior design


Traffic engineering

A turn signal emitting amber light.

Business management

  • Amber is used in business management to indicate a status of work, as in RAG status. R stands for Red, A stands for Amber, usually represented as the color Yellow in the reports, and G stands for Green. Typically Green indicates that all is well and no action is needed, Yellow indicates a wait-and-watch approach or some action to make the status Green, and Red indicates that the work or project is not as planned and requires immediate attention and corrective actions to turn it to Green status.

Amber Alert

  • The appearance of the word "amber" here is only a coincidence; it comes from the name of a child abduction victim, Amber Hagerman.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930--McGraw Hill Page 189; Color Sample of Amber: Page 43 Plate 10 Color Sample J3
  2. ^ SAE J578: Color Specification
  3. ^ ECE R6
  4. ^ ECE Convention on Road Traffic, 1968, p. 60

External links[edit]