Enlightened Illumination

Rumor has it that butchers put beef under red lights to make it look better. That makes sense: Lights that generate more nonabsorbing wavelengths do enhance the color of the object being lit. Beef doesn't absorb red, so putting a filet mignon under lights that generate a higher-than-natural daylight red content—for example, incandescent lights—gives it an even more appealing red color. Rubies and red "flame" spinels ignite the same way under incandescent lights. The tungsten MR16 mini spotlights highlighting many jewelry showcases are red-producing lights. They typically distribute a lot of red and yellow wavelengths, but not much blue or green. Unless other lights balance the overabundance of red, the gem's fire will be extinguished when a customer takes it outside. The difference becomes even more dramatic when the customer shows it to friends back at the office, an area commonly

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