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I'm looking for some kind of formula or algorithm to determine the brightness of a color given the RGB values. I know it can't be as simple as adding the RGB values together and having higher sums be brighter, but I'm kind of at a loss as to where to start.

Luminance (perceived option 2, slower to calculate): sqrt( 0.241*R^2 + 0.691*G^2 + 0.068*B^2 ) → sqrt( 0.299*R^2 + 0.587*G^2 + 0.114*B^2 ) (thanks to @MatthewHerbst) source

The only answers that are accurate are the @jive-dadson and @EddingtonsMonkey answers, and in support @nils-pipenbrinck. The other answers (including the accepted) are linking to or citing sources that are either wrong, irrelevant, obsolete, or broken.

Because this thread appears highly in search engines, I am adding this answer to clarify the various misconceptions on the subject.

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