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I have RGB LED strip that is used as a source of warm white light.

I've noticed that this lighting makes colors of objects more saturated (it's hard to explain, but generally speaking all sorts of things just look much nicer).

When I'm using regular white LED (non RGB) light source of the same color temperature effect is not present.

It looks to me that it is caused by non-even spectrum of the light emitted - even though it perceived the same as regular white LED by human eye -- reflected light reveals distinct components clearly.

Any references/details for this effect? (is it even real?)

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I just found a research paper describing the reasons of the effect:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289684781_LED_light_with_enhanced_color_saturation_and_improved_white_light_perception

In this paper we present the results of light emitting diodes (LEDs) with high light quality specially for retail/shop lighting to enhance the color appearance of the illuminated products and increase the white light visual perception. Four metrics, the GAI combined with the CRI are used to classify the color quality, while the Duv combined with the CCT are used to characterize the light visual appearance of the LED light source. The spectral power distributions (SPDs) were optimized by mixing the red, green, blue (RGB) LEDs and the phosphor converted warm white (WW) LED together to have both high GAI and high CRI to get perceptually noticeable gain in color saturation in one side, and optimize the distance from the Planckian locus to improve light visual impression in another side. The influences of the LED light on the colored clothes and the ambience from a visual point of view were tested by a human factor study. The results show that the LED light by addition of the RGB components and by shifting color coordinate below the blackbody line can both enhance the color saturation and increase the white light perception.

An interesting picture, demonstrating the effect as well.

Experimental setup, the left part of the room installed with the CMH lamps and the right part of the room installed with the LED lamps with eight tunable light scenarios. Mannequins dressed with clothes of six different colors for side by side comparison. Illuminance at the position of the clothes was set to the same level of about 2000 lx.

Experimental setup

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