Red is a color at the lowest frequencies of light discernible by the human eye. Red light has a wavelength range of roughly 630-760 nm. Red is an additive primary color, complementary to cyan. It was once considered to be a subtractive primary color, and is still sometimes described as such in non-scientific literature; however, the colors cyan, magenta and yellow are now known to be closer to the true subtractive primary colors detected by the eye, and are used in modern color printing.

Lower frequencies are called infrared, or far red. A red filter used in black and white photography increases contrast in most scenes. For example, combined with a polarizer, it can turn the sky black. Films simulating the effects of infrared film (such as Ilford's SFX 200) do so by being much more sensitive to red than to other colors. Oxygenated blood is red due to the presence of hemoglobin. Red light is the first to be absorbed by sea water, so that many fish and marine invertebrates that appear bright red are black in their native habitat.