A spectrally tunable light source using a large number of LEDs and an integrating sphere has been designed and is being constructed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The source is designed to have a capability of producing any spectral distribution, mimicking various light sources in the visible region by feedback control of individual LEDs. The output spectral irradiance or radiance of the source will be calibrated by a reference instrument, and the source will be used as a spectroradiometric as well as a photometric and colorimetric standard. A series of simulations have been conducted to predict the performance of the designed tunable source when used for calibration of display colorimeters. The results indicate that the errors can be reduced by an order of magnitude when the tunable source is used to calibrate the colorimeters, compared with measurement errors when the colorimeters are calibrated against Illuminant A. The source can also approximate various CIE daylight illuminants and common lamp spectral distributions for other photometric and colorimetric applications.