Dr. Kasson S. Gibson, 88, a physicist with the National Bureau of Standards whose research helped lay the foundation for the measurement of the illuminating properties of light, died of a stroke Friday at the Rockville Nursing Home.

Dr. Gibson, a native of Afton, N.Y., joined the Bureau of Standards in 1916, after earning a doctorate in physics from Cornell University. He was chief of the Bureau's colorimetry and spectrophotometry section from 1935 to 1941. From 1941 until his retirement in 1955, he was chief of the photometry and colorimetry section.

Colorimetry is the science of measuring the color quality of light for photographic purposes. Spectrophotometry is the science of measuring the amount of energy transmitted or reflected in each color in an optical spectrum.

His early work on the relationship between the wavelength of radiation and its visibility led to the establishment of a standard "curve" applicable to this relationship. This curve was adopted in 1924 by the International Commission on Illumination and still remains the basis for the scientific definition of light.

Another of Dr. Gibson's scientific contributions was his development of an optical filter to transform radiation from an incandescent lamp to radiation having the spectral distribution of daylight.

Suvivors include his wife, Mildred, of the home in Somerset, Md., a son, Gilbert, of Fairfax, and a brother, Stanford, of Norwick, N.Y.