An effective illuminant-estimation approach for color constancy is proposed. Bright and near-neutral pixels are selected to jointly represent the illuminant color and utilized for illuminant estimation. To assess the representing capability of pixels, bright-neutral strength (BNS) is proposed by combining pixel chroma and brightness. Accordingly, a certain percentage of pixels with the largest BNS is selected to be the representative set. For every input image, a proper percentage value is determined via an iterative strategy by seeking the optimal color-corrected image. To compare various color-corrected images of an input image, image color-cast degree (ICCD) is devised using means and standard deviations of RGB channels. Experimental evaluation on standard real-world datasets validates the effectiveness of the proposed approach.