Luminous intensity

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luminous intensity
Luminosity.svg
Photopic (black) and scotopic (green) luminosity functions. [c 1] The photopic includes the CIE 1931 standard [c 2] [c 3] (solid), the Judd–Vos 1978 modified data [c 4] (dashed), and the Sharpe, Stockman, Jagla & Jägle 2005 data [c 5] (dotted). The horizontal axis is wavelength in nm.
Common symbols
Iv
SI unit candela
Other units
In SI base units cd
Dimension J

In photometry, luminous intensity is a measure of the wavelength-weighted power emitted by a light source in a particular direction per unit solid angle, based on the luminosity function, a standardized model of the sensitivity of the human eye. The SI unit of luminous intensity is the candela  (cd), an SI base unit.

Contents

Photometry deals with the measurement of visible light as perceived by human eyes. The human eye can only see light in the visible spectrum and has different sensitivities to light of different wavelengths within the spectrum. When adapted for bright conditions (photopic vision), the eye is most sensitive to yellow-green light at 555 nm. Light with the same radiant intensity at other wavelengths has a lower luminous intensity. The curve which measures the response of the human eye to light is a defined standard, known as the luminosity function. This curve, denoted V(λ) or , is based on an average of widely differing experimental data from scientists using different measurement techniques. For instance, the measured responses of the eye to violet light varied by a factor of ten.[ citation needed ]

Relationship to other measures

Luminous intensity should not be confused with another photometric unit, luminous flux, which is the total perceived power emitted in all directions. Luminous intensity is the perceived power per unit solid angle. If a lamp has a 1 lumen bulb and the optics of the lamp are set up to focus the light evenly into a 1 steradian beam, then the beam would have a luminous intensity of 1 candela. If the optics were changed to concentrate the beam into 1/2 steradian then the source would have a luminous intensity of 2 candela. The resulting beam is narrower and brighter, though its luminous flux remains unchanged.

Luminous intensity is also not the same as the radiant intensity, the corresponding objective physical quantity used in the measurement science of radiometry.

Units

Like other SI base units, the candela has an operational definition it is defined by the description of a physical process that will produce one candela of luminous intensity. By definition, if one constructs a light source that emits monochromatic green light with a frequency of 540 THz, and that has a radiant intensity of 1/683  watts per steradian in a given direction, that light source will emit one candela in the specified direction. [1]

The frequency of light used in the definition corresponds to a wavelength in a vacuum of 555 nm, which is near the peak of the eye's response to light. If the 1 candela source emitted uniformly in all directions, the total radiant flux would be about 18.40 mW, since there are 4π steradians in a sphere. Note that a typical modern candle produces very roughly one candela while releasing heat at roughly 80 W.

Prior to the definition of the candela, a variety of units for luminous intensity were used in various countries. These were typically based on the brightness of the flame from a "standard candle" of defined composition, or the brightness of an incandescent filament of specific design. One of the best-known of these standards was the English standard: candlepower. One candlepower was the light produced by a pure spermaceti candle weighing one sixth of a pound and burning at a rate of 120  grains per hour. Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia used the Hefnerkerze, a unit based on the output of a Hefner lamp. [2] In 1881, Jules Violle proposed the Violle as a unit of luminous intensity, and it was notable as the first unit of light intensity that did not depend on the properties of a particular lamp. All of these units were superseded by the definition of the candela.

Usage

The luminous intensity for monochromatic light of a particular wavelength λ is given by

where

If more than one wavelength is present (as is usually the case), one must sum or integrate over the spectrum of wavelengths present to get the luminous intensity:

See also

Related Research Articles

Candela SI unit of luminous intensity

The candela is the base unit of luminous intensity in the International System of Units (SI); that is, luminous power per unit solid angle emitted by a point light source in a particular direction. Luminous intensity is analogous to radiant intensity, but instead of simply adding up the contributions of every wavelength of light in the source's spectrum, the contribution of each wavelength is weighted by the standard luminosity function. A common wax candle emits light with a luminous intensity of roughly one candela. If emission in some directions is blocked by an opaque barrier, the emission would still be approximately one candela in the directions that are not obscured.

Luminance Photometric measure

Luminance is a photometric measure of the luminous intensity per unit area of light travelling in a given direction. It describes the amount of light that passes through, is emitted from, or is reflected from a particular area, and falls within a given solid angle.

Radiometry is a set of techniques for measuring electromagnetic radiation, including visible light. Radiometric techniques in optics characterize the distribution of the radiation's power in space, as opposed to photometric techniques, which characterize the light's interaction with the human eye. The fundamental difference between radiometry and photometry is that radiometry gives the entire optical radiation spectrum, while photometry is limited to the visible spectrum. Radiometry is distinct from quantum techniques such as photon counting.

Reflectance Capacity of an object to reflect light

The reflectance of the surface of a material is its effectiveness in reflecting radiant energy. It is the fraction of incident electromagnetic power that is reflected at the boundary. Reflectance is a component of the response of the electronic structure of the material to the electromagnetic field of light, and is in general a function of the frequency, or wavelength, of the light, its polarization, and the angle of incidence. The dependence of reflectance on the wavelength is called a reflectance spectrum or spectral reflectance curve.

Lux SI derived unit of illuminance

The lux is the SI derived unit of illuminance, measuring luminous flux per unit area. It is equal to one lumen per square metre. In photometry, this is used as a measure of the intensity, as perceived by the human eye, of light that hits or passes through a surface. It is analogous to the radiometric unit watt per square metre, but with the power at each wavelength weighted according to the luminosity function, a standardized model of human visual brightness perception. In English, "lux" is used as both the singular and plural form.

Luminous efficiency function Description of the average spectral sensitivity of human visual perception of brightness

A luminous efficiency function or luminosity function represents the average spectral sensitivity of human visual perception of light. It is based on subjective judgements of which of a pair of different-colored lights is brighter, to describe relative sensitivity to light of different wavelengths. It is not an absolute reference to any particular individual, but is a standard observer representation of visual sensitivity of theoretical human eye. It is valuable as a baseline for experimental purposes, and in colorimetry. Different luminous efficiency functions apply under different lighting conditions, varying from photopic in brightly lit conditions through mesotopic to scotopic under low lighting conditions. When not specified, the luminous efficiency function generally refers to the photopic luminous efficiency function.

Photometry (optics) Science of the measurement of visible light

Photometry is the science of the measurement of light, in terms of its perceived brightness to the human eye. It is distinct from radiometry, which is the science of measurement of radiant energy in terms of absolute power. In modern photometry, the radiant power at each wavelength is weighted by a luminosity function that models human brightness sensitivity. Typically, this weighting function is the photopic sensitivity function, although the scotopic function or other functions may also be applied in the same way.

In radiometry, radiance is the radiant flux emitted, reflected, transmitted or received by a given surface, per unit solid angle per unit projected area. Spectral radiance is the radiance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. These are directional quantities. The SI unit of radiance is the watt per steradian per square metre, while that of spectral radiance in frequency is the watt per steradian per square metre per hertz and that of spectral radiance in wavelength is the watt per steradian per square metre per metre —commonly the watt per steradian per square metre per nanometre. The microflick is also used to measure spectral radiance in some fields. Radiance is used to characterize diffuse emission and reflection of electromagnetic radiation, or to quantify emission of neutrinos and other particles. Historically, radiance is called "intensity" and spectral radiance is called "specific intensity". Many fields still use this nomenclature. It is especially dominant in heat transfer, astrophysics and astronomy. "Intensity" has many other meanings in physics, with the most common being power per unit area.

In radiometry, irradiance is the radiant flux received by a surface per unit area. The SI unit of irradiance is the watt per square metre (W⋅m−2). The CGS unit erg per square centimetre per second (erg⋅cm−2⋅s−1) is often used in astronomy. Irradiance is often called intensity, but this term is avoided in radiometry where such usage leads to confusion with radiant intensity. In astrophysics, irradiance is called radiant flux.

Luminous flux Perceived Luminous Power

In photometry, luminous flux or luminous power is the measure of the perceived power of light. It differs from radiant flux, the measure of the total power of electromagnetic radiation, in that luminous flux is adjusted to reflect the varying sensitivity of the human eye to different wavelengths of light.

Candlepower Unit of measurement

Candlepower is a unit of measurement for luminous intensity. It expresses levels of light intensity relative to the light emitted by a candle of specific size and constituents. The historical candlepower is equal to 1.02 candelas. In modern usage, candlepower is sometimes used as a synonym for candela.

The lumen is the SI derived unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source per unit of time. Luminous flux differs from power in that radiant flux includes all electromagnetic waves emitted, while luminous flux is weighted according to a model of the human eye's sensitivity to various wavelengths. One lux is one lumen per square metre.

In radiometry, radiant intensity is the radiant flux emitted, reflected, transmitted or received, per unit solid angle, and spectral intensity is the radiant intensity per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. These are directional quantities. The SI unit of radiant intensity is the watt per steradian, while that of spectral intensity in frequency is the watt per steradian per hertz and that of spectral intensity in wavelength is the watt per steradian per metre —commonly the watt per steradian per nanometre. Radiant intensity is distinct from irradiance and radiant exitance, which are often called intensity in branches of physics other than radiometry. In radio-frequency engineering, radiant intensity is sometimes called radiation intensity.

Spectral power distribution

In radiometry, photometry, and color science, a spectral power distribution (SPD) measurement describes the power per unit area per unit wavelength of an illumination. More generally, the term spectral power distribution can refer to the concentration, as a function of wavelength, of any radiometric or photometric quantity.

Photosynthetically active radiation

Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) designates the spectral range of solar radiation from 400 to 700 nanometers that photosynthetic organisms are able to use in the process of photosynthesis. This spectral region corresponds more or less with the range of light visible to the human eye. Photons at shorter wavelengths tend to be so energetic that they can be damaging to cells and tissues, but are mostly filtered out by the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Photons at longer wavelengths do not carry enough energy to allow photosynthesis to take place.

Luminous efficacy is a measure of how well a light source produces visible light. It is the ratio of luminous flux to power, measured in lumens per watt in the International System of Units (SI). Depending on context, the power can be either the radiant flux of the source's output, or it can be the total power consumed by the source. Which sense of the term is intended must usually be inferred from the context, and is sometimes unclear. The former sense is sometimes called luminous efficacy of radiation, and the latter luminous efficacy of a light source or overall luminous efficacy.

The CIE 1931 color spaces are the first defined quantitative links between distributions of wavelengths in the electromagnetic visible spectrum, and physiologically perceived colors in human color vision. The mathematical relationships that define these color spaces are essential tools for color management, important when dealing with color inks, illuminated displays, and recording devices such as digital cameras. The system was designed in 1931 by the "Commission Internationale de l'éclairage", known in English as the International Commission on Illumination.

In photometry, luminous energy is the perceived energy of light. This is sometimes called the quantity of light. Luminous energy is not the same as radiant energy, the corresponding objective physical quantity. This is because the human eye can only see light in the visible spectrum and has different sensitivities to light of different wavelengths within the spectrum. When adapted for bright conditions, the eye is most sensitive to light at a wavelength of 555 nm. Light with a given amount of radiant energy will have more luminous energy if the wavelength is 555 nm than if the wavelength is longer or shorter. Light whose wavelength is well outside the visible spectrum has a luminous energy of zero, regardless of the amount of radiant energy present.

In radiometry, radiant flux or radiant power is the radiant energy emitted, reflected, transmitted, or received per unit time, and spectral flux or spectral power is the radiant flux per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. The SI unit of radiant flux is the watt (W), one joule per second, while that of spectral flux in frequency is the watt per hertz and that of spectral flux in wavelength is the watt per metre —commonly the watt per nanometre.

In radiometry, radiant exitance or radiant emittance is the radiant flux emitted by a surface per unit area, whereas spectral exitance or spectral emittance is the radiant exitance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. This is the emitted component of radiosity. The SI unit of radiant exitance is the watt per square metre, while that of spectral exitance in frequency is the watt per square metre per hertz (W·m−2·Hz−1) and that of spectral exitance in wavelength is the watt per square metre per metre (W·m−3)—commonly the watt per square metre per nanometre. The CGS unit erg per square centimeter per second is often used in astronomy. Radiant exitance is often called "intensity" in branches of physics other than radiometry, but in radiometry this usage leads to confusion with radiant intensity.

References

  1. "Base unit definitions: Candela". The NIST Reference on Constants, Units, and Uncertainty. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  2. "Hefner unit, or Hefner candle". Sizes.com. 30 May 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2009.

Curve data

QuantityUnit Dimension Notes
NameSymbol [nb 1] NameSymbolSymbol [nb 2]
Luminous energy Qv [nb 3] lumen second lm⋅sTJThe lumen second is sometimes called the talbot.
Luminous flux, luminous powerΦ v [nb 3] lumen (= candela steradian)lm (= cd⋅sr)JLuminous energy per unit time
Luminous intensity Iv candela (= lumen per steradian) cd (= lm/sr)JLuminous flux per unit solid angle
Luminance Lv candela per square metre cd/m2 (= lm/(sr⋅m2))L−2JLuminous flux per unit solid angle per unit projected source area. The candela per square metre is sometimes called the nit .
Illuminance Ev lux (= lumen per square metre) lx (= lm/m2)L−2JLuminous flux incident on a surface
Luminous exitance, luminous emittanceMvlumen per square metrelm/m2L−2JLuminous flux emitted from a surface
Luminous exposure Hv lux second lx⋅sL−2TJTime-integrated illuminance
Luminous energy densityωvlumen second per cubic metrelm⋅s/m3L−3TJ
Luminous efficacy (of radiation)Klumen per watt lm/W M−1L−2T3JRatio of luminous flux to radiant flux
Luminous efficacy (of a source)η [nb 3] lumen per watt lm/W M−1L−2T3JRatio of luminous flux to power consumption
Luminous efficiency, luminous coefficientV1Luminous efficacy normalized by the maximum possible efficacy
See also: SI  · Photometry  · Radiometry
  1. Standards organizations recommend that photometric quantities be denoted with a subscript "v" (for "visual") to avoid confusion with radiometric or photon quantities. For example: USA Standard Letter Symbols for Illuminating Engineering USAS Z7.1-1967, Y10.18-1967
  2. The symbols in this column denote dimensions; "L", "T" and "J" are for length, time and luminous intensity respectively, not the symbols for the units litre, tesla and joule.
  3. 1 2 3 Alternative symbols sometimes seen: W for luminous energy, P or F for luminous flux, and ρ for luminous efficacy of a source.