Candela (cd) unit

The candela (/kænˈdɛlə/ or /kænˈdiːlə/; symbol: cd) 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 model of the sensitivity of the human eye to different wavelengths). 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.

The word candela is Latin for candle. The old name "candle" is still sometimes used, as in foot-candle and the modern definition of candlepower.

Explanations

The frequency chosen is in the visible spectrum near green, corresponding to a wavelength of about 555 nanometres. The human eye, when adapted for bright conditions, is most sensitive near this frequency. Under these conditions, photopic vision dominates the visual perception of our eyes over the scotopic vision. At other frequencies, more radiant intensity is required to achieve the same luminous intensity, according to the frequency response of the human eye. The luminous intensity for light of a particular wavelength λ is given by


where  Iv(λ) is the luminous intensity, Ie(λ) is the radiant intensity and  is the photopic luminosity function. If more than one wavelength is present (as is usually the case), one must integrate over the spectrum of wavelengths to get the total luminous intensity.

Definition

The candela is defined by taking the fixed numerical value of the luminous efficacy of monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 × 1012 Hz, Kcd, to be 683 when expressed in the unit lm W–1, which is equal to cd sr W–1, or cd sr kg–1 m–2 s3, where the kilogram, metre and second are defined in terms of h, c and ΔνCs.

Examples

  • A common candle emits light with roughly 1 cd luminous intensity.
  • A 25 W compact fluorescent light bulb puts out around 1700 lumens; if that light is radiated equally in all directions (i.e. over 4π steradians), it will have an intensity of 
  • Focused into a 20° beam, the same light bulb would have an intensity of around 18,000 cd within the beam.


source: Wikipedia


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