definition of light intensity

The phenomenon of light from the point of view of its measurement is studied in the discipline known as photometry. In this frame of reference, light intensity indicates the amount of light that is perceived (the scientific term used is luminous flux).

From a mathematical parameter, light intensity is something that can be measured, for which the unit known as candela is used. In this sense, it must be remembered that light has different measurement units (lumen, lux, lumen per watt and others) and each one of them is used to measure some aspect of light. Do not forget that light is a form of energy, specifically electromagnetic energy.

The light intensity in different areas

The device used to measure light intensity is the luxmeter, which works by means of a sensor that detects variations in light intensity. The luxmeter allows to record a series of data, which refer to the measurement of light in a given space. These types of measurements are necessary to determine if the light used is adequate. For example, in a classroom, the light intensity should be established at the different points (on the blackboard, in the teacher's location area and in the area intended for students), since it would not make much sense for a room in the classroom to be in penumbra while another space had a significant presence of light.

The example of light intensity in the classroom allows us to remember that the presence of light is decisive in all kinds of activities. Consider a covered sports arena where spectators and athletes need adequate visibility. In this case, the light intensity determines the development of any activity that takes place in that space.

Decorators know that light intensity is a basic element, as it has effects on colors, on the perception of space itself or in relation to the personal sensations that occur in a given place. The role of lighting in decoration is of the first order. Normally, the attempt is made to make the most of natural light and artificial light is a secondary option. As is logical, in the interior space artificial light plays a leading role. Thus, light intensity affects in very different ways: creating a specific climate, providing an optical effect or fulfilling a specific objective. In any case, the intensity of the light must be associated with a certain function in each case.

In the world of decoration we speak of the language of light. If it is intense, energy is transmitted. If it is excessive, it is very likely that there will be a tiring effect. And if the light is warm it is very possible that a relaxation effect is created.

Photo: iStock - Warchi

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