# luminous efficacy

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.

## Luminous efficacy

There are three ways this term can be used: (1) The luminous efficacy of a source of light is the quotient of the total luminous flux emitted divided by the total lamp power input. Light is visually evaluated radiant energy. Luminous flux is the time rate of flow of light. Luminous efficacy is expressed in lumens per watt. (2) The luminous efficacy of radiant power is the quotient of the total luminous flux emitted divided by the total radiant power emitted. This is always somewhat larger for a particular lamp than the previous measure, since not all the input power is transformed into radiant power. (3) The spectral luminous efficacy of radiant power is the quotient of the luminous flux at a given wavelength of light divided by the radiant power at that wavelength. A plot of this quotient versus wavelength displays the spectral response of the human visual system. It is, of course, zero for all wavelengths outside the range from 380 to 760 nanometers. It rises to a maximum near the center of this range. Both the value and the wavelength of this maximum depend on the degree of dark adaptation present. However, an accepted value of 683 lumens per watt maximum at 555 nanometers represents a standard observer in a light-adapted condition. *See* Luminous efficiency, Luminous flux, Photometry