illuminance(redirected from illuminances)
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, branch of physics dealing with the measurement of the intensity of a source of light, such as an electric lamp, and with the intensity of light such a source may cast on a surface area.
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A term expressing the density of luminous flux incident on a surface. This word has been proposed by the Colorimetry Committee of the Optical Society of America to replace the term illumination. The definitions are the same. The symbol of illumination is E, and the equation is E = dF/dA, where A is the area of the illuminated surface and F is the luminous flux. See Luminous flux, Photometry
(at a point of a surface), a unit of light, equal to the ratio of the luminous flux incident upon a small surface element ΔS containing the point being considered to the area of ΔS. Stated differently, illuminance is the surface density of the luminous flux. If the dimensions of the source of light are small in comparison with the distance l of the source from ΔS, then the illuminance E = I cos α/l2, where I is the luminous intensity of the source and α is the angle of incidence of the light upon ΔS, that is, the angle between the direction of the luminous flux and a line perpendicular to ΔS. Units of illuminance are the lux and the phot: 1 phot = 104 lux.