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The lumen (symbol: lm) is the SI unit of luminous flux, a measure of the perceived power of light. Luminous flux differs from radiant flux, the measure of the total power of light emitted, in that luminous flux is adjusted to reflect the varying sensitivity of the human eye to different wavelengths of light.
If a light source emits one candela of luminous intensity into a solid angle of one steradian, the total luminous flux emitted into that solid angle is one lumen. Alternatively, an isotropic one-candela light source emits a total luminous flux of exactly lumens. The lumen can be thought of casually as a measure of the total "amount" of visible light emitted.
A standard 100 watt incandescent light bulb emits approximately 1700 lumens in North America and around 1300 lumens in 220V areas of the world. See luminous efficacy for the specific efficiency of various types of electric light sources.
The light output of projectors (including video projectors) is typically measured in lumens. A standardized procedure for testing projectors has been established by the American National Standards Institute, which involves averaging together several measurements taken at different positions. For marketing purposes, the luminous flux of projectors that have been tested according to this procedure may be quoted in "ANSI lumens", to distinguish devices that have been so tested from those tested by other methods. ANSI lumen measurements are in general more accurate than the other measurement techniques used in the projector industry. This allows projectors to be more easily compared on the basis of their brightness specifications.
SI photometry units
|Luminous energy||Qv||lumen second||lm·s||units are sometimes called talbots|
|Luminous flux||F||lumen (= cd·sr)||lm||also called luminous power|
|Luminous intensity||Iv||candela (= lm/sr)||cd||an SI base unit|
|Luminance||Lv||candela per square metre||cd/m2||units are sometimes called nits|
|Illuminance||Ev||lux (= lm/m2)||lx||Used for light incident on a surface|
|Luminous emittance||Mv||lux (= lm/m2)||lx||Used for light emitted from a surface|
|Luminous efficacy||lumen per watt||lm/W||ratio of luminous flux to radiant flux; maximum possible is 683.002|
- Lm is also the sign for the Malta Lira currency along side the ₤
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