lux

The lux (symbol: lx) is the SI unit of illuminance and luminous emittance, measuring luminous flux per unit area. It is equal to one lumen per square metre. In photometry, this is used as a measure of the intensity, as perceived by the human eye, of light that hits or passes through a surface.

 

It is analogous to the radiometric unit watts per square metre, but with the power at each wavelength weighted according to the luminosity function, a standardized model of human visual brightness perception. In English, "lux" is used in both singular and plural.

Illuminance is a measure of how much luminous flux is spread over a given area. One can think of luminous flux (measured in lumens) as a measure of the total "amount" of visible light present, and the illuminance as a measure of the intensity of illumination on a surface. A given amount of light will illuminate a surface more dimly if it is spread over a larger area, so illuminance (lux) is inversely proportional to area when the luminous flux (lumens) is held constant.
 

One lux is equal to one lumen per square metre:  1 lx = 1 lm/m2 = 1 cd·sr/m2


A flux of 1000 lumens, concentrated into an area of one square metre, lights up that square metre with an illuminance of 1000 lux. However, the same 1000 lumens, spread out over ten square metres, produces a dimmer illuminance of only 100 lux.


Achieving an illuminance of 500 lux might be possible in a home kitchen with a single fluorescent light fixture with an output of 12000 lumens. To light a factory floor with dozens of times the area of the kitchen would require dozens of such fixtures. Thus, lighting a larger area to the same level of lux requires a greater number of lumens.
As with other SI units, SI prefixes can be used, for example a kilolux (klx) is 1,000 lux.