1 lux = 1 lumen per square meter.

The lux (symbol: lx) is the SI derived 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 watt 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 as both the singular and plural form.

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 is inversely proportional to area when the luminous flux is held constant.

One lux is equal to one lumen per square metre:

1 lx = 1 lm/m2 = 1 cd┬Ěsr/m2.

A flux of 1000 lumens, concentrated into an area of 1 square metre, lights up that square metre with an illuminance of 1000 lux. However, the same 1000 lumens, spread out over 10 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 1000 lux.

glossary_ LX - 400
  • lx
Adapted from content published on
Last modified on May 18, 2019, 10:05 am is a service provided by Codecide, a company located in Chicago, IL USA.