A proposed unified system of photometry

M. S. Rea, J. D. Bullough, J. P. Freyssinier-Nova, A. Bierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


A unified system of photometry is proposed that is based on human vision and allows the specification of visual stimuli at all light levels. To be useful, however, photometry can never be entirely synonymous with vision. Additivity is an essential characteristic of photometry, yet many visual responses, such as brightness matching, incorporate visual channels that are inherently non-additive in responding to light. Following a review of models of mesopic photometry based on a number of experimental techniques, a system of photometry based on reaction times is proposed to bridge conventional photopic and scotopic luminous efficiency functions through the mesopic region. The basis for the unified system is a parameter, X, which describes the proportion of photopic luminous efficacy at any luminance, and luminance can be calculated from a simple closed-form equation. The utility of the system is described, including instrumentation for the measurement of unified luminance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-111
Number of pages27
JournalLighting Research and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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