What isa foot candle of light?

This is a question I am often asked by people who are not familiar with lighting. This can be a difficult concept to explain to someone who doesn’t know much about lighting.

A foot candle is a measurement of the amount of light that hits an area on the ground. One foot candle is equal to the amount of light that comes from the average household candle.

In order to understand what a foot candle is, you have to know how it is measured. The standard unit of measure for this type of measurement is called a lux (lux). One lux equals one lumen per square meter.

To put this in more practical terms, if you were standing on top of your house and there was one lux coming from the sky, you would see something like 20 candles burning around you in all directions.


What Is a foot candle

What Is a foot candle?

In the world of cinematography, light is measured in Foot Candles (abbreviated FC).

In simple terms, one foot candle is equal to the amount of light that would fall on one square foot of surface if there were one candle burning at a distance of one foot away.

As you may have guessed with that definition, a relative term, the actual amount of light produced varies depending on the size of the subject and the distance from which it is viewed.

This measurement comes into play in digital photography, as well as cinematography because we are concerned with how well our photos are exposed or developed.



For example, if you have a small room, you may want to use fewer lights than if you were trying to light up a large room. If you have a large room, using more lights will make it look brighter and more inviting.

Foot-candle is the standard unit of measurement used to measure the amount of light visible from a source, such as a light bulb. It’s also used to measure the amount of light on a given surface.

For something to be visible, it needs at least .25 foot candles. This means that if you turn on a flashlight and shine it at an object, you will be able to see it when your flashlight beam has more than 25-foot candles shining on it.

If you want to read something with your flashlight, the minimum amount of light you need is .6 foot candles.

What Is a Foot Candle Of Light?

Light intensity is measured in a unit called foot candles. The word candle is used since the light intensity was initially determined by measuring the light from a candle.

One-foot candle means that there is one lumen of light on a surface that is 1 square foot in area.

Alternatively, one can say that if you have a point source of light with one lumen and it is one foot away from you, then the light intensity will be a one-foot candle.

Lighting used for lighting buildings, reading, and other tasks where visual performance is essential is typically measured in foot candles.


In areas where safety is a concern, such as stairways and parking lots, minimum lighting levels are also established in terms of foot-candles.

A foot-candle is equal to 12.57 lumens per square foot.

There are several different ways to use this information to help you determine how much light you need in a given situation.

For example, if you have a 10 feet by 10 feet room and want it to have enough light for reading, at least 6.3 lumens are needed per square foot.

If there is less than that amount in the room, the room won’t be bright enough for reading.

Terms Used To Measure Light In Photography and Cinematography

Exposure denotes the total amount of light per unit area in photography and cinematography reaching a photographic film or electronic image sensor, as determined by shutter speed, lens aperture, and scene luminance.

 Exposure is commonly expressed in units of illuminance (lux) on a surface divided by time; thus, “exposure” is equivalent to the older term “f-stops,” which expresses the ratio of focal length to aperture diameter.

Exposure can also be measured in other ways, such as energy emitted per unit time (watts per steradian per second) or for a visual observer (luminous exposure) and apparent exposure, obtained by dividing the photographic exposure by the brightness index. 

Exposure is an essential concept in photography and cinematography, especially in low-light situations where film grain or noise are considerations.

An image with an appropriate combination of shutter speed, f-number, and sensitivity (ISO setting) must be selected to obtain correctly exposed images under a specific set of lighting conditions. In some situations, it may be possible to use f-number and shutter speed to alter exposure without adjusting the sensitivity setting, but this approach is discouraged under normal circumstances.

What Is A Foot Candle Used For?

A foot-candle is a unit of measurement used to measure the intensity of light. It can be measured by a foot-candle meter, which has a calibrated aperture of one square foot.

The meter measures the intensity of the light falling on this area at a specific angle. A foot-candle is equal to one lumen per square foot.

One candle’s power is equal to one lumen per square meter. One candela is equal to one lumen per square centimeter.

One lux is equal to one lumen per square meter. A foot-candle is also known as a lumens-per-square-foot or lumens-per-square-meter and is used in situations where a uniform source of light takes up an entire area or a large portion of an area.

Examples include the illumination from streetlights and main lights in big box stores and warehouses.”Foot-candle is a measure of the intensity of light on a surface.

The units are not commonly used in homes today, but foot candles are still used to measure light intensity in factories or other industrial settings.

How To Calculate Foot Candles

Foot candles, also called lux, is a measure of light intensity. They describe how bright the light is at a given distance.

This term is most often used in photography to speak about the brightness of a flash or other artificial light source. Example: Suppose you need to determine the proper exposure for a photo using an external flash.

You will need to know how many foot candles are emitted from that flash at the subject’s location. 

To calculate foot candles, use the following formula: Foot-Candle = (Distance in feet) x (Intensity of source in lumens). 

For example, you are shooting with an off-camera flash with an intensity rating of 50 watts/steradian (Ws/sr).

You want to take a picture of your subject six feet away from the flash unit. How many foot candles will reach your subject? Foot Candles = (6 feet) x (50 Ws/sr) = 300 foot-candles. 

How do you figure out how many lumens your flash needs to produce? Lumens measure light output, which is different from the light intensity.

The easiest way to determine how many lumens your flash needs is to divide the distance.

LED Lighting: What Is A Foot Candle & How Is It Measured?

The term footcandle is used to describe the amount of light created by a lamp in a particular direction. It is one way to measure the light output of a lamp.

The lamp’s brightness will be measured in this manner at a distance of one foot. If a lamp creates 100-foot candles of light at exactly one foot away, then it will be said to produce 100-foot candles at any distance. 

How Many Foot Candles are Recommended For Your Filming Location?

Light is one of the essential aspects of filmmaking. The number of foot candles or lux (lx) present in a particular area is a measure of brightness.

A foot-candle is a unit of illuminance and can be defined as the amount of light falling on one square foot area illuminated by one candle at a distance of one foot away. 

The general recommended lighting level for a film set or studio is 2000-4000 lx.

This should be fine for most shooting situations, but for video shooting where you need to record close-ups, it’s recommended to increase this to 5000 lx or more. 

The lighting level also depends on the type of lens you are using.

An f/2.8 zoom lens requires more light than an f/4 prime lens, given that the same shutter speed is used. 

When shooting indoors, it’s best to use daylight-balanced bulbs with a 3200 K color temperature and 2700 lx illumination level for general illumination.

If you want more illumination, you can use tungsten bulbs with color temperatures ranging from 2850 K to 3000 K, which will give you 5000 lx illumination levels. 

Foot Candle vs. Lux

There is a lot of confusion in the lighting industry over the terms foot-candle and lux. Both terms measure light intensity, but they are calculated differently and are not interchangeable.

Many people don’t realize that they are different light intensity measures, so they use one term when they should be using the other. This can lead to confusion about how bright a light source is, making it difficult to compare different types of lights.

Comparing the brightness of one light source with another can be tricky because there is no standard way to compare them. 

One foot candle has a different intensity than another foot candle, just like one lux has a different intensity than another lux.

To understand how these two measurements work, you have to know about the concept of illuminance. An illuminance is an international unit of measurement for light intensity.

A standard unit of illuminance is the lux (lx), although other units are sometimes used in specialized fields. One foot candle equals 10.764 lux, which you can think of as about 10 lux or 100 fc/m2 (foot-candles per square meter).

How To Measure Foot Candles

Foot candles are units of measurement for the intensity of light. They’re a standard unit in photography and videography, where lighting conditions must be very specific.

Light meters are designed to measure foot candles, and if you need to set up an area for photo or video production, it’s essential to understand how to measure foot candles for each area. Foot candle measurements can range from 0.1 to 10,000.

So what do these numbers mean? It all depends on how far away you’re standing from the light source. For example, a one-foot candle equals 1 lumen per square foot.

If you’re standing 1 foot away from a light source with a lumen output of 100 (which could be a 100-watt light bulb), then the brightness level is 100-foot candles. 

The following will help you calculate your foot-candle measurements based on distance: If the reading on your light meter is under 0.1, then it’s safe to assume that it’s not giving an accurate reading and should be disregarded.