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[kan-dl-pou-er] /ˈkæn dlˌpaʊ ər/
noun, Optics.
(formerly) a measure of luminous intensity expressed in candles.
Also, candle power.
1875-80; candle + power Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for candlepower
  • There is some controversy over who first placed parabolic mirrors behind flames to boost candlepower.
  • From a writer of such heavy intellectual candlepower, this seems a rather narrow, even maudlin view of the art.
  • The luminaire light distribution category when there is no candlepower limitation in the zone above maximum candlepower.
  • However, the word candlepower persists as a legacy term in common use.
British Dictionary definitions for candlepower


the luminous intensity of a source of light in a given direction: now expressed in candelas but formerly in terms of the international candle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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candlepower in Science
Luminous intensity, expressed in candelas.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for candlepower


unit of luminous intensity in the International System of Units (SI), defined as the luminous intensity in a given direction of a source that emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 1012 hertz and has a radiant intensity in that same direction of 1683 watt per steradian (unit solid angle). The candela has replaced the standard candle or lamp as a unit of luminous intensity in calculations involving artificial lighting and is sometimes called the "new candle."

Learn more about candela with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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