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NIST Photometry Short Course


Photometry short course logoThe need for education and training for photometry engineers and technicians has been stressed by the Council for Optical Radiation Measurements (CORM), Lamp Testing Engineer's Conference (LTEC), and other metrology groups within industry. In response to this need, Photometry Short Course was developed by Optical Technology Division of NIST and given since 1998.

The NIST Photometry Short Course is offered every two years and covers fundamentals in photometry, radiometry, and colorimetry and practical aspects of measurements of luminous flux, luminous intensity, illuminance, luminance, color temperature, and chromaticity of light sources. Participants will gain experience in the calibration of lamps, photometers, and colorimeters.


2015 NIST Photometry Short Course
September 22-25, 2015
NIST Gaithersburg, Maryland

The eleventh NIST Photometry Short Course is planned for three and half days at NIST Gaithersburg, Maryland. The course will consist of ten lectures (first two days) given by NIST scientists and three laboratory sessions (last day and a half) at NIST photometry laboratory using the 4 m photometry bench, the 2.5 m integrating sphere, and the color temperature measurement facility. Course participants are divided into three groups and will participate in actual measurements of luminous flux, luminous intensity and illuminance, and color temperature to gain experiences in the calibration of lamps, photometers, and colorimeters.

The course is limited to 18 participants, with 10 additional spots available for lecture-only participants. Those who are interested in attending the course, please contact Cameron Miller with your full contact information (name, affiliation, mailing address, email address, and phone number).

Who Should Attend:

This course is intended for photometry engineers and technicians in industries such as lighting, photography, and avionics; calibration and testing laboratories; instrument manufacturers; and others. Participants must have some basic knowledge and experience in photometric or radiometric measurements as well as calculus. The course is suited for those who want to learn photometry systematically in depth, in theory, and in experimental practice.

*Note that this course does not cover radiometry in general, for which another NIST course is available. For additional courses, see Short courses offered by the Sensor Science Division.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015:
   8 am Registration
   9 am Lecture Session
   5:15 pm Adjourn
   6:30 pm Dinner

Wednesday, September 23, 2015:
   9 am Lecture Session
   2:45 pm NIST Laboratory Tour
   5:30 pm Adjourn

Thursday, September 24, 2015:
   9 am Laboratory Session
   5:15 pm Adjourn

Friday, August 25, 2015:
   8:30 am Laboratory Session
   11:30 am Data Analysis and Discussion
   12:30 pm Adjourn


  • Yoshi Ohno: NIST fellow. He authored NIST SP250-37 Photometric Calibrations and two chapters in the OSA Handbook of Applied Photometry.
  • Cameron Miller: Research chemist and is the leader of the photometry project at NIST.
  • Maria Nadal: Research chemist and leader of the color and appearance project at NIST.
  • Yuqin Zong: Electronics engineer and is responsible for photometric calibrations.

Course Outline:

Basic concepts in photometry
• History of photometry and definition of the candela
• Relationship of radiometry and photometry

Quantities, units, and geometrical calculations
• Definitions of photometric units and quantities
• Flux transfer

Luminous intensity and illuminance measurement
• Standard lamps and standard photometers
• Measurement procedures
• Calibration of illuminance meters

Luminous flux measurement
• Reference standards
• Basic integrating sphere theories
• Measurement procedures

• Principles and design of goniophotometers
• Applications of goniophotometers

Fundamentals of colorimetry
• CIE colorimetry system
• Colorimeters and spectroradiometers

Color temperature and colorimetry of light sources
• Terms and definitions
• Measurement procedures
• Colorimetry of light sources

Luminance measurement
• Reference standards
• Measurement procedures
• Calibration of luminance meters

Uncertainty evaluation
• Basic concepts and terminology
• Construction of an uncertainty budget

LED Photometry
• Single LED measurements
• Terms and definitions
• Solid state lighting measurements

Quality System
• What is a quality system?
• ISO 17025

Laboratory Sessions
• Luminous intensity


Start Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2015
End Date: Friday, September 25, 2015
Location: NIST Gaithersburg
Format: Other


The registration fees are $2,000 per person for the complete 4-day course and $1,000 per person for the 2-day lecture only. The fee includes course materials (including reference books, lecture CD, coffee breaks, lunches, and a dinner. Pre-registration is required. Complete the fill-in registration form and fax it to Stephanie Halton at (435) 713-3007 or mail it to Utah State University Research Foundation, 1695 North Research Park Way, North Logan, UT 84341. Registration closes on September 15, 2015. Refund requests must be submitted in writing by September 15, 2015.


Registration for the course is limited to 18 attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrations will be accepted in the order they are received by NIST.

Registration Contact:

Teresa Vicente
301-975-3883 Telephone
301-948-2067 Facsimile

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1071
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1071


Courtyard Gaithersburg Washingtonian Center
204 Boardwalk Place
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 527-9000
Room Rate: $159.00 which includes breakfast
Participants should ask for the Photometry room block


This course will be held in the NIST Metrology Building (220), Room B343 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For transportation information and driving directions, see Transportation to NIST.

Technical Contact:

Cameron Miller
301-975-4713 Telephone
301-840-8551 Facsimile

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8442
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8442