algiz 8x screen bright sunlight
All about RuggedGuest Blog

How bright is your screen? (Lumens, Nits and Watts)


In essence, the light emitted by a display backlight is given in a unit called candela per meter squared, or cd/m2. Candela is both the average light of one candle and, per Google dictionary, “the luminous intensity, in a given direction, of a source that emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 × 1012 Hz and has a radiant intensity in that direction of 1/683 watt per steradian.” So there. Now take that per meter squared. Auugh.

Given this obvious complexity, someone in the industry at some point suggested calling cd/m2 simply “nit.” So 100 cd/m2 became 100 nits. Maybe “nit” is short for “unit.” No ones seem to know. Today, many display specs include a nits rating.

The Handheld Algiz 8X rugged tablet offers a screen with 600+ nits ensuring a bright screen even in direct sunlight.

Even technically inclined folks often confuse luminance with illuminance. Illuminance is the amount of light striking a surface. Luminance is the brightness we measure off of a surface which is hit by light. So for our purposes, a light source behind the screen lights up the screen. How bright that light makes the surface, its illuminance, is measured in nits.

Conrad H. Blickenstorfer
Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, Ph.D., co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pen Computing Magazine, has extensive experience in all aspects of rugged computing from his many years at the helm of the Pen Computing industry journal, Digital Camera Magazine, Handheld Computing Magazine, and his years of service as Director of Information Systems and Chief Information Officer with the New York State Dormitory and project manager for the New York State Urban Development Corporation. He has also written for numerous technology journals and wrote the mobile technology section in Fortune Magazine's semi-annual technology buyers guide for years. Blickenstorfer has visited numerous rugged manufacturing operations in the US, Japan, and Taiwan.