Luminous Intensity, according to http://www.answers.com/topic/luminous-intensity, is defined as the luminous flux density per solid angle as measured in a given direction relative to the emitting source. In simple terms it’s the amount of light emitted from a source.
The basis for candela is a unit of luminous intensity equal to 1/60 of the luminous intensity per square centimeter of a blackbody radiating at the temperature of solidification of platinum (2,046°K).
Luminous Intensity decades ago was given the unit candle. This arouse from their perception that the amount of light given off by a certain ignited candle represented approximately the amount of visible radiation emitted by a candle flame. So 1 candle was equal to how much light was given off by one candle. This however was inexact because every candle would vary in brilliance.