Jul 152013
 

Floodlights 300x198 Spotlights vs. Floodlights: Whats the Difference?Recently, I’ve gotten a few questions from customers about floodlights and spotlights:

What’s the difference between a spotlight and a floodlight?

What kind of beam spread do I need for my lighting project?

How can I know how wide my light bulb’s beam will be from a certain distance away?

I thought these questions would make a perfect topic for today’s blog post.

First, let’s cover the basics:

A spotlight casts a narrow beam of light, usually no wider than 45 degrees. This beam is more concentrated and easier to point and control.

A floodlight can have a beam spread of up to 120 degrees. It can illuminate a larger amount of space with the same wattage and lumen output as a spotlight.

Using spotlights and floodlights:

When highlighting specific points like display objects, wall artwork, architectural details, or landscape features, use a spotlight.

When illuminating larger areas like driveways, stages, warehouses, parking lots, or any other area that needs wide, even light coverage, go with a floodlight.

Determining beam width:

When planning your lighting scheme, knowing the width of a light’s beam in degrees isn’t always helpful. It would be much easier to know the beam width in feet, from a given distance away. Luckily, there’s a simple formula that can help you figure this out:

Angle of Beam x 0.018 x Distance from Light Bulb = Beam Width

So, if you have an 80 degree floodlight, and want to know how wide the beam will be from 10 feet away, just do the math:

80 degrees x 0.018 x 10 feet = 14.4 feet wide

If you have a 30 degree spotlight, and want to know how wide the beam will be from 15 feet away, here’s how you calculate it:

30 degrees x 0.018 x 15 feet = 8.1 feet wide

For more information, check out this infographic about light bulb beam spread, featuring a table with common beam widths.

 

by

Annie JoseyAnnie was the E-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Pegasus Lighting from June 2012 to October 2013. She has a background in English literature, and loves using language to help illuminate the world. So covering lighting news and tips naturally fit her interests. In her personal time she enjoys painting, biking, and reading.

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