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Floodlight VS Spotlight

Floodlight VS Spotlight

16 Jun, 2022

Have you ever observed in your life that some lights can illuminate a long distance, but its surrounding is dark; while some lights can illuminate the whole range nearby, but the distance is dark?

Yes, that is our topic today: spotlights and floodlights.

This beam distinction is applied to lamps throughout the lighting industry, including various large lamps or small lamps (e.g. torches), etc. They are all based on the same principle.


The most common are:

Stage lights are generally spotlights, which illuminate specific objects.

Floodlights are generally used in homes, school classrooms, work offices, construction sites, harbours, car parks, stadiums, etc. This is because people need the same level of brightness in every area and thus have a wide field of vision.


The following questions will be answered in this article:

1. What is the difference between a spotlight and a floodlight?

2. Why do they call it a flood light?

3. What is the difference between an indoor and outdoor flood light?

4. Seven categories of spotlights

5. The principle of why you need a spotlight for fishing

6. Factors need to consider when choosing spotlights or floodlights

7. Introduction to spotlight and floodlight torches

1. What is the difference between a spotlight and a floodlight?

The main difference between a spotlight and a floodlight is the beam angle, sometimes also known as the beam pattern. You can find out more about this here: Torch Light Beam Principle.

The beam angle is a measure of the angle formed between the brightest point of the light and the corresponding points on either side.

Larger beam angles result in a wider aperture across the surface area and smaller beam angles indicate a narrower beam.

Those narrower beams are usually called spot beams and have a beam angle of no more than 45 degrees. These beams are more focused and easier to point and control.

Those beams with a wider angle are considered flood beams, which can travel up to 120 degrees. It can illuminate a larger space with the same wattage and lumen output as a spotlight.


2. Why do they call it a flood light?

The word "flood" has nothing to do with water. They are called floodlights because they fill the area with light.


3. What is the difference between an indoor and outdoor flood light?

As mentioned above, floodlights can be used in a wide range of applications, both indoors and outdoors.

Floodlights in the home

The purpose of floodlights in the home is simple: to illuminate everything in the dark and make the room as bright as it is during the day.

Floodlights are also often installed in rooms that need to be lit during the day, as these are often windowless rooms without a lot of natural light, such as basements.

Outdoor floodlights

Outdoor floodlights are used for the same purpose as indoors, to see more of the area without obstruction.

Indoor and outdoor floodlights can be used interchangeably. However, outdoor lights are usually required to be able to withstand weather such as rain and snow.


4. Seven categories of spotlights

Spotlights have undergone a technological transformation and are classified according to the function of the spotlight:

(1) Ellipsoidal spotlight

It produces round-shaped beam of light but it can also be easily adjusted and changed by using It produces round-shaped beam of light but it can also be easily adjusted and changed by using different iris, gobo or shutters with it.


(2) Fresnel spotlight

The Fresnel spotlight is named after the French physicist Augustine Fresnel who designed the "Fresnel" lens. The single lens of the light provides lighting for a concentrated spot or broad area. These lights do not have the ability to project patterns like the ellipsoidal kind, and are more useful in providing flood lighting.

However it lacks many of the benefits of other lightings e.g. it is not possible to change the patterns of Fresnel spotlight.


(3) Beam projector spotlight

Beam projector spotlights don't have lenses and produce intense beams of light. moonlight in shows.


(4) The piano convex

The piano convex was first developed in 1870 and was the first form of theatre lighting system to use a single lens. As such it is the oldest of all spotlight technologies. It uses a flat convex lens, which is convex or rounded on one side and flat on the other. The lens is contained in a simple housing which also contains a bulb and a reflector.

You will rarely see this type of spotlight used for grand events as spotlights have evolved into more complex and easily adjustable versions.


(5) Follow spotlights

Follow spotlights are operated by a person rather than an automatic control system. It is mainly used in theatre performances where the light follows a moving object (such as an actor) to highlight their movement or a particular group of performers.


(6) Parabolic Aluminized Reflector (PAR) spotlight

Each PAR spotlight consists of a filament, a reflector and a lens. This is the type of spotlight normally used in the entertainment industry for stage lighting or torch reflectors.


(7) Parabolic Aluminized Reflector pin spotlight (PAR Pin)

It's a low voltage PAR spotlight which produces a lot more concentrated and narrower beam of light than regular PAR spotlight and it is used to illuminate smaller details and objects such as the face of a performer.


5. The principle of why you need a spotlight for fishing

Night fishing needs a light source because there are many insects at night and they all particularly like to hang around the lights. Fish like to eat insects, so we can place the light above the water next to the rod to gather a large number of mosquitoes. These mosquitoes will attract fish to come.

Spotlights work best in deeper water, as night fishing in shallow water tends to spook the fish and disperse them.


6. Factors need to consider when choosing spotlights and floodlight

- Lumen: how bright it is

- CRI: how realistic the colour display is

- Colour temperature: cool white, warm white or neutral white

- IPX level: how waterproof it is

- IK level: how much impact and damage it can withstand

- Beam angle: Range of light projection


7. Introduction to spotlight and floodlight torches

Olight spotlight torches: Warrior X TurboWarrior 3Warrior X ProWarrior X 3Javelot Pro 2X9R Marauder.

Olight floodlight torches: Seeker Series, Baton Pro.

There are also torches with both spot and floodlight beams, see this article on the composition of the light source: Torch Light Beam Principle and Related Parts.

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