Spotlights vs. Floodlights: Which One Does Your Home or Business Need?

Many people don’t know that a spotlight and floodlight are two different types of lights. However, it’s important to know the differences to ensure they are used as you need them. 

What are Spotlights? 

  • Concentrated source of light, generating narrow slivers of light that are adjustable to point in various directions. Spotlight light is emitted about an easy-to-control 45-degrees wide. 
  • Ideal for stage lighting by highlighting objects or people who are the center of attention.
  • Comes with either a fixing bracket or mounting plate to detach to the ceiling or wall, with one, two, three or four moveable spotlights. 

What are Floodlights?

  • Generates large light beam to lighten large swath of area, with a spread of about 120-degrees. Usually seen in outdoor locations.
  • Floodlights use the same wattage spotlights do even though they cover a larger area of land.
  • LED floodlights, comprising of a housing, yoke, diode, and reflector, are regarded as much more efficient. Housing envelops diode, keeping light from going in every direction. Housing has the reflector to increase the output. Yoke maintains, hangs, and rotates floodlight. 

Spotlight VS Floodlight – Light Patterns 

The width of the light patterns of spotlights and floodlights is the most significant difference, with spotlights focused on a smaller area and floodlights “flooding” a larger area. Basically, there are two kinds of light patterns in how light’s projected. If the pattern is narrow, the travel distance of the light is further. 

This effect is seen with vehicle headlights. High beams have a narrow pattern, so the light goes further. Low beams spread out, and the light won’t go as far. 

With the broad patterns, Floodlights were designed to cover a larger area. Spotlights, however, will focus on a tighter area. 

Spotlight VS Floodlight – Candlepower and Lumens 

If you’ve been looking at floodlights and spotlights, you’ll notice the packaging measures brightness as lumens or candlepower. Spotlights are measured in candlepower, which means a spotlight with 200,000 candlepower is similar to 200,000 candles. In lumens, a single candlepower is 12.57 lumens. 

Floodlights have a measurement of lumens. In vehicles, the range is 800 lumens to 37,000 lumens – the higher the lumens, the brighter the light. 

  • Candlepower – light intensity at the spotlight beam center in one direction
  • Lumens – the amount of light generated in every direction 

Spotlight VS Floodlight – Fixtures and Applications 

With the various beam angles spotlights and floodlights produce, it stands to reason that their application would also be different. Spotlights generate localized beams designed to highlight a particular area. As such, they are used in lighting up garage doors, restaurants or museums. Inside the home, people will use spotlights, which are easy to control, to focus on a particular accent of the home – artwork, architecture, etc. Everything else outside the spotlight remains in the background. 

spotlight application
LED Spotlight Application

Flood lights are used to brighten larger areas such as driveways, warehouses, car parks, etc. This type of light is not ideal for inside use because of its harsh nature and fakeness. 

LE 30W LED Security Lights Motion Sensor Light Outdoor, Waterproof Flood Light with Photocell, 2800lm Daylight White 5000K, ETL Listed Eave/Wall Mounted Floodlight for Backyard, Driveway, Garage, Yard
LED Flood Light Application

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