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  • What Is Light Spread or Beam Angle? Spot, Flood, and Area

    August 30, 2022 5 min read

    What Is Light Spread or Beam Angle? Spot, Flood, and Area

    Lighting has come a long way from a single straightforward generation. Nowadays, you don’t simply get light as it is. You have the option to go for a spotlight, floodlight, or 360° area light.

    With all these types of lighting, you can distinguish each one based on their light spread or beam angle. But you might wonder, what exactly is a light spread?

    Simply put, light spread or beam angle is the degree of the light in terms of its coverage from different distances. It measures how wide or narrow a beam is from the reflected light source.

    Light spread is an essential factor in determining the application of a certain lighting device. 

    Likewise, it pretty much determines the intensity and scope of the lighting device. Therefore, understanding light spread or beam angle gives you the gist of which type of light works best for your needs.

    If you’re curious about how beam angle helps you with your lighting requirements, here’s the guide you’re looking for.


    a lantern and a flashlight illustration demonstrating the difference between flood and spot lighting

    What Does Beam or Light Spread Mean?

    Beam or light spread is the degree of angle that measures the light’s width from a certain reflectorized position of the light source. So it pretty much determines the scope of light.  

    Therefore, if you want to set the amount of light you want the source to produce on a given space, you need to adjust/change the beam angle or light spread.  

    Most lights come with a predetermined beam angle but there are some products out there that let you adjust the light spread or even feature multiple beam angle options.

    Floodlight vs. Spotlight vs. Area light?

    The types of lighting can be determined by their light spread or beam angle simply because they have different beam widths.

    For example, a spotlight produces a narrow beam while floodlights provide illumination to wider spaces. On the other hand, area lights can fill an entire 360° area all around you.

    Distinguishing these lighting types is crucial to determine their proper application. Otherwise, you may end up installing the wrong lighting.

    So, here’s everything you need to know about the floodlight, spotlight, and downlight.


    A floodlight provides wide illumination with a beam spread of about 120 degrees. It’s ideal lighting for larger spaces where multiple sides and ends receive sufficient brightness. The way it illuminates an area is similar to flooding the space, which is primarily how it got its name.

    Floodlights often have four components: the diode, yoke, reflector, and housing. The entire structure is held by the yoke. It can be rotated to the desired route. 

    On the other hand, the housing is where the diode is enclosed. It controls the direction of the light, preventing it from bouncing everywhere. Instead, it allows the light to be distributed properly within the illumination coverage.

    You can easily find a floodlight in sports fields, stadiums, construction sites, and other large outdoor areas.


    A spotlight is simply a concentrated light projected on a small narrow space. The beam angle is about 45 degrees. This means that spotlights are easier to point or direct at specific objects, almost similar to a point laser.

    Most of the time, spotlights are mounted on a wall, to a pole, or to the ceiling. However, they can be moved to a specific direction which suggests flexibility in their form.

    It’s common to see spotlights in theatres as it is a crucial tool to highlight the performer. In houses, spotlights are now used as part of room aesthetics. 

    Because all of the light generated is being focused on a smaller area, it’s the brightest and most intense of these three beam types.

    Area Lights

    Compared to the other two lighting types, an area light has no specific beam angle. It has no reflector pointing the light out into just one area. Instead, the bulb pushes light in all different directions.

    Because nothing is harnessing this light into a specific beam angle it’s the least bright of the three beam types.

    Examples of area lights are a single bulb hanging upside down in a garage or a camping lantern.


    BAMFF 4.0 Tactical Flashlight showing off its dual light arrays of flood and spot by STKR Concepts

    Floodlight Vs. Spotlight: Which One Should You Use Outdoors?

    You can use both floodlight and spotlight outdoors when you go hiking, camping, or kayaking at night. This is one of those “why choose one when you can have two” moments.

    Yes, you can even use both lighting types together with a suitable portable lighting device.

    While a standard flashlight only comes with a spotlight, newer designs employ both the spotlight and the floodlight for stronger lighting.

    Likewise, this way, your peripheral vision is also covered and not just a small tunnel down the center. Therefore, you don’t need to turn your light all the time or move wherever you want something illuminated.

    Nevertheless, you may wonder where you could find this type of lighting device.

    Fortunately, you can easily find a powerful flashlight for outdoor activities that both have the spotlight and floodlight in our BAMFF Tactical Flashlights right here at STKR Concepts.

    These flashlights are made for survival in any given situation. Aside from using them to illuminate your path at night, they are also designed to go hand-in-hand with rifles and any compatible weapons typically used by the police and military.

    Likewise, it provides a strong bright light that could stun any enemy nearby. Still, it is a universal flashlight equipped with both a spotlight and floodlight.

    On the other hand, if you’re not into hand-held flashlights, you can always go for the Flexit Headlamp Pro 6.5.

    Its halo lighting secures the floodlight you need for your peripheral vision. At the center of the headlamp is your spotlight that highlights your path or anything you want to see more clearly. It’s comfortable to wear and can resist any typical harm that lighting devices are prone to.


    FLEXIT Pocket Light showing off its dual light arrays of flood and spot by STKR Concepts

    What Should I Look for in a Floodlight, Spotlight, and Area light?

    A floodlight, spotlight, and downlight may have different light or beam spread and applications, but it doesn’t mean they don’t share the same common standards when it comes to buying the best in their aisle.

    Naturally, you should always choose the lighting device that fits your requirement. On top of that, consider the following criteria.


    A lighting device’s lifespan depends on maintenance and the type of materials used for its form.

    Considering that these lights are used primarily outdoors, you can easily expect how their exposure to heat and weather changes affect their longevity. Therefore, it’s imperative to find a lighting device with durable casing and properties allowing them to resist water and weather damages,


    Lighting devices have to be efficient in every way. They should provide ample illumination lasting a reasonable length of time.

    An important factor for this criteria is the type of bulb or lighting source used. For best performance, always go for a spotlight, floodlight, or area light that has LED lights.

    Light Intensity

    The intensity of illumination is measured by lumens. This means, the higher the lumens, the more intense the light will be. 

    Find a lighting device that has enough lumens to make things visible even in the pitch of dark. Go for lighting fixtures with 300 lumens and above.

    Flexit family of flexible flashlights posing on a white studio background



    Light spread determines beam patterns which becomes the primary reference for a floodlight and a spotlight. 

    By understanding light or beam spread, you can predict the width of illumination from a given position. 

    While this sounds like a math problem waiting to be solved, light spread or beam angle is crucial, especially if you’re aiming for a particular scope of illumination.

    Nevertheless, as a rule of thumb, if you wish to highlight a particular space, then a spotlight is all you need. On the other hand, if it’s a broader scope of light you need, you can go for floodlights.

    But in nighttime outdoor activities, it helps a lot to have both spotlight and floodlight on the same device.

    Luckily, you can find them effortlessly here at STKR Concepts. Simply check our portable lighting devices to find the one you need today.

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