Floodlight vs. Spotlight: The Differences

floodlight vs spotlight

Floodlights are artificial and broad-beam lights. Basically, a floodlight is a light to brighten up a large wide area. You can use them in playing fields, stage lighting, as well as any outdoor event. It can shine light over a larger space while having the same lumen output and wattage as the spotlight. On the other hand, spotlights shine a narrow beam. Its beam is more focused. Also, you can easily control and point a spotlight on art objects or specific areas you need highlighting.

Both the floodlight and spotlights have varying beam angles and light ranges. In addition, they both have different beam controls. Typically, you can identify their most visible difference by their names. Before we look at their differences in a broader perspective, let’s consider them, respectively. Just read on.


What is a floodlight?

The floodlight is the light that spread the light widely like a wash rather than concentrating in a particularly narrow spot. A floodlight is lighting that has a bulb with a wide beam angle. It spreads across everything in its front and side as it shines.

What is a Spotlight?

The spotlight is basically focused on a spot rather than spreading a wide area. It creates a hollow light beam. The typical span of the beam angle is 45 degrees. Spotlights effectively create focused and concentrated light beams. In comparison to floodlights, spotlights are smaller in size and beam angles.

However, spotlights are brightening a specific narrow area than floodlights. This is because they create more concentrated light beams.

Floodlight vs. Spotlight: the differences

·       Beam Angles.

Also known as “Beam Pattern,” is the evaluation of the angles created within a light cone’s brightest region (typically the center) and the values on both sides of the middle. On these sides, the light has an intensity of 50% the brightness of the middle.

spotlight vs floodlight

Spotlights have a beam angle of 45%. Thus their light beams are narrow and controlled. In contrast, floodlights have a beam angle of 120%, so their light beams are uncontrolled and wide.

·       Areas Of Application.

Spotlights are ideal for scenarios that require emphasis on one part of the scene, such as an art museum, in police vehicles, within your house, and in art theatres. They are also used in outdoor landscape lighting. However, floodlights are ideal for landscape, slow-moving project vehicles, outside historical buildings, commercial places, playgrounds, streets, stadiums, outdoor, security, etc.

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·       Beam Size

Generally, spotlights are much smaller in size than floodlights. They usually come in smaller variations and radiate narrow but concentrated beams. Floodlights, on the other hand, are usually larger than spotlights. They have wider and shorter beams that help you see better at a closer distance.

·       Distance

For distance, floodlights have wider, shorter light beams. But spotlights have narrow, controlled, and much longer light beams. You should use floodlights when you have a broader view of your near environment. Thus, it’s used underwater in larger places like warehouses, parking lots, and other places that require large light coverage.

Uses of Floodlights

You can use floodlights for many different purposes since they enable various lighting techniques. With its broad beam, you can use floodlights in the following places and objects;

  • Warehouses

Floodlight is also used commercially. Floodlights are the best lighting system to deliver the high-intensity lighting required warehouse due to its large spaces. With floodlights, you can properly illuminate the outside of a warehouse, no matter its large size.

Likewise, those who work at the warehouse can also move about comfortably and drive about in the parking lot due to the floodlights. Furthermore, floodlights illumination can prevent any possible intruder into the warehouses. Floodlights are compatible with security cameras. Thus, they can optimize any physical appearance of people who the security cameras detect.

  • Construction Sites and Manufacturing Plants

Construction sites and manufacturing plants always need high-intensity light systems to carry out their procedures. In addition, several of them operate 24/7, increasing their need to have the best lighting system. Since LED floodlights produce a higher lumen light output, they are the ideal lighting solution for construction sites and manufacturing plants.

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  • Stadium Walkways

Stadiums are also large, and the favorite lights system which every stadium uses are floodlights. Many different floodlights are set up in various locations in a stadium to deliver optimum illumination for its spaces. That is why; it will be possible for soccer games, car racing, cricket, and track racing games fixed at nighttime in stadiums to be played. Besides, the large crowd coming to watch these games also requires the high-intensity illumination of the floodlights to watch the games. 

  • Monuments and Architectural Building

Monuments and architectural buildings enhance the worth of an area. You can use floodlights to light up these objects at nighttime and at the same time improve their architectural magnificence. Monuments are usually highlighted with wall-washing and accent lighting. Floodlights usually emit the accurate broad beam that can achieve this objective. Moreover, floodlights are the accurate fit to illuminate monuments and architectural buildings.

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  • Apparel Stores

Apparel stores or boutiques also need floodlights in their outdoor spaces. Since they can operate from morning until late at night, they need to have proper illumination during those periods. It provides safety for customers that shop at night.  Additionally, floodlights can enhance the stunning effect of apparel stores. Also, it can display the natural product’s color and make them enticing for customers.

  • Ports

Another perfect area where floodlights are used is ports. Ports operate 24/7, and this needs optimum illumination during the night. Floodlights are sturdy and durable light fixtures that can achieve such applications.

  • Security Perimeters

Security perimeters can discourage intruders from entering a specific territory or zone with its barriers and walls. However, the high fences of security perimeters notwithstanding, their location makes it necessary for them to need high-intensity illumination 24/7. The security cameras can detect any movement approaching the security perimeters with floodlights.

  • Façade Lighting

Façade is one of the most crucial areas of any building. The façade is a building’s front area that is adjacent to the street. Several lighting procedures are integrated into floodlights to illuminate such areas. The main aim of façade illumination with floodlights is to highlight major facades, such as the company’s logo.

  • Railway Stations

There are always many different activities at stations due to commuters traveling to various areas during the daytime. As a result, floodlights are necessary to make sure that millions of people who pass through the railway stations can conveniently navigate the place.

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Uses Of Spotlights

One of the major advantages of spotlighting is its light output volume. Even though spotlights only focus on a particular spot, they still work well. They illuminate adequately at the area they are directed. Moreover, spotlights are energy-efficient and inexpensive.

Let’s check out some of its uses!

  • Task Lighting

The spotlight offers many task lighting solutions. There are many types of spotlights available today which can fit in more contemporary and modern settings today. For instance, spotlights have square downlights with a contemporary design.

You can set them up near your vanity mirror to enable you to have clear vision while applying makeup or a shaving session. You can even set up spotlights in your garage as a task light to brighten areas you need illumination.

  • Stair Lighting

Spotlights are the ideal lighting solution for stair lighting. While climbing up your home stairway at night, you need a proper lighting fixture that can brighten the area in a cost-effective and energy-efficient way. That is the area of specialization for spotlights. They can perfectly shine ample lighting on your extensive staircase and, at the same time, ensure your safety. In addition, spotlights usage on your stairs at night prevents the chances of accidents.

  • Garden Lights

Spotlights are a must-have for garden lighting. They do their work effectively in discouraging potential burglars during the night. In addition, a properly lit garden or backyard can frighten away prowling rubbers.

  • Kitchen Lighting

Chefs are well-aware of the importance of proper lighting in their kitchens. Spotlights come in handy near the stove to enable cooks to monitor their cooking. If your kitchen lighting is poor, you may find it hard to inspect your food. This may result in burned or undercooked dishes. You can install spotlights near your stove. Square downlights can also operate as accent lighting positioned at your countertop or your kitchen island.

  • Outdoor Lights

It is not easy to pull off any outdoor party if you don’t have exterior lights. Spotlights illuminate greatly if they are positioned outdoors. They operate effectively to brighten any location you want them, even to illuminate your cooking area outdoors.


  1. What is a better Spotlight or Floodlight?

Choosing the best lighting between floodlight and spotlight depends on your preferences and the purpose of the lighting. If you desire to use lighting a narrow specific thing or spot particularly with maximum lighting, a stoplight is a perfect solution for you. But if you need to lighten up a wide outdoor area with enough lighting, the floodlight is your perfect solution.

  • Why floodlight used in vehicles?

Floodlights are ideal for slow-moving trucks and other vehicles. Floodlights are effective in doing tasks at night. They are also good illuminating underwater for boats and submarines.


Here, you have seen all that you need to know before selecting lighting. As the name implies, Floodlights provide you with wide light beams of about 120 degrees where you need to illuminate a large area range. However, spotlights have concentrated narrow intense beams to illuminate a specific small or narrow area to highlight any specific thing.

You should use the floodlight in areas that require broad, bright lights. Whereas spotlights will help you concentrate and emphasize a specific entity.

by Scott D. Averill
Scott is a very nice guy with an electric obsession. He is an electrical engineer and a workshop owner in Chicago downtown. He is also a father of 3 child. From childhood he has been an electronics friendly child and always loved to be busy with repairing something.

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