Choosing what beam pattern you want your LED light bar to be is one of the first and most important choices that you will make in your selection. With that being said, the answer to which one is best really isn’t clear cut and largely depends on what type of application you will be using your light for.
Therefore, to help you in choosing the best beam pattern for you, here are each of the three options and what they are best suited for:
Spotlight beam patterns are known for casting a narrow, long-reaching beam of light. Think of a searchlight on a lighthouse, though not quite as focused. Usually, the angle of light that a spotlight produces is somewhere around 30 degrees. For most driving situations, a spotlight beam pattern is the best bet.
This is because the light is able to reach a much longer distance and illuminate objects well before you ever reach them. This gives you plenty of time to react to any potential hazards that might be down the road.
A powerful LED light bar that is equipped with spotlight bulbs is really going to be able to reach out and light up the road for a long ways, making it the best bet for on road driving. While you do lose a little bit in terms of side to side illumination, it is a worthwhile sacrifice for the extra distance.
For mounting on a vehicle that you will be using primarily for driving on paved roads where there isn’t much worry about in terms of obstructions on the side of the road or directly in front of the vehicle, spotlights are a great choice.
Floodlights are the opposite of spotlights. They cast a wide, all-encompassing wash of light that does not reach for a very long distance. Typically, the light produced by a floodlight has an angle of around 120 degrees—a big difference from the much narrower 30 degrees of a spotlight.
For ordinary driving situations a floodlight is not the best choice since it does not reach far enough, however, there are scenarios where floodlights are optimum.
The first of these is for off road driving in rough terrain. In this situation, you won’t be driving at very high speeds, making long distance illumination much less important, and since there is an increased likelihood of hazards such as rocks, fallen limbs and deep holes that all may either be at the side of the road or directly in front of you, the wider range of illumination becomes much more valuable.
Floodlights are also the preferred choice for a light that is going to be used to light up a work station. Like with off road driving, long distance illumination isn’t all that useful when you are setting the light directly in front of the area you are wanting to illuminate. Instead, choosing a floodlight that gives you wide, all-encompassing wash of light is the better choice.
A combination light bar is a light that is equipped with both floodlight and spotlight bulbs, making it suited for any type of application. This level of versatility has made combination LED light bars the most popular choice today for most people.
If you are going to be using your light for both on road and off road driving, or if you intend to have the light on your vehicle double as work light, then choosing a combination light bar will let you effectively handle any situation with just one single LED light bar. It’s a very versatile option that is well worth considering.
FLOOD VS SPOT LED TEST
Floodlight vs Spotlight vs Combination — Which Type of LED Lighting is Best?