Spotlights or spots and floodlights are two popular lighting fixtures used for outdoor illumination.
In this article, we explore the characteristics and ideal uses of each type of luminaire.
Spots or bullet lights emit a narrow beam of light, typically with a beam spread ranging from 10 to 45° providing a more focused and intense illumination.
They tend to appear brighter due to their concentrated beams and create sharper and crisper shadows.
Spotlights are used to highlight specific features making them stand out and for dramatic effect.
Spotlighting gives a focal glow to a garden directing an intense beam of light to pick out or accent particular subjects. Some uses of spotlighting include tree uplighting, lighting statues, or accenting home entryways.
When done correctly, this lighting technique can be very effective. It reveals what is important in a space.
But if overdone, it can leave your garden looking like a theme park.
Floodlights or wash lights provide wide coverage and uniform illumination.
They emit a wide beam typically ranging from 45 to 120° that covers a larger area with a softer and more diffused light.
These fixtures are often used outdoors in areas where broad coverage and general illumination are required such as driveways, parking lots, or for wall washing.
Some floodlights are used for outdoor games and work around the yard. It can also serve as security lighting.
Floodlighting reveals garden details in much the same way as daylight except the light can be controlled by how you position the floodlight.
The effect of flood light is somewhat uninteresting because of the even distribution of light.