If you have a large outdoor area, then you may be looking at choosing a flood light as a way to light it up. Flood lights are extremely versatile fixtures, and you might surprised how often they are used in different outdoor applications. LED Lighting Supply has provide LED Flood lights to light up ball stadiums, race tracks, horse arenas, provide perimeter security and even installed flood lights offshore on drill rigs and ocean vessels.
Its all a function of picking the right type of light, the right power, the right color temperature and the right optics. There is no one-size fits all flood light for all applications, but there is a best configured flood light for your application.
LED lights have expected run-life that far exceeds metal halide fixtures. They provide powerful, bright, high quality light for years without the need to replace bulbs and ballasts. Maintenance costs are near zero.
1. LED can easily replace Metal Halide, Halogen or High Pressure Sodium Flood Lights – one for one.
You may have an outdoor area using Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium Lighting. They could be 400 Watts, 1000 Watts or even 1500 Watts. Being able to replace these Metal Halide with LED is easy – you can do a one for one replacement. Here’s some guidelines on how to convert your existing metal halide flood lights to LED.
1000 Watts Metal Halide: 50,000 to 60,000 LED Lumens
1500 Watts Metal Halide: 80,000 to 90,000 LED Lumens
2000 Watts Metal Halide: 110,000 + LED Lumens
2. Picking the right Optics is key
The main difference between “flood” lights and “spot” lights is the beam angle chosen. There are many different optics available for flood lights, from 10 degrees up to 130 degrees or higher. Trying to light up an area 200 feet away with a wide beam angle won’t work. Trying to light up a horse arena 60 feet wide with a 10 degree optic also is a bad choice.
Takeaway: Choosing the right optic for YOUR flood light application is important. Fortunately, we can make that process easy (read #3 below)
NEMA Beam Spread Classifications
|Beam Description||NEMA Type||Beam Spread in Degrees|
|Very narrow||1||10°- 18°|
|Medium narrow||3||29°- 46°|
|Medium wide||5||70°- 100°|
|Very Wide||7||130° and above|
A real world example of how optics work
Here are 5 simulations. Each simulation is lighting up an area 100 ft wide by 200 ft long. There are 2 lights mounted on poles at 30 feet high. The fixture aiming remains the same for each simulation, the only thing that changes is the beam angle. We are using the 400 Watt IMF Flood fixture for these 5 examples.
10 degree Optic
15 degree Optic
30 degree Optic
45 degree Optic
60 degree Optic
3. The #1 Key to a Successful Flood Light Project – do a Lighting Plan!
With so many flood light fixtures available, which one do you choose? Pick the light based on watts or lumens? Do you even know the beam angle? Mounting type? Voltage?
Choosing flood lights by “watts” is not a good decision. If you have to choose, use a fixtures lumens. Step 1 above gives you an approximation of how many lumens you need.
But if you don’t understand which optic to choose, there’s a large risk you’re not going to be happy with the end result.
Our best advice, start with a Flood Light Lighting Plan. Its a report showing you how your outdoor area will look with our LED fixtures. It’s also Free. We model your space inside special lighting software. The software can be modified to add or remove fixtures, refocus and re-aim lights until the space is properly lit and meets your expectations.
Takeaway: Forget about picking watts, lumens or optics. Let a lighting plan choose the best light for you.
5. All flood lights should be IP Wet Weather ready
Wet weather IP ratings start at IP65 and goes to IP68. IP69K is a wash down rating, and is typically not needed for outdoor flood lighting. Many of the flood lights you will find on this site are IP66 rated.
Takeaway: make sure the flood lights you purchase are at least IP65 or higher
6. Understand your voltage needs
In LED, there are two common ranges of voltages for flood lights, standard and high. Understanding the voltage you have ensures you order the right LED driver that will accommodate you voltage at you site. LED drivers automatically switch to incoming voltage. So a 100-277V will auto adjust to 120V, 240V or 277V.
Standard voltage is 100-277V
High Voltage can either be 277-480V or 347-480V
7. Specialty Flood Lights – for demanding environments
About the Author
Dwayne Kula is President of LED Lighting Supply. On any given day, Dwayne is writing content for the site and helps manage the marketing initiatives that are on-going. He has a Software Engineering degree and still dabbles in writing software for the company as needed. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, playing the occasional game of golf and exploring New England.