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Beam Angles, What is the difference between

Perceptions of what can be expected from beam angles vary from person to person.   Here is what is used by Extreme Lights to designate different beam angles.  The ranges of angles varies between manufacturers and is not standardized. We therefore suggest always verifying what process is used before comparing.

Definition of Light Bulb Beam Angle:

The beam angle is measured between the points on opposite sides of the beam axis where the intensity drops to 50% of maximum intensity.    
Description Code Typical Beam Angles
Very narrow spot VNSP <15 degrees
Narrow spot NSP 15-30 degrees
Spot SP 30-60 degrees
Narrow flood NFL 60-90 degrees
Flood FL 90-120 degrees
Wide flood WFL 120-160 degrees
Very wide flood VWFL >160 degrees


Very Narrow Spot (VNSP) The very narrow spot is just like it sounds.  At 15 degrees or less, light casts an intense, focused beam with a far reaching beam.  These type of lights are ideal for head lights and search torches. Narrow Spot (NSP) Like the very narrow spot, the narrow spot is most popular when a balanced beam is required with both flood and spot elements. The reflector casts a beam slightly less focused than a VNSP.  Not as intense as the VNSP but it covers a larges area at a distance. Spot (SP) The spot is the basis for directional light.  Most people confuse a spot with a VNSP or NSP.  Most spots are better suited for work lights which need to illuminate area of interest at a distance where work needs to be done.  The beam pattern typically is not that intense with a gradual change over to flood. Floods The wider the flood, the less reach the light has, but it is distributed more evenly.  To illuminate a large area requires exponentially more light.  Due to this floods appear less impressive at night compared to lesser output spots.  Floods are better suited for work lights, which do not require a far reaching beam.