One of the most important factors in choosing an LED light bar for your vehicle is determining which beam pattern will work best for you. The three options available are spot, flood, and a combination of both, and each of these beam patterns comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. To help you choose the right beam pattern for your LED light bar, we’ll look at each one and analyze what type of conditions they work best for.
Spotlight Beam Pattern
For most driving conditions, spotlight beams patterns will be preferred. Spotlights have a narrower angle of illumination (usually less than 30 degrees) which travels a much farther distance and illuminates objects far down the road. When driving at very high speeds such as on the highway or even on a smooth dirt road, this long distance illumination is best since it lets you identify potential hazards well before you reach them. If the road is maintained enough to allow for speeds above 20-30 mph, chances are you won’t have to worry much about objects at the side of the road, making wide illumination less important than the long distance lighting ability that spotlights provide.
Floodlight Beam Patterns
For a work-light, flood beam patterns (which cast light at about a 120 degree angle) are the way to go. In these situations, having a light that illuminates a large, nearby area is much more important than a light that can reach several hundred yards away. However, floodlights can also be the best beam pattern for your vehicle as well, depending on the road you are driving down.
If you are driving down something that is more of a forest trail than it is an actual road, you are going to want a light equipped with floodlight bulbs. In these situations, long distance illumination is not nearly as important since you will be traveling at low speeds that allow you to recognize potential hazards in plenty of time to avoid them. Having side-to-side illumination, however, lets you see hazards that may be at the side of the road such as fallen trees and large rocks.
Combination Beam Pattern
A combination light bar is one that is equipped with both flood and spot beam patterns. If you are going to be using your LED light bar for multiple applications where neither spotlights nor floodlights will always work best, a combination light bar is an excellent choice to consider. Since many motorists prefer the versatility of a combination light bar, lights that have bulbs capable of producing both flood and spot beam patterns are highly popular. If you are having a difficult time picking which beam pattern would work best for you, a combination of them both may be the perfect solution.