The Difference Between 120° and 60° Beam Angles

Unlike incandescent lamps which use a set color temperature around 3200K and had a Beam Angle of 360°, LED lights give you the ability to pick between Colors and Beam Angles to fit your specific needs. The Color Temperature and Beam Angle of LED Light should always be considered when purchasing a LED light of any kind.

Beam Angles can be complicated if you read about the subject on many internet sites.  There are math formula’s you can use to calculate the correct beam angle for any given circumstance.  But we are going to keep it simple here and give you the simple explanation about Beam Angles which apply to LED Dock Lights. Everyone is familiar with the terms “Flood Lights” and “Spotlights”.  “Wide Flood” lights typically use a higher beam angle between 90° and 120° and “Spotlights” use a lower beam angle between 20° and 40°.  “Medium Flood” lights use a beam angle of 50° and 60° which is right in the middle, so the light is more intense on the water, but the spread of light is less than the 120° angle.

The beam angle you choose depends on how much of an area you are wanting to illuminate and how intense you want the light to be at a longer distance.  A 120° beam angle flood light mounted 8′ above the water will illuminate a 30′ area of water and the light will be evenly spread across the water.  A 30° beam angle light mounted 8′ above the water will illuminate a 10′ area of water with the center area being much hotter and brighter than the outer edges of the water. The “Medium Flood” light which uses 50° and 60° beam angle LEDs will illuminate a 15′ area of water which is less than the 120° light, but the light will be more intense in the center section than the outer fringe area. The easiest way to explain the difference in beam angles to take a flashlight and adjust the light from wide flood to the tightest beam it will make.  The tightest point of light would be equivalent the lower 20° to 30° beam angle, the middle adjustment would be equivalent to the 50° to 60° beam angle and the widest point would be equivalent to the 120° angle.

Currently, our 120° beam angle is the most popular light we sell because it has the ability to illuminate the most amount of water around your dock.  However, some people want the light to be more intense at a greater distance when casting a lure, so the 60° light would provide a narrower beam of light are a greater distance which would help improve seeing where their lure lands. In some cases, some people prefer to use both 60° and 120° lights to illuminate their dock.  A 120° light mounted on each outside corner of the dock provides a wide flood of light across the entire front of the dock and a 60° light mounted in the center of the dock provides a more intense, brighter area in the center area of the dock.

It’s important to remember that the spread and intensity of light projected on top of the water can be easily adjusted by raising and lower the light. The closer the light is to the water, the tighter and more intense the light will be, and the higher the light is mounted the wider and less intense the light will be.

Currently, we do not offer 20° or 30° lights which are typically mounted at greater heights than most docks or piers.  Stadium lights used to illuminate football fields and large parking lots typically use high wattage lights with 10° to 30° angle lenses for intense illumination.  Those lights are very large and very expensive but are available on other websites if needed. At this time, we have not seen a high enough demand for this type of light, but if the demand increases it may be something we will consider adding to our lineup in the future.  If you have any questions about Beam Angles, please give us a call at 785-621-2646.

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