Flood Beam o Spot Beam

Which is more reliable to install a flood beam or a Spot Beam?
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Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:19

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:19
What is the application. They are very different beams. Reliability would be similar.


Derek from ABR
AnswerID: 524918

Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:21

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:21
G'day Jeffrey
I would imagine the reliability of either would be the same.
Is it possibly you are referring to the "down the road" effectiveness of the distance they project light?
If so, they are designed for relatively close or distance illumination and then personal need and choice a governing factor.

Ross M
AnswerID: 524919

Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:29

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:29
G'day Jeffrey,

Assuming you are talking about fitting to the front of your car.
Personally I have one of each. As I tow a van on regular occasions I keep my normal headlights adjusted down a little lower. When appropriate I then have the two spotties to provide wide as well as pencil beams.
As the previous guys have said, and from my personal experience, neither has been more "reliable" than the other, just different jobs.

AnswerID: 524921

Reply By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:45

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 12:45
On the front of my Hilux I have 2 x Hella HID lights with 1 x Flood and 1 x Pencil Beam, I would have thought that is ideal, long distance and immediate illumination. Off course nowadays you also have LED Light Bar combos that do both flood and distance.
AnswerID: 524923

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 13:09

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 13:09
Traditionally there where three beam widths on driving lights.
Spot or "pencil beam".
medium or "driving"
"Fog" or wide beam.

These beam widths carry over from the sealed beam days and relate to standard beam widths on "PAR lamps", they have more or less carried over thru the halogen age and int the HIDs.....LED is a bit fuzzy.

Fog is more or less explanitory, and where also used in motorsport as cornering lights.

Pencil beams are realy narrow and throw a hell of a long way down the road.

Medium is generally most usefull for driving.

Of course there is variation from light to light and brand to brand.

Now here is the truth lots of people don't want to hear.
A great many people are obsessed with very bright driving lights that shine a very long way down the road. This is neither wise nor helpfull for a number of reasons.

1. dright driving lights cause what I call low beam blindness. So consider you are driving along with very bright long range driving lights......an opposing vehicle comes along and dips their lights very early because you lights are bright...SO you eyes are adapted to the relativly bright lights, now you are down to low beam and your vision is very much effected.....not only that but because of the distance the opposing driver dipped at you are spending a very long time on low beam.

2. Narrow bright beams cause tunnel vision. They give the impression that you are seeing very well, but in fact you are only seeeing what is in the beam of your narrow lights and much of everything else in in deep shadow.

3. very bright and in particular narrow lights, punch very hard,...and they come back at you real hard too.....so you are doing some range work, where the road is twisty...you need your lights but they punch back at you so very hard off every bank and guard rail that they become more liability than help.
Then you have all these large very bright reflectorised signs the road authorities like now.

A very bright very narrow light will pick these up at quite some distance a punch a nearly blinding light right back at ya.

Combine all of the above and there are a lot of people out there not seeing anywhere near as well as they should.

for decades it has been very common to run one driving or medium light and one pencil beam or long range light.

I ran this combination on several cars over a 20 pluss year period....in my younger years I did a hell of a lot of night driving.....and thaught it gave a good result...and it very much gives the apperance of that.

that was untill a pair of lights came my way on a deal I could not refuse...both in a medium or driving pattern.

I am finding I see better with this combination and see where I need it better than I have in the past.

I have now converted both my vehicles to this arrangement.

What we need to see well, is a good smooth pattern of light that extends well up to arround 200 - 300meters, it needs to extend out onto the roadsides, and needs to be not massivly brigher than your low beam lights.

Light beyond the 300 meters is far less helpfull than many would like to believe.

My recommendation is to make sure your low beam headlights are working as well as they can.....in that the lamps are getting adequate voltage and above all they are correctly aimed.

Then purchase a good quality ( not necessarily expensive) driving or medium pattern pair of drving lights and have them mounted, aimed and wired well.

Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 524925

Reply By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 16:07

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 16:07
I have 2 FYRLYE lights they are the best lights I have ever had and their price is good too. With these lights it is a 2 second job with one hand to change them from spot to flood or back again. So depending on the circumstances I can have two spots, or two floods, or one of each. They are great.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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AnswerID: 524938

Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 16:55

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 16:55
G`day Jeffrey,
I don`t quite get what reliability you refer to, but most of the quality metal bodied type seem to outlast the more modern "plastic" bodied type.
I find that by using spot beams and focus them so the beams cross over to the other side road edge (fence line) well ahead,[ i.e. left light shows RHS . right light shows LHS.] this way you have excellent vision straight ahead where the beams cross.
And the full vision of each light to the sides where those Bloody Grasshoppers come from.
Unless you are a rally driver or need to speed at night there is no need for super powerful lights.

Just my opinion.

AnswerID: 524941

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 19:51

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 19:51
I would only ever have plastic as I think that the metal fatigues more easily. But either way I certainly agree with Scrubby that quality is the most important thing.
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 18:08

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 18:08
Or if you drive a Troopy at full speed you only need vision for 100 metres ahead! LOL
Only joking Jeffrey. But there are some good points above, especially Bantam's comments about long distance beams and temporary blindness after extinguishing very bright lights.

Becoming absorbed by the prospect of a roo moving on the track some five hundred metres ahead can divert your attention from the real danger of one lurking at the roadside much closer to you. I really think the super-long bright pencil beams are more a case of "mine's bigger than your's". But they do give a rally-driving navigator time to consider the consequence of an approaching road junction. LOL

My own choice was for medium, or "Euro" pattern beams. They give good light on the road close in front to see potholes etc, good lighting of the road verges and far enough ahead for 80km/h which is as fast as I am prepared to travel at night on roads with animal hazards.

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 18:34

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 18:34
The concept behind mixed spot/flood beam lights is to have the right hand one (closest to center of the road) as a spot beam which will project the light straight ahead and the flood beam on the left side to illuminate the side of the road as well as the road itself.
That is what I had on my previous vehicle.

Now I don't need them as I don't travel at night unless I absolutely have to.
On this rare occasion I would simply adjust the speed accordingly and the standard high beams are good enough to see far enough ahead.


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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Jan 24, 2014 at 17:57

Friday, Jan 24, 2014 at 17:57
I just know Jeffrey E values the input everyone put in to answer his well constructed and thought out question. It was obviously extremely important to him, and his investment of 13 words deserved the thousands of words and considerable effort of the people trying to assist. He obviously values everyone's time immensely, and would hate to be a waste of time and energy.

He may even get around to checking your replies one day if he can be bothered.

That would be very nice of him wouldn't it?

AnswerID: 525067

Reply By: Jeffrey E - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:40

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 17:40
Hi, Thank you for everyone who answered my question. I apologize for not answering back immediately. As I was out of town fixing urgent personal matters.
AnswerID: 526678

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