Last updated: August 19, 2021

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This time we will talk about floodlights, those versatile electrical devices designed to illuminate different indoor or outdoor spaces such as gardens, car parks, halls, and even stadiums! Spotlights are characterised and stand out for their great power and intensity, generally much higher than conventional bulbs.

This wonderful product can come in different designs, formats, sizes and materials, adapted to every use and need. In this article we will tell you about the main characteristics of floodlights, so that you can get to know their most important features, compare the different models, and choose the most suitable product for you according to your interests, preferences and budget.




First the most important thing

  • Floodlights are extremely versatile and practical fixtures when it comes to illuminating large areas or obtaining a precise light according to each space. They also offer a number of additional functions to enhance and simplify their use.
  • There are different types of reflectors, including incandescent reflectors, sodium reflectors, solar reflectors and many other types. The different models differ from each other in terms of their uses, illumination, electrical energy consumption, life span, etc.
  • When buying a floodlight, it is important that you consider different factors that will help you choose the most suitable model for you, such as materials, design, type of light and additional functions, among other important aspects.

The Best Reflector: Our Picks

In this ranking we will show you which are the best reflectors rated by users on the internet, and we will tell you about their main features, so that you can compare them and select the most suitable model for you, depending on your interests and needs.

Buying guide

The main purpose of this buying guide is to provide you with information about the product you are interested in buying. Therefore, we will tell you about the most important features of the reflectors, including their advantages and disadvantages.

Floodlights offer a large amount of light and can be adapted to different spaces. (Photo: whitecity/ 123rf.com)

What are spotlights and what are their advantages?

Floodlights are electrical fixtures designed to provide a large amount of artificial light to a specific area. They are used for homes, buildings, shops, factories, stages, stadiums, theatres, concerts, parks, etc. They are useful for illuminating both indoor and outdoor spaces, and have different types of luminaires in various shades and intensities. Nowadays, most of them come with LEDs, as they are the most energy-saving and least polluting lights on the planet. Among their many advantages, floodlights offer more power than conventional lights, and come with different additional functions. In addition, a wide variety of models, sizes and formats can be found on the market, adapted to every use and need.
Advantages
  • They offer higher light output
  • There is a wide variety of models
  • They have different additional functions
  • They are very versatile
Disadvantages
  • Sometimes it is not easy to change the bulb when it burns out
  • They can be expensive
  • Some models take up too much space

Incandescent, sodium or solar reflector - what should you pay attention to?

There are different variants of reflectors, adapted to different uses and spaces. In the following, we will give you the main features of some models, so that you can compare them with each other and choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Incandescent reflectors. These reflectors, which commonly have incandescent or halogen lights, are generally used for lighting homes, especially entrances, as they offer an intense light and come in a wide variety of powers, sizes and colours.

Sodium reflectors. Energy-saving metallic sodium reflectors (as well as halogens) are mainly used in commercial and industrial installations, as they last for a long time and are less expensive, making them a great option for optimising resources.

Solar-powered reflectors. Solar-powered floodlights are charged by sunlight, so they do not require electrical power to operate. They are very practical, as they are not installed with cables, and they do not generate any artificial lighting costs. Solar reflectors generally work by means of sensors that capture sunlight as a natural fuel. However, their illumination is not very intense or powerful, and always depends on the availability of light in the environment.

Incandescent Sodium Solar-powered
Uses Domestic use, dwellings Industrial use, factories, stores Domestic use, gardens, roads, highways
Power Variable High Low, generally
Electrical energy expenditure Variable Low electrical energy expenditure Nil
Light type Incandescent or halogen LED, normally LED, normally
Lamp life Medium Long life Unlimited

What are photographic reflectors?

These reflectors, generally larger and more powerful than those for domestic use, are widely used as photographic accessories, both in studios and in outdoor environments. Their main function is to regulate, enhance and modify light, especially in spaces that lack natural lighting.

Photographic reflectors usually come with circular diffusers of different sizes and tones, which generate different effects in the images. The most common tones are gold, silver, black and white, although other colors can also be found.

There are reflectors of ample size and power, used as photographic complements. (Photo: belchonock / 123rf.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate the different reflector models

In this last section we will discuss what are the most important factors you should take into account when purchasing a reflector, since it is a very versatile product, and sometimes it can be complicated to choose the most suitable model among so much variety and assortment.

    • Other types of reflectors
    • Materials
    • Bulb type
    • Functionalities
    • Additional functions
    • Design

Other types of reflectors

Within the different variants of reflectors we can also find circular, parabolic and elliptical reflectors. Below, we will discuss the main characteristics of each of them so that you can compare them and choose the most suitable one for you.

Circular reflector. Its light source is located inside the circumference, and projects a light beam from the center of the circumference to the outside. This is one of the most common and widely used types of reflector, in its different models and variants.
Parabolic reflector. This type of reflector, also widely used, is composed of a parabolic surface (like an open curve) that allows the light rays to be projected in a concentrated or dispersed manner, depending on where the light source is located inside the spotlight.

Elliptical reflector. The characteristic of this reflector is that it has the shape of an ellipse (curved and closed figure), which produces a concentration of the rays. The particularity of this type of fixture is that if the light source is placed in the center of the focus the light rays are directed towards that focus.

Solar reflectors are often used to mark roads and highways. (Photo credit: Phacharawat Sub-in / 123rf.com)

Materials

Reflectors are made of different raw materials that determine their quality, strength and durability (as well as their cost). Next, we will tell you which are the two most used materials for the manufacture of this product.

Anodized aluminum. Reflectors made of this material are usually composed entirely of pure, high-quality aluminum, or only have a pure aluminum coating on one side. The surfaces, which are characterized by their strength and durability, can be smooth or matte.

Aluminum floodlights are mainly used for large outdoor spaces such as factories, clubs, stadiums, etc., as they can withstand higher temperatures and therefore illuminate more. They are also more resistant to inclement weather, such as wind, rain, high temperatures, etc.

Synthetic materials. Synthetic reflectors are generally made of plastic, and are characterized by being cheaper than aluminum reflectors, although they are not as strong and resistant to high temperatures as the others. As a result, their thermal load is usually more limited. Plastic materials are generally used in smaller spaces, which require less lighting. They are also used in outdoor environments, but almost always sheltered since this raw material does not withstand the same climatic effects as aluminum.

Type of light bulb

It is very important that you take into account the type of bulb that has the reflector, since it is the same that gives it a certain tone and intensity. Next, we will mention you the main particularities of the most used types of lights for reflectors.

LED. In the last years the use of LED light has widely surpassed the traditional incandescent or halogen lights, due to its enormous energy saving, and to its less polluting effect, which makes them more appropriate for the conservation of the environment. Although they are much more expensive than other bulbs, LEDs pay back the price in terms of performance and low consumption, since they spend practically 80% less. For this reason, they are an excellent option, increasingly incorporated into different types of lighting fixtures.

Incandescent. Incandescent light is the traditional form of spotlight illumination. Although this variable has largely been replaced by LED (and even halogen) luminaire, you can still find many reflectors with lights of this type.

Halogen. Halogen lights or lamps are a variant of incandescent bulbs, but with much higher operating temperatures than the others; which make them significantly increase their performance and effectiveness.

Fluorescent. The fluorescent lamp is composed of a glass bulb of different shades, which is characterized by its power and effectiveness. However, it takes several seconds to turn on, and does not save as much energy as LED lights.

Additional functions

Some spotlight models have additional features that enhance their performance, or make them easier to use. Below, we will mention some extra features that certain types of floodlights present for you to take into account when purchasing.

Motion sensor. Many floodlights have a built-in motion sensor that, as its name suggests, registers the movements of a certain area and turns on its light, which provides security and economizes its use, since it is not on all the time.

Photoelectric sensor. This sensor is composed of a photocell that detects the different light intensities of a specific radius. When it detects that the ambient light is low, it turns on its light, providing security and energy savings, just like the motion sensor.

Alarm. In some cases, the floodlights come with an alarm system that is also activated through a sensor and warns by means of sounds when there is movement in the place. It is used for the security of private homes or public spaces.

Remote control. There are modern models of floodlights that include a remote control to command different functions. It is generally used to turn the fixture on and off and to adjust the intensity, tone, and orientation of the lights, although it can also have other applications.

Designs

The reflectors offer different presentations according to each style, need and budget. Below, we will detail the particularities of some of the designs of this product for you to take into account at the time of purchase.

Slim reflectors. Slim reflectors are one of the most widely used, because their slim design is extremely attractive, decorative and takes up less space. They usually come with sensor and other adaptive functions, and can also be found in ultra Slim version (even thinner).

Nautical floodlights. Nautical floodlights have a circular shape, similar to a skylight, and a curved casing widely used by shipbuilders. This design is also widely chosen for its appearance, to accompany different styles of decoration.

Neo reflectors These reflectors are characterized by their robust and curved design. This model, more modern and novel than the other designs, is also highly valued for its ornamental and avant-garde appearance, making it a popular choice to give distinction to any environment.

Square reflectors. These reflectors have a similar design to the Slim, but are stronger and more robust. They have a square casing, usually gray, and are used more for sheds, warehouses, factories, sports fields, parking lots, etc., due to their.

(Featured image photo: radututa / 123rf.com)

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