Can a Floodlight Function as a Streetlight?

Brian Eugen
By Brian Eugen 6 Min Read
6 Min Read

The debate surrounding streetlights and floodlights’ similarity can be unending. Because clearly, each’s performance varies by a lot. But does this mean that they can’t serve the same purpose? Let’s find out.

What is a Floodlight?

This is a broad, intense, and powerful beam of light that is used to brighten areas like theatres, sports grounds, warehouses and building exteriors.

Its main function is to provide a wide range of lighting as opposed to streetlights.

What is a Streetlight

A streetlight’s main function is to provide security lights on roads to pedestrians and motorists. Streetlights are usually positioned at the edge of the road.

Difference Between Floodlights and Streetlights

While our main aim is to find out whether these two types of lighting can be of the same use, putting into consideration their differences will be of vitality. For example, how are they installed and applied? How intensely do they distribute light? Is the distribution uniform?


Installing a floodlight does not require much effort because it’s ingenious. This vapor proof light fixture can easily be fixed on the walls, lawns, roofs and even poles.

Streetlights fixation is a bit technical and requires a professional on the ground. They are mainly hoisted on poles with suitable heights to provide enough illumination.


A floodlight can shine light in wider and larger tracts than streetlights. Hence, it mainly applies to the outside scenery like the airport, playfields, parking lots, burning facades, stadiums and amusement parks.

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Unlike floodlights, streetlights are restricted to the margin of the road, for example, community roads, park roads, pedestrian streets and cycle path roads.

Uniformity of the light

The ratio of the lowest luminance to the average luminance to the designated surface refers to uniformity. A comfortable visual experience is brought about by evenly and uniformly lighting. Streetlights minimize light pollution and are designed to evenly distribute lights uniformly.

Floodlights are a direct opposite when it comes to the uniform distribution of lights because they are non-directional and highly diffusional. If not mounted in a custom way, uneven distribution will distort the uniformity of the floodlight; hence it will be so different from the streetlights.

Lighting Distribution

Floodlight has a wider range of light distribution than streetlight because it can be classified under symmetrical, asymmetrical, and double asymmetrical in an easy way. Floodlights are distributed by beam spread. This classification states that the vertical and horizontal beam spread angles have an intensity of light that is 10% of the utmost beam intensity. When a floodlight is 50% vertical beam intensity and 50% horizontal beam spread, then it is 4×4, according to the National Electric Manufacture Association (NEMA).

For the street and area light, the IES came up with the lateral light distributions by mounted height.

  • Type 1: It is suitable for roadways, paths, and walkways. It has a narrow symmetrical pattern and its high maximum candela trace falls between 1MH on the street side and house side of the light distribution position.
  • Type 2: Mostly used in bike paths, walkways, and roadways. Has a narrow asymmetric pattern and half maximum candela falls between 1.75MH and 1MH on the street side of the lighting position.
  • Type 3: Wide asymmetrical pattern and meant for parking and roadway.
  • Type 4: Great for pole mount perimeter application or wall mount. It has an asymmetrical forward pattern.
  • Type 5: Best for area and parking and has a symmetrical circular pattern
  • Type 6: It has a symmetrical square pattern and is best for areas with bigger illuminations like parking lots.
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To concentrate the light, a lens or a reflector should be added to assist in adjusting the beam spread in floodlight. Semi cut-off or complete cut-off distribution of flood can be used in streetlights.

Also, the floodlight should be hoisted in a well-mounted position and height to ensure that the lights are illuminating uniformly.

Semi cut-off means that the highest light intensity must not pass 50cd/1000lm and at 90 degrees, less than 100cd/1000lm at 80 degrees. Complete cut-off distribution of concentration means that the highest or maximum light intensity must not exceed 10cd/1000lm at 90 degrees and less than 30cd/1000lm at 80 degrees.

From all the differences above. Floodlights can’t function as streetlights unless done with advanced technology that also seems to be expensive. Streetlights illuminate a designated area while a floodlight functions in a broader and larger area.

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Brian Eugen is a tech-savvy wordsmith with a knack for captivating readers through his expertly crafted tech blog articles. His passion lies in dissecting the intricacies of technology, particularly in the realms of Android, Windows, internet, social media, gadgets, and reviews. With a deep understanding of the latest trends and a talent for simplifying complex concepts, His articles offer readers valuable insights and up-to-date information. His expertise in writing and genuine love for all things tech make him a trusted source in the digital landscape.
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