SPOT VS WASH: What’s the Difference?


If you are not sure whether you should be using a spot or wash light don't worry! The decision on what light is best to use largely depends on what exactly you plan on using the light for. With a few facts on each of these light sources, you will have a better idea which light is best suited for your use. 

Spot Light:

Spot lights typically cast a single beam of light no wider than 45 degrees. The light omitted from a spot can be compared to a lighthouse, just not as clear. The light from a spot tends to reach much longer distances than most lights, as well as being easy to point and control. 

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Wash Light:

Wash lights are basically the opposite of spot lights. The wash casts a wide area of light that does not reach a very long distance. Typically a wash light has a path of 130 degrees, much larger than a spot. Although the cover of light from a wash is much larger, it uses the same amount of lumens and wattage as a spot. 

Spot vs Wash: What do I use? 

If you are looking to light a larger area such as a driveway, parking lot, of even just light coverage go with a wash. If you want a more direct control over a smaller area, use a spot. Generally a spot light will appear brighter than a wash. 

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hussam - August 2, 2016 Reply

I’m very impressed by this article, I really like to use some of your information in our arabic lighting blog:

    Ryan McKay - August 2, 2016 Reply

    Hi Hussam, thanks for the kind words!

    Please feel free- how can we help?


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