LED university
Light Bulb Beam Angle
Author: Jack Chow    Date: 2015-1-8


Enrich LED University: Light Bulb Beam Angle Explained


Definition of Light Bulb Beam Angle

The beam angle is the degree of width that light emanates from a light source. Specifically: The angle between those points on opposite sides of the beam axis where the intensity drops to 50% of maximum. 
LED lighting like most lights come with a variety of descriptions for the size of the area illuminated by the light bulb. Examples include LED flood light, LED spot light, narrow beam LED light, and wide beam LED strip lights. Each is a way of stating LED beam angle. Typically a narrow beam angle is a 'spot' of light and a broader beam angle 'floods' an area with light, called a flood light. LED beam angles are not used consistently by light bulb manufacturers. The information below is a summery of uses of the term beam angle. Please note that not all lamp shapes use the same terms. 
Click on picture to enlarge. 

Names and Examples of Light Bulb Beam Angles

Description Code Typical MR16 Beam Angles Typical PAR Beam Angles
Very narrow spot VNSP <7 degrees <15 degrees
Narrow spot NSP 5-15 degrees 15-30 degrees
Spot SP 16-22 degrees 30-60 degrees
Narrow flood NFL 23-32 degrees 60-90 degrees
Flood FL 32-45 degrees 90-120 degrees
Wide flood WFL 45-60 degrees 120-160 degrees
Very wide flood VWFL 60+ degrees >160 degrees
The actual angle assigned to each of these names differs from one bulb shape to another. For example, as you can see in the above table, an MR16 flood light is normally not as wide a beam angle as a PAR lamp. 
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