When it comes to shopping for outdoor security lighting, it can be highly confusing as to what the best option is for your specific need. This is often confusing because there’s many distinguishing factors such as wattage, lumens, mounting options, etc. As a result, we’ve prepared a buyers guide for LED flood lights which is one of the most common and versatile forms of outdoor lighting.
This article will break down each important aspect and distinguishing factor involved with these lighting fixtures and provide examples of where each type can be used. This includes small applications such as lighting a small yard all the way up to flood lights for larger commercial needs such as parking lots.
Lumens – Lumens measures the total amount of light emitted per unit of time. This unit essentially measures the brightness of the light.
Wattage – Wattage refers to the amount of power a light projects. Generally speaking, higher wattage lights will project more lumens (brightness). LED flood lights come in a wide range of wattages. This ranges from 15 watts all the way up to 400 watts.
Color Temperature (Kelvin) – Kevin or color temperature basically corresponds to the color of the light projected which also correlates to heat. LED flood lights generally come in two different measurements: 4000K, and 5000K.
DLC Listed – DLC stands for Design Light Consortium and certifies that the product can perform under high levels of energy efficiency.
Photocell – A photocell uses a sensor to detect the level of lighting available outside and turn on if necessary. In other words, once it becomes dark, the light will turn on. Certain LED flood lights are photocell compatible and can serve as “dusk to dawn lights.”
Base – The base for a flood light involves the type of mount to attach the fixture. For example, some mounting options such as a Trunnion Mount allows the flood light to cast illumination from side-to-side. Other mounting options such as a Slip Fitter Mount involve mounting the light up on a pole.
Lens – The type of lens a lighting fixture uses will influence how light is dissipated. Two common types are a clear lens or frosted lens.
Voltage – Voltage involves the amount of work required per unit of charge to move a test charge between two points. For LED lighting, this is the amount of power a lighting fixture provides a bulb.
Shorting Caps – The Shorting Cap contains a shorting connection between the line and load of the receptacle keeping the lights on at all times when power is being supplied.
Motion Sensors – Motion sensors inside outdoor lighting fixtures detect when there’s movement close to the light and will automatically turn on. This is an ideal for security lighting purposes.
Dusk to Dawn Lights – Dusk to dawn lights are any light which automatically turns on once the sun begins to set. Certain LED flood lights can be installed with a photocell and serve as dusk to dawn lights. It’s important to check product descriptions and spec sheets to ensure your flood light is photocell compatible if you wish to use this functionality.