Beam Throw vs Flood: Which Do YOU Prefer??
A conversation that will engage any flashaholic begins with a simple question: what's more important to you, flood or beam throw? These terms may look a bit odd to the uninitiated, but trust me. If you know flashlights, this is a top consideration in every light purchase!
What is a flood beam?
The flashlight's flood refers to the width of its beam angle. Put another way, it's how much the light spreads out. A light with a wide flood will light up a large area around you, whereas a light with a narrower flood will be more of a tight beam lighting up a small spot (like the lights you'd see in a horror movie). Generally, having more flood is a good thing. Who doesn't want to be able to see more of their environment at a time? Where it becomes a negative is how it impacts beam throw.
What is a Focused Beam?
Beam throw is the distance the light reaches. A light configured for better beam throw is always going to sacrifice flood to get there. It's not just the brightness of the LEDs that create great beam throw, but the design of the head. The reflector, which is the mirror-like surface set behind the LEDs inside the light's head, gathers up the light from the LEDs and throws it. If it's designed for it, the reflector will throw the light in a tight pattern. The result is that the beam will reach farther, but at the cost of lighting up less area.
Flood Beam vs. Focused Beam
Let's get less abstract, and compare two lights with different design philosophies. The Klarus XT11GT is one of our top sellers. It has 2,000 lumens and a max throw distance of 316 meters - more than the length of three football fields!
Klarus manufacturers another light of a similar size, weight, and price called the G20. The G20 has less than half the beam throw of the XT11GT at 150 meters (which is still pretty great when you think about it!). However, the G20 is actually brighter than the XT11GT, and not by a little - by 50%! The G20 is 3,000 lumens!
So how can the G20 be so much brighter than the XT11GT, and yet have "only" the beam throw of nearly two football fields instead of over three? The answer lies in the design of its reflector. The G20 is made to be a "search flashlight." So the reflector is made to bounce the light as wide as possible.
What about you? Do you want more beam throw or flood in your high-end tactical flashlight? Consider carefully before making your purchase!