Ever been in a sports stadium at night? You can thank floodlights for being able to see the game. Floodlights got their name because they flood an area with light. Unlike regular lightbulbs, floodlights are directional and have a wide field of illumination. Floodlights come in many shapes and sizes, but most can be used either indoors or outdoors. Understanding more about floodlights and their fixtures will help you decide if your outdoor floodlight should be used inside.
Floodlights all contain brighter bulbs than most of the lights inside your house. These bulbs usually contain a filament and a gas, such as xenon. Floodlights generally use more electricity than traditional lightbulbs. While some models of floodlights contain specialty bases that require special housings, most floodlights are built on a standard light socket that works with either a standard bulb or a floodlight. However, floodlights typically are used in recessed lighting or outdoors.
The most powerful types of floodlights are called high intensity discharge lights. These lights contain either metal halide or high-pressure sodium inside the bulbs. These bulbs generate much more heat than standard filaments. The high heat levels may create a fire hazard when used inside, so it's best only to use HID floodlights outside, where the ambient temperature of the air can cool the bulbs. HID lights use the same technology as high-intensity headlamps in some vehicles.
Using Floodlights Indoors
Standard floodlights that use regular light sockets can be used in any light fixture inside your home. However, floodlights require a larger space for the elongated bulbs. This makes them useful in recessed lighting in kitchens, garages or anywhere where extra light is needed. Only standard floodlights should be used indoors. Refer to the warning information on the side of the floodlight box to see whether it is rated for indoor use. Indoor bulbs have been tested for fire safety.
While floodlights typically are found in recessed lighting and outdoor lights, they may be used in alternative applications. Try using a floodlight in a motion-sensor light socket outdoors. The bulbs provide more light when the sensor detects movement, making them ideal for enhancing the security around your home. Floodlights also can be installed in floor lamps. Place a floor lamp with a floodlight installed behind plants or an entertainment center to add accent lighting or extra light in dark areas.