How Do Flood Lights Work

We depend on electronics to get us by each day. One of the more underrated technologies we have is artificial light. Among these technologies is an industrial sized invention known as the flood light. With faces comparable in size to a small car, flood lights have the ability to use massive amounts of power while illuminating large surface areas.

Basic Design & Use

Though a floodlight may seem like an overgrown flashlight and it works in manner similar to flashlights, there are some huge differences between these two elements. For starters, instead of a teeny bulb, floodlights employ huge high intensity lamps. These lamps are also designed to withstand continuous use over long periods of time. External generators power some floodlights, while some high-end models use integrated power supplies that can last for hours. This is especially important if one is to use a floodlight for search and rescue operations.

Floodlights that are used in stadiums, on the other hand, are plugged into an outlet much like household lamps. You can expect these to run up electric bills in an hour equivalent to a year's worth of electricity with a household lamp (of course your mileage may vary depending on the output).


Because floodlights are so huge they cannot be transported easily by a single person. This is classically illustrated in cop movie scenes where floodlights are often installed in the back of specialized flat bed trucks designed solely to transport these massive lights. However, not all floodlights are as massive as what you see in the movies. For instance, theaters and indoor movie sets utilize floodlights which are much more manageable in size. Though these are significantly smaller than their flat bed towed cousins, floodlights in movie sets are still considerably larger than your average household torchlight.

Other Uses & Functions

Floodlights are most commonly used in sports stadiums and in advertising, for example. As mentioned earlier, these lights are also found often on movie sets and theater stages, but they can also be found on waterfronts.

Perhaps the most popular image one gets when floodlights are mentioned are those perched on top of prison walls. Used as searchlights, floodlights also aid rescue teams as well local law enforcement when the need to search a large area the quickest is needed. These are but a few examples, of course, and how floodlights are used can be as varied as the situations where light is needed.

Paul Favors

Paul Favors is a full-time SEO Consultant and freelance writer who operates a private web consulting firm. Paul holds a B.A. in Communications Studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been a professional writer for 3 years - two of those years as regular Demand Studios contributor.