Outdoor flood lights are the rare security feature that may also add a touch of beauty to your property, as well as make it safer for people who are authorized to be there.
Flood lights not only help deter intruders, they also light pathways and entrances, making them safer. In a residential setting, you can use them to extend outdoor playtime and leisure activities past evening. For both residential and commercial properties, flood lights help ward off intruders, particularly when they're attached to motion sensors.
The variety of flood lights on the market allows you to find the size, style, features, and price perfect for your budget.
Flood lights offer 120-degree illumination, making them the ideal choice to light up a broad area. In contrast, spotlights put off a narrow beam that is more appropriate to highlight a particular object. Common flood light choices include:
- 110V industrial
- Low energy
- Metal halide, also known as high intensity discharge (HID)
- Sodium halogen
Typically, flood lights are high wattage, part of the reason they're usually found in industrial or commercial settings. Sodium halogen and LED lights are a popular choice for street lighting. Metal halide flood lights, though, are available in wattages ranging from 70 to 2,000. This level of versatility is part of why HID flood lights are so popular. LED lights, however, are gaining quickly in the popularity contest, thanks to their lower energy needs. In the world of flood lights, LEDs use the least amount of energy.
Adding motion detection helps flood lights offer even more safety, since their infrared sensors allow them to sense movement up to a distance of 75 feet. When motion ceases, the flood light switches off again. Without motion sensors, your options are manually turning on the flood lights, using a timer, or adding a light-detection sensor that turns them on at dusk and off again with the dawn. If you use a motion sensor or photocell, make sure it's rated for the type of bulb you use. LED and CFL bulbs are quickly burned out when attached to the wrong sensors.
Portable flood lights are most often found in work crews who work at night, but you also see them in emergency kits. Finally, there aren't typically a lot of variations in color when it comes to flood lights; you're mainly looking at crisp, white light or a softer, warmer yellow tone.
Pricing ranges for flood lights are extremely broad, from as low as $7 to as high as $5,500 for 2,000 watt stadium lighting. The main indicator of price is the amount of light you need, i.e. the wattage. For example, parking lots, campuses, and sports arenas typically require higher wattage lighting than doorways, storefronts, and signage. A 1,000 watt flood light, such as you'd find in a parking lot, averages between $400 and $500.
Residential needs are even lower; a simple 20-watt halogen flood light costs less than $10 and easily lights up a walkway or sidewalk outside of a home. Even adding a motion sensor and increasing the wattage to 110 only brings the price to around $20.
- A 16W fluorescent replacement bulb starts at around $3
- A 65W LED replacement bulb starts at around $4
- A 10W LED floodlight starts at around $5
- A flood light mount with adjustable knuckle starts at around $50
- An LED solar-powered floodlight averages between $50 and $350
- A dusk-to-dawn, two-head LED from Home Zone starts at around $60
- A 30W LED bullet light starts at around $75
- Trunion 120W LED averages around $200
- Morris 71544 FlatPanel Series 220W averages around $300
- Lumapro 150W metal halide averages around $300
- A 10-piece 100W LED starts at around $300
- Cree 160W LED averages around $350
- Maxlite ELLF540UW50 StaxMax LED with 540W and 122-degree spread costs around $3,000
Hiring an electrician to install your flood light varies according to your area and the amount of time needed to install the lights. Expect to pay between $30 and $80 per hour. If the electrician also needs to tap an electrical circuit, this may bring the charge as high as $400. Make sure to get a quote from multiple electricians to compare costs for your area.
Finally, the cost to run your flood light varies according to its total wattage and power pricing in your area. You reduce your cost of you use a motion sensor and only run the light during nighttime hours. Running a 150W flood light 24/7 would cost you around $30 per month.
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