A spot beam has a narrow beam spread of only 8º. This is great for task specific lighting. For example when you want night time road or trail visibility you want the light focused and intense in a specific area. The spot pattern is great for that.
Flood has a wide 90º beam pattern so the light is more spread out. When you want to more light up a certain area, like your camp site, or a work area, the flood is the right choice.
When you want versatility, the Combo is a good choice. It gives a mix of spot beam pattern LEDs and flood beam pattern LEDs all within the same light. The trade off is that you are not splitting up the beams so neither the flood nor the spot beams produced are as bright as a dedicated spot or beam light.
How to choose
Well that all depends on your specific situation and budget. If you can afford it, a great combination to have is a dedicate spot coupled with a dedicated flood. For example, it is typical for us to outfit a Jeep Wrangler with a 20″ spot LED light bar mounted on the bumper which is used for road/trail visibility. Then have a either a couple of 6″ flood LED light bars mounted at the lower corners of the windshield or a really nice set up is a 40″ LED light bar mounted across the top of the windshield.
Waterproof Rate IP67
This is a standardized way to measure solid particle (the first number (6)) and liquid (the second number (7)) penetration resistance. In this case, 6 is the highest level for solid particle resistance meaning that the unit is dust tight. 7 is the second highest level, but considering these aren’t meant for submarines, it is the highest practical level you should pay for and means these lights can stand to be submerged below 3.2 feet of water for 30 minutes without damage. That should definitely get you across that stream! (wikipedia)
For LED light bars, brightness is expressed in lumens. Measuring lamps in watts became obsolete when different lighting technologies came to market. The lumen indicates how much human visible light a device outputs. However, some light bar makers list their lights in raw lumens, which is the theoretical maximum, instead of effective lumens, which is a true measure of light output. A rule of thumb is to convert raw lumens to effective lumens by multiplying the former by 0.8.
LED Color Temperature
LEDs produce natural light, very similar to sunlight’s color temperature.
“Our eyes love sunlight and will not fatigue when using Sanray tractor lights, as compared with other types of lighting,” says our customer Tommy, with John Deere. “5000-5500K is a prefect choice, less operator fatigue and eyestrain means longer hours of operation and greater productivity.”
LEDs and Heat
LEDs use heat sinks to absorb the heat produced by the LED and dissipate it into the surrounding environment. This keeps LEDs from overheating and burning out. Thermal management is generally the single most important factor in the successful performance of an LED over its lifetime. The higher the temperature at which the LEDs are operated, the more quickly the light will degrade, and the shorter the useful life will be.
LED products use a variety of unique heat sink designs and configurations to manage heat. Today, advancements in materials have allowed manufacturers to design LED bulbs that match the shapes and sizes of traditional incandescent bulbs. Regardless of the heat sink design, all LED products that have earned the ENERGY STAR have been tested to ensure that they properly manage the heat so that the light output is properly maintained through the end of its rated life.