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29th September, 2020

Off-road Driving Lights: Spot vs Flood


The ultimate goal when designing a driving light is to get two light patterns, one spot and one flood, that offer light where you actually need it. To be most effective, a driving light needs to light the areas of the road and surrounds that match the terrain and driving style. Your driving lights need to be effective either as a matching pair (of floods or spots) or as a combination (one spot and one flood). Creating a light pattern that shines the farthest doesn’t always mean the light is usable-let alone optimal.



Foul weather, night wheeling, and the impending hazard of wild life all demand the need for a clear line of sight on the trail. By focusing light properly in front of the vehicle, ARB driving lights improve the overall range and visibility allowing drivers more time to react to obstacles. ARB Intensity V2 and Intensity Solis lights are offered in both a spot and flood pattern while the ARB Intensity LED Light Bar is offered in a spot or a spot/flood combination.

A pair of Intensity Spot lights are ideal for bombing down the salt flats or wide open desert. This will provide the best throw of light providing visibility over a ½ mile. Individually, a single spot beam will achieve 1 lux @ 3385 feet while a pair of spot beams has an impressive 4796 feet throw. A pair of Intensity Flood lights are ideal for heavy brush with lots of winding roads such as the trails that can be found in the Pacific Northwest. Two flood lights will fill the foreground, giving you great visibility to the side of the roads where deer like to hide and through the next close corner. Individually, a single flood beam will achieve 1 lux @ 2391 feet.


For most drivers, however, the combination of one spot and one flood provides the best of both worlds. The single spot, mounted on the driver side, will throw a strong beam down the road over a ½ mile directly in front of the driver. The single flood, mounted on the passenger side, will widen the field of view by filling the foreground and roadside.

Engineered in Australia, the ARB driving light range has been specifically designed to meet the demanding requirements of off-roaders throughout the world; from the Ultra4 racer to the night run wheeler. The ARB Intensity’s produce a white light that is the closest possible imitation of sunlight while also including a virtually indestructible polycarbonate lens, these lights are the premium choice.


Benefits of round lights

  • Customization options: the freedom to choose either spot or flood beam (or a combination of both)
  • The option of large or small round driving lights means more flexibility, regardless of the type of bumper 
  • Most modern bumpers have ready-to-mount access points for fitting round driving lights

Benefits of a light bar 

  • Flexibility in mounting options: due to their lower profile, light bars can be mounted on a bumper or roof rack 
  • Choosing a combination light bar means you have the best of both worlds - two types of reflectors provide good penetration down the road as well as great peripheral light out to the sides

Up Next:

ARB Intensity Solis Lights Install

The next generation of ARB Intensity lighting is called Intensity SOLIS. They feature improved output, range, and aesthetic, all at a better price.