What are types of off-road light beam patterns?

When you're doing any kind of performance or off-road driving at night, the role of the light is especially important. Light can not only illuminate the road ahead but even save your life when the road is tough. So what a combination of multiple off-road LED lights and LED light bars with different beam can achieve maximum visibility?

Before you make a purchase, you should have a solid understanding of the many different options, variations, and configurations of off-road LED lights, their components, specific beam patterns, and their specific functions. Here are the mounting points and typical light patterns.

light beams

We can obviously see 4 types of light beam patterns from the picture. There are Driving, Spot (Long Range), Fog, and Flood beam. 


Driving Light Beam:  Angle of light beam reflectors and optics-> 70~90 degrees.

driving beam

This kind of light beam patterns is specifically meant for driving. It provide an extremely bright, focused light beam pattern straight ahead to a great distance. Basically, they're designed to increase the range and brightness of your vehicle's high beams. They are great for driving at higher speeds, but be attention, they must be used with caution to avoid blinding other drivers. Driving lights usually to be situated near OEM headlamps on front bumper areas.
9inch laser bumper light offroad driving lights
Some driving lights feature "pencil beam" lenses which create an extremely narrow beam designed for maximum distance straight ahead, like CO LIGHT 9inch Spot Laser Light. Featured with middle laser module and advanced hybrid Leds, the 9inch laser driving light can illuminate a 2000meter distance. With ultra-high quality diecast aluminum housing,these are recommended for racing or rally off-roading where driving at salt flats or wide-open desert, also ideal for trucks driving on straight country roads and slow-moving trails. Pencil beam lenses are not for on-road use.


Spot Light Beam: Angle of light beam reflectors and optics-> 10~20 degrees.

spot beam

This classification of off-road LED beam patterns is best described as a strong beam of focused, intense beams that are used to penetrate the darkest nights over long distances for maximum forward visibility. It provides a centralized beam that makes it easy to pinpoint any specific area, which is very useful for fleet vehicles that deliver or perform safety patrols. LED spotlights are also ideal for off-road, municipal, commercial, agricultural and racing applications. Spotlights should be installed in a high position for easy manual adjustment.
4.5inch spot driving light pods roof lights

For example, COLIGHT 4.5inch Spot Driving Lights has 4 genuine LEDs and 10°spot reflectors to maximize light output. Similar to some driving lights, the 4.5inch spot driving light emits a sharp "narrow beam" light that can reach even further. Unlike other beam pattern, mounting the spot light on the roof won't shining on the hood and causing reflections and affecting the driver's eyes. When used for off-road, they can illuminate under an unexpected embankment or penetrate a stream to measure water depth. Like floodlights, these lights are not suitable for regular road use. Yellow lens and clear lens are available. You'll get an unique look and vision from the combination of the yellow and white light.


Fog Light Beam: Angle of light beam reflectors and optics-> 60-100 degrees.

fog beam

Traditional fog lights are designed to be mounted below the headlights and project a beam pattern which is very wide horizontally and narrow vertically usually called a cut-off. This pattern lights up a pathway close to the ground but does not light the airborne particles in the line of sight while driving - this increases the visibility in harder to see conditions. Fog beams are very useful in Dust, Fog, Rain and Snow. They also work well as Cornering lights in clear conditions and are optically designed to increase visibility in tandem with your primary headlights.

3 Inch DB-P Series Dual Beam Yellow&White Fog Lights Pods

Check COLIGHT replacement fog lights here , you'll get more advantage from our dual beam dual color fog light than other brand single fog beam. Featured with a yellow low beam and white high beam, these fog lights are great to deal with foggy/rainy days,as well as everyday night driving.

3inch DDF Series Dual Color Dual Beam Square Fog Light Pods
Some people also install our fog lights in different configurations and setups, such as on the bumper itself, on a brush guard or bull bar, on the winch, on the a-pillar or on the hood, on the mirror(s) of their vehicle, or even on the roof.


Flood Light Beam: Angle of light beam reflectors and optics-> 40~60 degrees.

flood beam

Flood beams create a wide pattern of light that floods an area with an tall vertical and wide horizontal light beam pattern. These lights are typically used as work lights and back-up lights to be able to see a broader area at shorter distances. Ideal when a dark, wide-open area needs to be brightly lit, flood lamps are useful in farm, RV, and construction applications. Below is COLIGHT Rob2 Pro yellow flood light pods. The flood beam can reach 280m at 1lux, that's very suitable as A-pillar lights to light up the sides of the vehicle and prevent danger. What's more, It have 2 color options and 2 other beam patterns in our store. Check more details at here for related kits for COLIGHT Rob2 Pro.

4in Flood Rib2 Pro Light Pods ditch Light

The flood lights spread light out and around your vehicle for greater side visibility. And, of course, they do a great job of penetrating deeper into wooded areas when affixed to vehicle rooftops. Flood lights work great on Jeeps, 4×4’s, ATV’s, UTV’s, ORV’s, work vehicles, etc.  Flood lamps should never be used on paved roads. 

After knowing these types of offroad light beam pattern, do you know how to choose the light pattern for driving? When you're ready to buy a new set of lights, you should ask yourself: “Where will I be when I use the light? On-road? Off-road? In open space or wooded area?” The answers to these questions will help determine the exact type of light pattern that best suits your needs. While brightness is a key performance factor, we will venture to state that the light pattern projected by your new lights is even more important. Please stay tuned for our next blog about how to choose the right lights for driving.