- Sep 26, 2012
In trying to decide on my next light, not sure why I would want a thrower. Sure is impressive to throw a beam of light way out there. But what are you really looking at?
If its just a hobby, and you just like making photons line up and march great distances for entertainment purposes (And who doesn't...), well, then its more about how far you can AFFORD to go...and what is out there to do that for you.
Okay, let's assume that we have two different lights, both of them producing the same amount of lumens. The difference is that one is a flooder with wide beam profile, while the other is a thrower with narrow beam profile.
Scenario 1: Long distance spotting. With a flooder, you'd have to get close, while a thrower means that you don't. With a flooder, you have to walk closer to the area to get proper illumination. With a thrower, while you get less viewing angle, you can just sweep the area in multiple passes with your hand.
Scenario 2: Looking into a dark environment from a well-illuminated area. Let's say that you are standing outside in a sunny day, and need to look down into a well or into a large warehouse. Because of the exterior illumination, your eyes will not be adjusted for low-light environment. A flooder isn't going to illuminate much of anything far into the dark environment that you need to peer into, but a thrower can effectively punch through the background light pollution and allow you to see what's inside.
Scenario 3: Close-up inspection of surface covered in dark material, such as paint, grime, etc. For example, you are inspecting pipeline that's covered with years of black gunk. That black gunk is going to soak up light very efficiently, and a flooder just doesn't have the punch to light the surface up enough. With a thrower and its highly focused spot, you can be damned sure that it's going to light it up, albeit small portions at a time, but nevertheless allow you to see what's on the surface.
Scenario 4: Dazzling. Don't even kid me on this one. A thrower with its concentrated beam is much more effective at blinding people and critters than a flooder.
In simpler terms, it's like comparing a pellet to a slug. The former has a wider dispersion and is better at closer range, but a slug is going to crush through objects farther down the range.