Outdoor, Product Reviews

Reviewed: Small floodlights

Small floodlights can be used to illuminate your garden, patio, maybe a small car park or a sign board.

This review compares low wattage 10W LED floodlights. They are surprisingly small and some will even fit into the palm of your hand.

You would use them to light your garden, patio, maybe a small car park or a sign board. Usually these floodlights would be purchased from a wholesaler or DIY store. All, except one, of the floodlights tested cost less than £20 and some are almost half that. Most offer a PIR movement sensor for little extra cost.

Of course, you don’t get a refined optical system at this end of the market. Most have a bare chip set in a pressed anodised aluminium reflector. This gives a beam that is usually slightly wider in one axis than it is on the other. None of the beams, in either axis, was narrower than 90° or wider than 120°.

At Lux, we often hear complaints about low cost luminaires not being safe, so we had them tested at the Lighting Industry Association’s new laboratories in Telford for a basic safety assessment. We are happy to report that there were no problems with the samples we submitted. However, many were missing some required information on the label or instruction sheet.

We also had them tested for light output, beam angle, peak intensity and electrical characteristics. Three of the floodlights had poor power factor meaning that they took a lot more current than you might expect. If the floodlight is fitted with a flying lead, you should check the cable gland. The LIA laboratory tells us that they are sometimes the wrong size or do not grip the cable correctly.

The results are summarised in the table at the end of this report. 


LAP slimline

This is mid-range in terms of lighting performance and is available in DIY sheds for less than £10.

There is a cable gland on the rear of the floodlight but no connection box and no flying lead. The instructions do not say what cable size is recommended to ensure a waterproof seal. The L/E/N cable markings on the wiring terminals are embossed on black plastic and almost illegible. 





Luceco Guardian

The packaging and data sheet indicated that this floodlight was 8W and produced 600 lm. However, the sample we tested was 10W and 788 lm so it had both higher output and greater efficiency albeit with greater energy consumption; (2W more). Instead of a single chip, there is a 3 x 8 array behind a slightly diffuse lens.

Sensibly, the cable exit with flying lead is on the bottom and the fixing screws are at the rear. The sample we tested was 5000K (hence the high efficacy) and we understand that 3000K is available.





Meridian Lighting LEDFL10B

This has an IP-rated junction box on the back already fitted with a flying lead. The box makes it slightly larger than some of the other floodlights but it is still small.

There are some decent heat fins on the back. The appearance is spoilt slightly by the stainless screw heads on the (black) front and by the yellow fringe on the edge of the beam but in this price range, I doubt anyone will notice.





Net Led

This has a 6000K light source. In my opinion, this is too Cool for normal domestic use.  It had the lowest power factor, lumen output and efficiency of the floodlights we tested. It is claimed to replace 100W/150W T/H but its output is only about half the halogen.

The packaging claims 800 lm output but the LIA labs measured 639 lm. Interestingly, the data sheet inside claims 650 lm which is about right.





NVC Odessa

This had the highest output and highest delivered lm/W of the floodlights we tested.  It’s securely put together with Allen head screws on the rear so they don’t show. The cable exit is on the bottom so there is much less chance of water accumulating on the gland.

A welcome aspect is that the data on the box understated the lumen output and lm/W of our sample.





Thorn PRT FL 10W

I must admit to having a personal preference for this floodlight simply because it is much better looking than the others. Thorn tell me that it is often used as a specification product for this very reason.

It is a well-constructed unit and looks like it would last. However, it does cost a little more than the competition and the light output is mid-range.

The packaging and instructions are good and they correctly claim that the output is equivalent to 50W halogen – one supplier reviewed here has a lower output but claims equivalence to 100W halogen.