What is SPOT / BEAM / WASH Fixtures?

For stage lighting, you will see most products are putting bullets into 3 main buckets: Wash fixtures, Spot fixtures, and Beam fixtures. you may wonder what is the difference between them and how to choose suitable fixtures for your projects.

Ultimately, your target is to get the most bang for your Buck in your lighting Rick. You want to be able to make your dollars stretch the furthest.

So, should you go ahead every time in wash fixtures because it is the least costing? Should you buy hybrids every time because they can do the most. Well, the answer is not clear ever, as it mainly depends on your specific circumstance and project.

Anyway, after reading this article, you will have a clear mind of how different fixtures work, to enable a smart decision in your next purchase of new lights.

Wash Fixture

Let’s start with the Wash fixture, it is kind of what it sounds like, which spreads the light to person and stage to light them up and can generally change colors as well to create a specific atmosphere. Today the basic level for Wash Light is LED Par or LED Strip Light, and of course there are moving head Wash Light, which is often with zooming as a great feature.

Wash fixtures can be great for front waiting, and can be great for back-lighting, also can give you an interesting look on stage.

Anyway, their downfall being is the lack of complexity. Wash Lights is doing one thing and do it well, but if you’re looking to make a variety of different things happen, with wash light is not gonna make it.

Spot Fixture

Let’s move on to the Spot fixture. A significant sign for it is Spot feature gets a clear circle of light with the hard edge. This means the light of it is limited to a certain area. One main purpose can get is when you do not want the backdrop to show, the light can spot on the performer, then it can clean up your look on stage.

Another amazing thing Spot fixture can make is using its Gobo and Pattern to create a piece of scenery or textural wall or just texture of the air, and create more variation and interesting look.

Beam Fixture

Finally, we come to the Beam fixture, which is a light that has a single purpose to shoot a very narrow beam, and that doesn’t expand much as it grows when it goes through the air.

The beam fixture is considered into your lighting plan when you’re looking for something to punch through and create something fresh. A Beam light usually stands for powerful and strong. In our experience, the wedding party is not using too much, but it is more suitable for Concert especially when comes to the climax.


Now let’s talk about Hybrids for a quick second here. if you’re unloading and loading for setting the lights up a lot, then Hybrids will be a great thing for you as one light can do the work for 2-3 lights, and only need 1 installation. This is greatly helping to save labor costs and time. But of course, when functions added, the cost of the light itself is going up, it is quite a balance you need to consider.

A video showing the Wash / Spot / Beam actual effects is as below, to help you understand the function of them better.

We hope this article is helpful to you. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us to discuss more.

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