Comparison of LED High Mast Light and LED Flood Light

Sally Liu

Choosing the most suitable type of LED fixture for a large outdoor lighting project can be difficult. Two common options for outdoor lighting applications include: LED High Mast Light and LED Flood Light. These two words are often used interchangeably, but in reality they do offer different capabilities, specs, and solutions.

The Main Difference Between LED High Mast Light and LED Flood Light

LED high mast lights are similar to LED flood lights in that they have the ability to illuminate large areas, so sometimes we also call some outdoor LED lights high mast LED flood lights. However, there are also many differences in light distribution , mounting, vibration resistance, surge protection, dark night compliance, and more.

One of the most notable differences is that the poles of high mast lights are usually much higher than flood lights. The larger the area you want to illuminate, the higher your lights will need to be installed (if you want to keep the total number of poles to a minimum). Therefore, high mast lights are often preferred when illuminating large areas.

We’ll dive into the more notable differences below. But first, we will define high mast lighting and flood lighting, because many times these words are often used interchangeably or together, when in reality, they are two different applications and provide solutions to different problems.

Lighting Definitions of LED High Mast Lighting and LED Flood Lighting

High Mast Lighting

High mast lighting is typically used to illuminate large outdoor areas from very high installation heights, typically on poles ranging in height from 15 m (50 ft) to 45 m (150 ft) and mounted to these with metal brackets or retaining rings on the rod. There are usually 3 to 12 lighting fixtures on each high mast pole. LED high mast lights are the ideal solutions when you want to illuminate a large area with fewer poles. The common applications of high mast LED lights are large outdoor parking lot lighting, football field lighting, school playground lighting, railway station yard lighting, port container yard lighting, and so on, which is usually adopted by industrial, commercial and municipal organizations.

Flood Lighting

Flood lighting, which is often mounted on poles or buildings to provide directional illumination to a range of places, is also utilized for external lighting. Flood lighting fixtures can be set at different angles, which will alter how the light is distributed. This kind of lighting is frequently employed to provide light to regions for security, car, and pedestrian use, as well as for sporting events, and other sizable locations in need of targeted outdoor illumination.

Comparison of LED High Mast Light and LED Flood Light

Due to the high mounting height and numerous lighting fixtures arrangement, LED high mast lights are currently the most economical and efficient option to provide even and controlled illumination of sizable outdoor areas.

Other distinguishing characteristics of LED High Mast products that set them apart from LED Flood Lighting Fixtures are as below:

Light Distribution Beam Angle

As we said earlier above, the installation height of LED high mast lights is generally very high, so a smaller angle is required to make the light emitted by the lamp more concentrated, so as to better illuminate the lighting area we specify.

However, the installation height of LED flood lights is relatively lower. In this case, a larger beam angle is required to make the light cover a larger lighting area as much as possible, and to make the illumination uniformity better.

Mounting Type

As its name shows, high mast LED lights are always be mounted on high mast poles. They are not only mounted via hirizontal tenon on the high mast poles, but also use a mounting system of 4 bolts to gurantee the lighting fixtures are safely fixed. They are not only mounting via hirizontal tenon on the high mast poles, but also use a mounting system of 4 bolts to gurantee the lighting fixtures are safely fixed.

LED Floodlights could be mounted on many different kinds of installation accessories. They could be mounted on poles as LED flood lights, mounted on the wall as LED wall washer lights, suspended mounted as LED high bay lights, mounted on the track for LED track flood lights. They could even be mounted on the trucks or ships for lighting during driving and sailing.

Mounting Height

A light’s effectiveness in reaching its intended target areas is significantly influenced by its mounting height. Knowing the distance between the location of the light’s mounting and the area you want to illuminate is necessary to choose the best light distribution pattern for your fixture. To most efficiently illuminate a specific region, you must take into account the distance between the poles when using numerous fixtures per pole.

High mast lighting poles can be flexible and sensitive to wind loads due to their considerable heights in relation to their cross-sectional dimensions, which are typical at higher mounting heights (50feet+) for LED high mast lights. The enhanced light coverage from higher mounting heights also makes it possible to use fewer poles.

Flood LED lights normally have a mounting height of between 15feet (4.6m) and 35feet (10.7m), but in some circumstances, they can have a higher pole height (although rarely reaching the height of high mast lighting). A broader flood beam will be preferable at smaller ranges because a long-range narrow beam won’t be necessary. A more focused, far-reaching beam is required to illuminate a space at a greater distance.

It’s vital to keep in mind that in order to prevent substantial overlapping of lighting (or a total lack of overlapping, which is also bad), you will need to take into account the distance between light sources and the beam’s radius when erecting light poles for a new project.

Vibration Resistance

Under some circumstances, light poles will always vibrate, and while it’s uncommon, significant vibration can be very dangerous. Wind, bridges, traffic-induced vibrations, wind blasts from huge passing trucks, heavy industrial activities, and more external pressures could cause the pole to tremble.

Light fixtures frequently need to be designed to operate in hostile environments that can withstand vibration and shock better than other “everyday” exterior light fixture options because light fixtures mounted on tall poles have an increased exposure to wind and vibration (due to the higher mounting heights). High mast lighting is especially made to provide the stability and security of the lights’ internal parts so they can endure vibrations.

Vibration is a crucial factor to take into account during a retrofit project since pole vibration can cause early failure of fixtures and bulbs. The ANSI standard, which specifies the minimal vibration capability and vibration test procedures for roadway luminaires, covers Luminaire Vibration Testing. Check the product specification sheet for the phrase “Vibration tested to 3G level per ANSI C136.31-2018” to confirm that a light fixture can resist the required vibration levels.

Surge Protection

The surge protection device is something that applies to both high mast lights and flood lights to protect them from lightning because both these two models are usually used for outdoor lighting. However, the high mast lights usually use higher surge protection, such as 20KV, for two reasons below:

As we talked above, LED high mast lights usually are mounted on higher poles, which are more vulnerable to lighting strikes, and because they are mounted so high, the labor costs are significantly higher if we need to replace them after they are broken. As a result, you want to lower the possibility that a fixture would malfunction.

Strong surge protection devices are more expensive and typically not included in conventional flood light fixtures. For example, ZGSM Zoom series LED flood lights have 6KV built-in SPD in the drivers and are not equipped with extra 10KV SPD by default, so pls kindly contact us and inform us if you need to add it.

Lowering Device

For maintenance purposes, lowering devices use manual or motorized controls to allow lowering and raising of luminaires. Lowering devices can result in greater initial expenditures, but they always result in lower maintenance costs and safer maintenance. Lowering devices are perfect for high mast lighting since high mast lights are mounted very high (requiring fewer poles).

You wouldn’t likely install a lowering device on a pole without one in a retrofit project (the pole would have needed to be constructed in the first place to accommodate one). It’s essential to confirm the LED fixture under consideration is compatible with your current lowering device before beginning a refit job. Additionally, it’s critical to confirm that the fasteners can tolerate wind resistance when choosing lowering devices.

Although flood lights can be put on tall poles, they are often not mounted on lowering devices because the changeable angle mounts modify the wind profiles of the lights and could lead to an imbalance with the lowering device, which could pose a safety risk.


After comparison, there are many difference between LED high mast lights and LED flood lights, but we couldn’t say which one is better than the other. There are many factors that affect the lighting of outdoor areas. We should fully consider these factors, and then confirm whether high mast lights or floodlights are more suitable for this project according to the characteristics and advantages of each lamp. Therefore, the ideal solution is kindly provide us all the information of lighting requirements, then our lighting experts would prepare a DIALux Simulation and recommend you the best lighting solution for your intended applications. Any questions or demand about lighting solutions, pls don’t hesitate to contact us for professional advice.


Our LED Floodlights have 360° degree adjustable mounting bracket. You could adjust the mounting angle to light the area you need to illuminate.

Wide-angle LED flood lights are made to “flood” an area with light and cover a sizable space. These lights are available in a wide range of designs and serve a number of applications thanks to efficient LED technology. recessed can PAR-type led light bulbs, wall-mounted lighting, parking lot flood lights, and more.

Replacing an HPS or metal halide light

Here are some recommendations for those looking to replace HID lights who are either new to purchasing LED flood lights or don’t have much experience. High-intensity discharge, sometimes known as HID, is the most popular type of bigger light, usually made of metal halide or high pressure sodium.

Use a 150 watt model LED Flood Light to replace a 400 watt metal halide lamp.

Usually, a 40 watt LED flood light is enough to replace a 125 watt HPS floodlight. If you’re unsure whether the lamp will be the best LED replacement for your metal halide, HPS, or other forms of lighting, consult a professional.

The interior salts evaporate when the light warms up, altering the output’s quality. This takes time to reach its maximum power (thus the warm-up period). While LED stadium lights do not have this problem, they reach the maximum brightness as soon as they are turned on. Compared with metal halide lamps, LED stadium lights are more energy-saving and environmentally friendly. This is why more and more metal halide lamps are now being replaced by LED lamps.

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Sally Liu
Sales Engineer

Possessing more than 10 years of experience in LED outdoor lighting solutions. English and Spanish language proficiency.

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