Floodlights are photographic and theatrical lights that deliver intense, broad beams of bright light. Floodlights can come in a variety of different types, including PAR lights, strip lights, scoop lights and work or house lights. While most of the varieties of floodlights are used primarily on theater stages or movie sets, they can also be used to set up photography scenes.
When a floodlight is part of a setting to be photographed, it will significantly brighten a scene. The appropriate shutter speed, film speed and exposure time will depend on where the floodlight is placed. However, a photographer should generally use faster film and shutter speeds, as well as faster exposure times due to the power of floodlights.
Because of the brightness of floodlights, a photographer should place them at a distance from the central subject of a scene (like technicians do for theater productions). From a distance, floodlights can broadly illuminate a wide scene and create dramatic shadows. Consequently, they may be used in gothic or glamour photography to create mysterious, intriguing and possibly flirtatious tones.