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Can lighting illumination produces a conical light pattern. Imagine the light originating as a point in the lighting fixture and forming a circle on the floor. Beam angle is the angle of this light from the bulb. For instance, a 60-degree beam angle will produce a light circle about 9 feet wide on the floor if the fixture is 8 feet above the floor.
Other factors besides the lamp and the shape of the can housing will affect the light pattern. Certain types of trims can vary the pattern of light, such as a wall washer which generates a smi-cone on a wall surface. Pin spot trims can snoot the light cone into a very narrow beam to highlight small objects.