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A light beam or beam of light is a directional projection of light energy radiating from a light source. Sunlight forms a light beam (a sunbeam) when filtered through media such as cloudsfoliage, or windows. To artificially produce a light beam, a lamp and a parabolic reflector is used in many lighting devices such as spotlightscar headlightsPAR Cans and LED housings. Light from certain types of laserhas the smallest possible beam divergence.
From the side, a beam of light is only visible if part of the light is scattered by objects: tiny particles like dust, water droplets (mistfog,rain), hailsnow, or smoke, or larger objects such as birds. If there are many objects in the light path, then it appears as a continuous beam, but if there are only a few objects, then the light is visible as a few individual bright points. In any case, this scattering of light from a beam, and the resultant visibility of a light beam from the side, is known as the Tyndall effect.