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What’s the Difference Between a PAR and a BR Floodlight. February 27, 2015

Posted by bowmanlamps in LED Lightbulbs.
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Ever ask those age old questions: What is a PAR floodlight?  And, what is a BR floodlight? No need to ask again.  You can stop scratching your head, because here we will answer what the difference is between PAR and BR floodlights – also known as lamps in lighting circles.

PAR, and BR, mean more than just strange animal sounds. PAR stands for Parabolic Aluminum Reflector, while BR staPAR38nds for bulge reflector.  The number after the letters refers to the diameter based on 1/8 of an inch. To find the size of a PAR38, you multiply 1/8 x38, which equals 4.75 inches in diameter. A PAR30 would be 1/8 x 30, which equals 3.75 inches in diameter. And the other popular PAR20 diameter would be 1/8 x20, which equals 2.5 inches.  The same applies to the BR series, with the popular diameter sizes being BR40 (1/8 x 40 = 5 inches, BR30 (1/8 x 30 = 3.75) inches and BR20 (1/8 x 20 = 2.50 inches).

So what’s the difference between PAR Floodlights and BR floodlight? PAR floodlighs have a flat lens.  Each is designed to direct the light for various intentions.  For instance, TCP PAR floodlights may be purchased with a wide 40 degree beam spread, a narrow 25 degree beam spread, or a spotlight with 15 degree beam spread.  They are perfect for demanding light applications like hiElite BR40gh-end retail and restaurants, where certain items or locations are highlighted.  Want to highlight a large area of a room? Use the wide beam.  Want to highlight Uncle George’s portrait, try the narrow beam. And what about that diamond ring in a display case? Use a spotlight.  BR floodlights have a curved lens. With a beam spread of 120 degrees, BR floodlights illuminate large areas with smooth, attractive light. You know, like a living room or lobby.

Let’s focus on the latest technology, LED.  Both PAR and BR lamps may be used indoors or out, usually in canned or recessed fixtures.  Use outside requires they either be designated for wet locations, or restricted to areas where they are protected from the elements. ( A roof overhange works quite nicely.)   PAR and BR lamps also come in a variety of light colors, from the 2400K warm tones – like a standard light bulb – up to 5000K daylight white. So sit back and think where you would use a PAR or BR light. Dimmability is not a given. So please remember to select a dimmable or non dimmable floodlight to meet your needs.

If you are interested in purchasing an LED PAR light, bowmanlamps.com has a great selection here.  Or checkout the BR series here. My favorite is the TCP warm white dimmable BR30.  And, it’s Energy Star approved.  Use coupon code Take10 during check out for 10% off these or any other lighting items at bowmanlamps.com.