Understanding the Difference Between PAR and BR Light Bulbs

Joe/ May 12, 2020/ Lighting Products

When choosing lighting for your home or business, you will come across several different types of lighting. Terms like BR and PAR can get confusing as you search for the right light bulb for your needs. At HyLite LED Lighting, we want to help you understand your options so you can choose the right bulb.

When shopping for floodlights, you will see both BR and PAR options available. These lights are very similar and have the same color options, but they do have some distinct differences. Both can be used indoors and out, depending on the bulb and the light fixture, and both have LED lighting options. So, which one is right for you? Understanding the differences between the two will help you make an informed choice for your lighting needs.

BR Light bulbs – Wider Beam Angles

BR lights have a larger diameters bulb. This means that they also have a larger diameter beam angle. It’s possible with a BR light to have a beam angle of 90 degrees or higher. This makes them a popular choice when you need to light a wide area with just one bulb.  They are ideal for recessed lighting, and they are often found in rooms with high ceilings or on stairways. The extensive coverage helps reduce shadows in the area where they are used.

These different beam angles come from a separate shaped reflector. BR stands for “bulged reflector.” These bulbs traditionally had a bulged reflector inside the housing to increase the amount of light they put out, giving them a slightly bulging shape. This also creates a softer light to view a wide area without harsh edges or intense shadows.

PAR Bulbs – Narrow Beam Angle for Directional Light

Conversely, PAR bulbs have a much more narrow beam angle. These bulbs have a smaller diameter and thus spread light at 45 degrees or lower. However, HyLite Lotus Lamps for a PAR Retrofit Solution is offered in 15⁰, 25⁰, 40⁰ & 120⁰. These work well in applications where directional light is needed, such as in spotlights or retail displays. This is the type of lighting used in theater, and it is also sometimes used to light exterior landscaping features.

PAR stands for “parabolic aluminized reflector.” These bulbs have a lamp, reflector, and pressed lens inside the lamp to provide directional lighting. They have a shorter body than BR light bulbs with a bowl shape. PAR light bulbs have soft light, but with a more defined edge than BR bulbs. This means they may create more shadows, depending on the application.

PAR vs. BR – Which Is Best?

So which light is right for your needs? The answer truly depends on the application. If you need directional light in a small area, then PAR bulbs will fit well. For a light that spreads across a more comprehensive section of your space, BR lights are ideal.

No matter which light bulb you need, HyLite LED Lighting will help you find the right ones. Our team can help you select a bulb that fits your application. Our energy-efficient LED lighting will help you save money as you seek to light your space properly. Let us know your needs, and let us help you find the ideal lighting solution to meet them.