Replacing or retro-fitting traditional spotlights with LED bulbs is an effective way to transition to energy-efficient illumination. During the process, individuals must select specific types of bulbs, in order to maintain a similar, tight beam configuration that is commonly associated with LED spotlights.
On the market, two options include parabolic aluminized reflector bulbs or PAR and multi-faceted reflector bulbs or MR.
MR LED Spotlight Bulbs
MR LED spotlight bulbs emit a narrow beam angle, ranging between 15 degrees and 45 degrees. Compared to a PAR LED bulb, this unit caters to far-flung objects. Moreover, MR bulbs can be found in compact lamp heads – roughly measuring two inches or less. Traditionally, MR bulbs were designed to improve the beam structure of halogen fixtures.
The numerical designation associated with the specific type of MR LED bulb refers to its respective size (expressed in 1/8”). This expression is also applicable to PAR LED spotlight bulbs. It is important to consider that such designations only serve the size of the bulbs. Color temperature and other lighting characteristics may vary, based on the product.
PAR LED Spotlight Bulbs
PAR LED bulbs offer a wider beam angle than MR LED variants. Such units come with a beam configuration wider than 45 degrees. Common PAR LED sizes include the following: PAR38, PAR30, PAR20 and PAR16. PAR38 spotlight bulbs are noticeably wider and provide brighter illumination; while PAR16 units – at the other end of the spectrum – are generally smaller, provide less illumination and operate at lower wattages.
PAR LED spotlight bulbs can be found in industrial, commercial and residential spaces. Rooms that require wider beam configurations may benefit from BR LED bulbs. Lastly, when unsure about the type of LED spotlight bulb needed for a lighting system, it is advisable to check the label or sticker on the device for guidance.