What is an LED PAR lamp?
A PAR lamp can be used indoors or outdoors, in residential or commercial settings. Because of the shape of the bulb, though, it has very specific applications. A PAR lamp is very directional, giving light through a focused beam. PAR stands for parabolic aluminized reflector.
A typical PAR is a halogen, which is part of the incandescent family. The LED PAR lamp replacement has the same shape and application as the traditional PAR, but it uses LED technology to work.
There are several benefits of using LED PAR lamps, compared to a halogen PAR lamp.
- Energy efficiency – The LED PAR lamp may cost more upfront, but your energy savings will quickly surpass the initial cost. In most cases, commercial customers see a payback well under 12 months.
- Heat management – Traditional PARs are part of the incandescent family. Because of the way incandescent light bulbs work, they can get extremely hot. LED technology is very different, and the lamps do not get as hot. This means less heat for your air conditioning system to have to remove from your space.
- Color tuning – LED technology has come a long way. Now, some PAR lamps have the ability to change from cool to warm color temperature. This could be beneficial if you want to change the atmosphere in a room.
Where can I use LED PAR lamps?
- Flood lights – LED PAR lamps are sturdy enough for outdoor applications. LED PARs will give you directional light in flood light fixtures. Make sure you purchase a wet-rated light bulb if you’re placing the flood light outdoors.
- Recessed cans – LED PAR lamps can also be used indoors. Retail stores often use them in recessed cans. Recessed cans will vary by size, so make sure you are buying a PAR lamp that fits properly.
- Spotlights – LED PAR lamps are typically used in spotlights because they can focus light in one direction. You might want to pay close attention to CRI if you’re buying an LED PAR for a spotlight. A higher CRI will the products being highlighted by the light bulbs will look more vibrant.
- Track lights – Track lights can also use LED PAR lamps. Retail stores, some restaurants, and some hotel and office lobbies use LED PAR lamps to highlight products or artwork.
Types of LED PAR lamps
There are several different sizes of PAR lamps. Like other light bulbs, the number refers to the diameter of the bulb. The actual diameter is the number divided by eight. For your reference, the diameters are listed below in inches.
- LED PAR16 – 2”
- LED PAR20 – 2.5”
- LED PAR30 – 3.75”
- LED PAR30 Long Neck – Also 3.75”. The LED PAR30 long neck is designed to fit into recessed cans. The lamp is designed with a longer neck so it will stick out further from the fixture. It may fit better in some recessed cans or track heads.
- LED PAR38 – 4.75”
You also want to make sure you check the beam type before you buy your LED PAR lamp. Ranging from very narrow to very wide and everything in-between, the beam type (or beam angle) will make a significant difference in how your LED PAR lamps illuminate your space.
As for color temperature, you can buy LED PAR lamps in cool (blue) to warm (yellow) color temperatures. The most common is warm, with a color temperature of 3000K.
Can I dim LED PAR lamps?
Especially in restaurant or retail settings, you will want to make sure you buy LED PAR lamps that are dimmable. Most halogen PARs work with dimmers, so this is an important distinction.
We have a filter that should make this easier for you. On the left side of your screen, click on “Dimmable”. Then click yes to find LED PAR lamps that are easily dimmable.
LED PAR lamps and CRI
CRI stands for color rendering index. What it really means is how true the light is compared to the actual sun – or how true the colors are.
CRI can be important for LED PAR lamps, especially when used in spotlights or track lights. For example, an LED PAR lamp used in a museum needs to have a high CRI so the artwork can look as close to natural as possible. In retail settings, an LED PAR with a high CRI is important so the color and quality of products really shines.
Questions about LED PAR lamps
If you are looking for the right product, and you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can send us a message, give us a call, or use the chat box in the bottom right corner of your screen. A lighting specialist will be happy to answer you.
As a national lighting distributor since 1983, Regency Lighting has decades of experience. We also have seven sales and distribution centers across the U.S. to better meet your lighting needs.