What is an LED reflector light bulb?
Reflector light bulbs are typically referred to as “flood lights”. They are extremely common in recessed cans because of their directional lighting. An LED reflector light bulb can be a replacement for incandescent, halogen, or CFL reflectors. A reflector gets its name because of its reflective coating that’s used to direct light output in a specific way.
Using LED reflectors has several advantages.
- They do not get hot like incandescent or halogen light bulbs because LED light bulbs use different technology
- They do not need to be recycled like CFLs (fluorescents contain mercury)
- You can save more energy than incandescent light bulbs, halogen light bulbs, or CFLs
Where can I use LED reflector light bulbs?
Because they give off directional light, reflector light bulbs have very specific applications where they work very well.
- Recessed cans – LED reflectors can be used in recessed cans in all settings, from residential to commercial. Recessed cans are common in kitchens or living rooms in homes. In commercial settings, you will see them in lobbies of hotels or office buildings. Recessed cans are usually either 4” or 6” in diameter.
- Spotlight – LED reflectors work in spot light fixtures to highlight key focal points, like artwork or products in retail settings.
- Track light – Also popular in retail settings, LED reflectors are great fit for track lighting.
Types of LED reflector light bulbs
BR stands for “bulgedneck reflector”. Pay close attention to the differences between the types of BRs. The number in the light bulb part number reflects the diameter.
- BR20 – A BR20 LED light bulb has a narrower light beam because it has a smaller diameter. A BR20 is a great replacement for incandescent light bulbs in track lights or accent light fixtures. These also work well in 4” recessed cans.
- BR30 – A BR30 LED light bulb has a slightly larger diameter, so it will put out a wider net of light. These are typically used in 6” recessed cans and some track fixtures.
- BR40 – A BR40 LED light bulb has the largest diameter. Because of the wider output, a BR40 LED is a good option for flood light fixtures.
R just stands for “reflector”. Similar to the BR LEDs, reflectors come in different sizes base on diameter.
- R12 – This is the smallest of the reflectors.
- R16 – A little wider in diameter, R16 LED light bulbs have a 2” diameter.
- R20 – More common than R12s or R16s, R20s have a 2.5” diameter.
All three of the smaller “R” bulbs (R12, R16, and R20) work well in 4” recessed cans.
LED reflector light bulbs are available in a wide variety of color temperatures, from cool (blue) to warm (yellow).
Some LED reflectors have different base types for specialty applications, but the most common is an E26. That’s the standard light bulb socket.
One thing you want to be sure to check before you buy LED reflector light bulbs is the beam type. Because LED reflectors can be used in a variety of applications, you want to make sure you’re buying for the right application.
A narrow or flood beam is best for track lighting, or highlighting small, specific areas with lighting. A wide flood beam is best for recessed can lighting, or other areas where you need a wider span of light. In most cases, a BR or R shape light bulb will provide a wet, soft, and even pattern of light. This is one of the reasons they are a favorite in recessed cans providing general illumination of a space.
Can I dim LED reflector light bulbs?
Incandescent light bulbs are typically the easiest to dim. Because an LED reflector is a replacement for an incandescent light bulb, it’s important to check for dimmability if you want to continue to be able to dim. However, most LED reflector light bulbs are dimmable.
To check, use the filters on the left side of your screen. Click “Yes” under the category “Dimmable”.
If you’re trying to create ambiance in a restaurant, buying dimmable R and BR light bulbs is an important step.
Questions about LED reflector light bulbs
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Regency Lighting has been a national lighting distributor since 1983. With seven sales and distribution locations across the U.S., we are ready to meet your lighting needs.