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LEDs for Recessed and Track Lights

I hope you enjoyed my blog on LED bulbs and found it helpful.  Perhaps you’ve begun changing over and are on your way to saving money and the planet!  There’s a lot to know about these energy-saving bulbs, so this is a follow-up article to help you understand more about bulbs for specialty applications.

After the traditional shaped bulbs used in lamps and ceiling fixtures, the next commonly used bulbs are those used in recessed lights and track lights.  The bulbs used in these places are nearly funnel-shaped and are called reflector bulbs.  These focus light onto an area by pointing downward from the ceiling.  Reflector bulbs range in size and are measured by their diameter.  The smallest is an R-20 which is 2.5 inches in diameter.  An R-30 is 3.75 inches in diameter.  An R-40 is 5 inches in diameter.  There are a few ways to find out which size you need.  First, check the old bulb you are replacing to see if the size is printed on the bulb, usually near its base.  Another place to check is inside the fixture that the bulb will go into.  Often there will be a sticker there with bulb information printed on it.  A third option is to measure the diameter of the fixture the bulb will go in to.  The bulb you purchase needs to be smaller in diameter than that space.

When shopping for reflector bulbs you will often see one or two letters after the ‘R’ in the name.  For example, a common reflector bulb is a BR-30.  The BR means ‘Bulged Reflector’ referring to the shape of the bulb. As mentioned, the 30 tells you that the bulb is 3.75 inches in diameter.  A BR bulb has a rounded or domed face where the light comes out.  The angle of the beam shining down is greater than 45 degrees.  A BR lights up a wide area.  A PAR in the name stands for ‘Parabolic Aluminized Reflector’.  PAR bulbs shine a narrower beam downward.  The angle of the beam is less than 45 degrees and focuses on a smaller area.

Hopefully, this information will make your transition to energy-saving LED bulbs easier.   I assure you that changing over from incandescents is one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to immediately begin saving energy and money.  Good luck!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you have.

Moe Lalonde

Here’s a link to the bulbs I’ve purchased for my own home.  As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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