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Halogen PAR

Halogen PAR, or "parabolic reflector", has the advantage of more precise beam control than R or BR shaped incandescent floods. PAR bulbs are constructed from a molded glass reflector and lens that are fused together to contain the halogen capsule. A range of beam spreads from narrow spot to wide flood are available.

Halogen PAR Frequently Asked Questions

Why are beam angles and light intensity as important as lumens when replacing floods and spots?

A problem with directional lighting such as track lights can occur when bulbs are replaced. It's easy to simply look at the lumens or wattage and the base of the bulb and overlook the light distribution or beam angle and light intensity when purchasing a new one. Not getting the beam angle and intensity (especially for spot lights) right will change the quality of the lighting.

A single piece of wall art may require a relatively narrow beam of light, while a collection of photos on the wall will require a wide flood. This may seem obvious, but it is easy to buy the wrong bulb unless you remember to identify the beam spread.

The part number on the box gives you the clue to the beam. For example, 50PAR20/NFL is a narrow flood. Here's a quick guide to the abbreviations:

  • FL (flood, 30 to 40 degree beam angle)
  • NFL (narrow flood, usually 25 degree beam)
  • SP (spot, 10-15 degree beam)
  • NSP (narrow spot 8-9 degree beam)
  • WFL (wide flood, greater than 40 degree beam)

The intensity of directional light is called Center Beam Candle Power, or CBCP. Intensity is the crucial specification for spot lights where a narrow beam focuses light at a spot. The higher the CBCP number the more intense the light will be at the center of the beam. If replacing narrow flood light bulbs or spot light bulbs with LED, be sure to match the CBCP value in order to get a true replacement for halogen.

Before you buy, think about how you want directional light to work for your application. Then choose the optimum beam spread and center beam intensity. Topbulb has a great selection of halogen and LED floods and spots. Give us a call if you need assistance.