What are PAR20 LED Light Bulbs Used For?

By david_chiodo on 08/21/2018

LED PAR20 Office Can Lighting

In any professional setting, getting the lighting just right can make all the difference.  As a project manager or operations manager, you have been tasked with retrofitting all of your old indoor incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient LED Bulbs.

But where do you start?  Don’t worry; HomElectrical will walk you through how to select the right LED PAR20 light bulb by first explaining what direct lighting replacements you need.

What is a LED PAR20 Bulb?

An LED PAR20 bulb helps project light in a precise or controlled space to help produce a concentrated beam. LED PAR20 bulbs are often used in recessed can lights, flood lights, track lights in offices, restaurants, retail stores, hotels, and other commercial applications. PAR20 LED bulbs provide a dimmable and energy efficient solution to creating brighter display lighting. 

Both PAR20 and PAR16 bulbs are great replacements for incandescent bulbs, and that is because they use reflectors to accurately direct light. The light produced can easily be directed downward to achieve better spotlighting than other light bulbs.

How are Light Bulbs Measured?

LED PAR Base Types

The number on a LED PAR bulb refers the diameter of the lamp measured in terms by eighths of an inch.  This number can be easily converted to inches by multiplying the PAR number x 1/8 (0.125).  PAR20 bulbs have a diameter of 2.5-inch diameter, which makes these bulbs ideal 3-inch recessed lights.

Most Common LED PAR Bulbs

PAR

DIAMETER

16

2 inches

20

2.5 inches

30

3.75 inches

36

4.5 inches

38

4.75 inches

What are the Base Types for LED PAR20 Bulbs?

We mentioned that LED PAR16 Bulbs are the smallest in diameter of all the PAR Bulbs, and the PAR20 bulb is one size larger.  While a PAR20 and a PAR16 Bulb can have the same base size, the dimension of the bulb is what differs.  This is important when using existing fixtures because the fit might not be the same. 

The base type helps determine which light fixture your bulb will fit in. However, the size of the bulb itself can delegate whether you can use an open or enclosed fixture.   

The second thing to consider is that PAR20 bulbs commonly have one of two bulb base types: E26 or a Medium Bi- Pin Base.

LED PAR20 E26 Base    

Medium LED PAR20 Bi-Pin Base

LED PAR20 E26 Base Type Bulb

LED PAR20 Bi Pin

Most LED PAR20 bulbs come with a standard E26 medium base.  Because of the bulb’s dimensions, depending on the type of lighting you desire, you can easily swap out incandescent for a PAR20, BR20, or an R20 bulb, as long as they have the same base.  

The type of base will vary from manufacturer and the specific application.

Most Common Base Types

  • Edison Series
  • GU Series
What is the Beam Angle for an LED PAR20 Bulb?

The beam angle of PAR20 bulbs range from “Narrow Spot” to “Narrow Flood.” PAR bulbs are most commonly used where a bright flood beam spread is required but are designed for spot lighting as well.  

The PAR20 bulb is an excellent choice for offices, conference rooms, and other commercial applications where downlighting is desired.

Angle Description

PAR Angle

Very Narrow

15˚

Narrow Spot

16˚ - 30˚

Spot

30˚ - 60˚

Narrow Flood

61˚ - 90˚

Wide Flood

91˚- 120˚

Very Wide Flood

160˚

LED PAR20 Bulbs: Understanding Wattage and Brightness

Wattage and brightness are often misunderstood.  While most people think that the higher the wattage is, the brighter the bulb will be, this is incorrect! 

  • The wattage of a light bulb only refers to how much power the bulb is using. 
  • The actual brightness of a light bulb is determined solely by the lumen output.
  • The size of the bulb does not influence the brightness and there are many different bulb options.  This is what makes the PAR20 bulb such a viable replacement.

Use the chart below to know exactly what bulb you need to replace your old incandescent bulbs.

Incandescent Light Bulb (watts)

LED (watts)

Lumens

40W

2-5W

0-450

60W

6-9W

500-850

75W

11-14W

900-1150

100W

15-17W

1200-1650

LED light bulbs use up to 75% less energy than antiquated incandescent bulbs and can produce the same amount brightness at a lower wattage. For all LED bulbs, less watts equals less energy consumption.  Less energy consumption means lower monthly energy bills.

What is the Color Temperature for LED PAR20 Bulbs?

LED Bulb CCT Chart for Color Temperature

Another common mistake is consumers confuse brightness with the color temperature (CCT) of a light bulb. 

The color temperature refers to the color the light appears; not how bright the light is.  Because of their reflector, PAR bulbs typically have a higher CCT and lumen output than incandescent and halogen bulbs. This makes PAR20 bulbs great for showcase and display lighting.

There are three primary types of color temperature:

  • Soft White: 2700K-3000K
  • Bright White/ Cool White: 3500K-4100K
  • Daylight: 5000K-6500K

The higher the CCT rating, the whiter the color temperature.

Ideal Applications for LED PAR20 Bulbs

Indoor Lighting

LED PAR20 Office Lighting for Recessed Lighting

  • Office Spaces
  • Ceiling Lights
  • Conference Rooms
  • Recessed Can Lights
  • Recessed Track Lighting
  • Long life up to 50,000 hrs.
  • Energy Efficient

Outdoor Lighting

LED PAR20 Bi Pin

  • Range in CCT options
  • Lampposts
  • Landscape Lighting
  • Barn Lights
  • Wall Mount Fixtures

Retrofit

LED PAR20 Before and After Retrofit

  • Replace Halogen Bulbs
  • Replace Incandescent Bulbs
  • Long life up to 50,000 hrs.
  • Energy Efficient
  • Low maintenance
  • Large Variety of CCT

 

Find the best energy efficient bulb for your needs at HomElectrical.

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