Light Bulbs: Reflector Lamp (Incandescent)

The Reflector Bulb


The Reflector Bulb

Primelite continues our look at the different types of light bulbs. From Incandescent to LED, lighting has changed immensely over the past 200+ years. Last week we took a look at Incandescent Bulbs. This week we’ll explore “Reflectorized” or Reflector Lamps (Incandescent).

What is an Incandescent Reflector Lamp

cutawaydoagram2aCommonly known as Floodlights or Spot lights, Reflector type lamps were designed to increase the output of incandescent bulbs. By coating the inside of the bulb with a reflective coating, together with a cone shape, the reflector bulb redirects the light output in one direction, approximately doubling the light output  of a regular incandescent bulb.

The types of reflector lamps include the R Series, BR series and PAR bulbs and are perfect for use in track lighting,  recessed “cans”, and in situations calling for spotlights.

Light output
Light Output of A bulbs compared to PAR lamps

R series reflector lamps

The Reflector / R series of lamps put out approximately double the amount of light of an average light bulb (A series). R type bulbs have a frosted face that evenly diffuses the light, eliminating glare. The bulb itself is made of blown glass with a smooth outside finish and are very lightweight, as they are constructed of blown glass, a filament and the brass base.

The R lamps are used mainly for floodlighting, spotlighting and in down-light applications and are used in indoor and outdoor lighting.

BR Series Incandescent lamps

BR reflector bulbs are closer in design and use to PAR style bulbs (see PAR Lamps below). BR lamps are common reflector bulbs but with a “bulged reflector” (BR). The interiors are also coated with a reflective coating which redirects the light. The bulbs can be clear, frosted or patterned. BR bulbs do have a more softer edge to their lighting which makes them perfect for use indoors in track lighting, recessed lighting (cans) or spotlighting.

PAR lamps

In contrast to the BR lamps are the PAR bulbs. PAR bulbs are constructed of a heavier glass with a hermetically sealed thick glass clover making these waterproof lamps perfect for outdoor use. The inside of the PAR bulbs are coated in a reflective coating and have a patterned or textured glass cover which helps to amplify and concentrate light in a single area. Precisely placed lens inside the lamp control the beam spread. They are shorter bulbs, making them somewhat “invisible” when placed in fixtures, and are valued for their quality of brightness and light temperature. While they can be used indoors, the light output is harsher than R or BR lamps making them more appropriate for outdoor lighting.

As with all incandescent bulbs, the R, BR and PAR bulbs are being phased out and replaced with LED and CFL versions which are more efferent and cheaper to light.

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