BR30 LED Light Bulbs FAQs
So, you’re looking for a new smart bulb to replace the faulty one currently housed in your recessed fixture?
Chances are, you’re wondering what your options are and which smart bulbs will fit. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Very few people know exactly what bulb they need when their current one burns out.
The first thing you need to do is find out the size of your recessed fixture and what light bulbs it takes. 4” recessed lighting is the most common size in households, so in this article, we’re going to be talking about the ever-popular BR30 smart LED bulb - a bulb that is a perfect fit for a 4” recessed lighting can.
Read on to find out about the BR30, its uses, size, and difference from other options.
What is a BR30 LED bulb?
Before we jump into it, let’s explain what a BR30 LED bulb is.
The “BR” part of BR30 refers to “bulged reflector”. BR-shaped bulbs are directional light bulbs that point light straight ahead, making them well-suited to recessed fixtures and can lights. You’ll often see the bulbs used in household hallways and above kitchen workstations.
Bulged reflector light bulbs are an improved version of reflector bulbs, with a slight bulge near the base that directs additional light out of the recessed fixture. Like all light bulbs, the “30” figure represents the bulb’s diameter in 1⁄8 of an inch; therefore, a BR30 is 3.75 inches in diameter.
BR30 is one of the best applications for LED due to its directional nature. LED (Light Emitting Diode) light bulbs are the newest technology in lighting that offers similar output while using a fraction of the power.
With a smart BR30 LED bulb, you can enjoy a concentrated lighting source that’s low in energy - lasting up to 25,000 hours!
What Are the Differences Between BR30 And BR40
BR30 and BR40 are the two most common bulged reflector bulbs. Depending on the size of your recessed can fixture, you will need either one or the other.
The “30” and “40” refer to the diameter of the bulb at its widest point in 1/8 inches:
- BR30 is 30/8 (or just under 4” across).
- BR40 is 40/8 (or 5” across).
When choosing a bulb, you must find out the sizing of your recessed fixture can. For general household lighting, most recessed lighting cans are 4", 5", or 6".
If your household has 4” cans, only BR30 bulbs will fit. For 5" cans, BR30 bulbs will fit with a little space, while a BR40 will fit with no space on the sides. Finally, for 6" cans, a BR30 may leave too much space that will leave an unpleasant finish, but this is down to personal preference.
BR bulbs are directional downlights that can disperse light across a wide area. Regardless of size, BR bulbs are commonly used indoors in household ceilings with recessed fixture cans - often seen in kitchens, family rooms, and hallways.
The wide beam angle allows for better coverage and eliminates shadows, which is particularly useful in areas requiring wall washing.
Sizes & Shape
BR-shaped bulbs have a unique shape that includes a bulge near the base of the lamp. The bulge houses an extra reflector to focus more light forward, which would otherwise be lost in the neck and sides of the bulb.
BR-shaped bulbs come in all sorts of sizes including BR20, BR30, and BR40. The different sizes cater to different lighting fixture cans. Some households will require BR40 while others will need BR30 bulbs.
How Do I Know Bulb Size?
If you would like your new bulb to be the same size as your previous one, you can measure its diameter. You can do this by running a tape measure around the bulb’s widest part and multiplying the value (inches) by eight. For example, if your bulb is 3.75in at its widest point, you will need to keep an eye out for BR30 bulbs (3.75 x 8 = 30).
Differences Between BR30 and PAR30
PAR30 and BR30 bulbs are two similar recessed lighting choices for inside and outside the home. Though they share similarities and can both fit into the same sized can fixture, there are differences between the two.
As we have discussed, BR30 light bulbs provide soft, directional lighting with wide beam angles of between 100 and 120-degrees. Conversely, PAR30 bulbs deliver strong, directional light that is more targeted with a 45-degree beam angle.
The difference is beam angle makes BR30 bulbs more suitable for general household light fixtures, recessed can lighting, and track lighting. Conversely, PAR30 bulbs deliver strong, directional light that is traditionally used outdoors as security lighting.
Is PAR30 the same as BR30? Can I Use BR30 Instead of PAR30?
Indeed, PAR30 and BR30 have the same bulb diameter, but the two bulbs are slightly different in the type of lighting they provide.
BR30 bulbs have a wider beam angle that disperses light over a larger area, making them more suitable for general household light fixtures. Conversely, PAR30 bulbs have a narrow beam angle that provides targeted lighting over a given area.
However, it is possible to swap out a PAR30 for a BR30. The two bulbs are interchangeable, and both fit into the same-sized recessed fixture cans.
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