PAR lights, short for parabolic aluminized reflector, are designed to fit in recessed cans and provide great lighting in living rooms, dens, kitchens, and can even be found outdoors. PAR38 bulbs, the focus of this article, are always 4.75" across (hence the 38 eights of an inch in the name) are great for five or since inch recessed cans. If you want to save money and improve your lighting, keep reading for tips on what to look for when you are replacing your old incandescent bulbs with LED PAR38s.
Dimmable or Non-Dimmable
When choosing a bulb, this is one of the most important factors. Before purchasing, you need to know if you want to be able to dim the bulb or not. Personally, I always go with dimmable, just in case I decide I want to make it dimmable down the road. You are most likely going to pay a little more up front for this feature, but it saves you from having to buy brand new bulbs to replace the others if you change your mind.
If you are planning on installing your new PAR38 bulbs outdoors or in an area that may accumulate water/dampness, looking for a wet-rated bulb is the way to go. If they are going to be installed in a kitchen or den, unless it is open to the elements, you should be fine getting a bulb that isn't wet-rated.
Short or Long Neck
The difference between a short neck or a long neck PAR38 is as easy as it sounds. The short neck is shorter and will sit farther back in the can, while the longer neck will stick out more and provide a wider beam of light. If you are looking for a smaller or more concentrated beam, a short neck is recommended.
Energy Star Certified
Energy Star certified products are required by some locations, in order to use less electricity. The ultimate goal is to ensure everyone is using the safest and most energy efficient products available to cut down on the carbon footprint. This way, people will not only save money, but have safer homes because of their smart choices.
Regardless of which bulb you decide to go with, any LED bulb is a good choice. They help you save money by using less watts, produce the same or more lumens, and last up to 10 times longer than normal incandescent bulbs.
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