Wednesday, February 18, 2015

R30 and BR30 flood light bulbs, what's the difference?

BR30 Flood Light
Here's a question I often get when it comes to replacing lamps in recessed lighting. What's the difference between R30 and BR30 flood light bulbs? It's a question that becomes less and less of an issue over time, but people still need to know the difference. This type of light bulb is a reflector flood, and that is what the R stands for in the code. The R30 is an old design for reflectors that aren't as energy efficient as something known as a BR30 reflector. The BR30 was designed to replace the older R30 because it could use less watts while still getting the kind of light output that people needed. Even though they are the same size in length and width, the reflector in a BR30 is more directed. It was simply a matter of creating something that uses less watts and produce less heat in this more efficient package. Both of these lamp types are interchangeable, so you don't have to worry about using one or the other. Most of the time you don't have a choice, every manufacturer is using the more efficient BR30 flood light type. So if you have recessed lighting or track lighting in your home or commercial building, you can be assured that the BR30 will work fine in the applications you have. I know it's a small thing to talk about, but there's still a lot of confusion for people who don't know lighting very well. That's one of the problems with new energy-efficient standards that regularly come out, people aren't sure what they're getting and that it's equal to what they had before. It's a communication problem more than anything else. So I hope this helps clarify that there is a difference between these two types of bulbs, one is being phased out (R30) and being replaced by the more efficient type (BR30).

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the complete and simple answer. I just wasted time at the local home store looking for r30 and purchased br30 by default.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a complete clear concise answer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I could not find such a clear explanation anywhere else. This saved me a lot of time and effort.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this explanation. Very clear and helpful!

Anonymous said...

Excellent and very clear explanation. I was also confused and wondered why I could no longer find R30 bulbs. Thanks again for clarifying!

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Your explanation was very helpful.Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Great explanation. Thanks for making it easy.

EricinDallas said...

you left out a critical point. If the BR30 is more efficient and produces more light with less wattage, then what wattage do I need in a BR30 to replace a 65W r30? I would hate for the lightbulbs I replace to be brighter or dimmer than the ones that I haven't replaced yet.

EricinDallas said...

you left out a critical point. If the BR30 is more efficient and produces more light with less wattage, then what wattage do I need in a BR30 to replace a 65W r30? I would hate for the lightbulbs I replace to be brighter or dimmer than the ones that I haven't replaced yet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this helpful explanation. I searched for it and wound up on your page.

Anonymous said...

They are interchangeable in MOST fixtures, unfortunately. I have a slew of narrow aluminum-barreled wall sconces and the extra bulge in BR30 bottoms out before screwing in all the way. Great info, though! I haven't been able to find old school R30's for several years now. Why wouldn't someone still manufacture less efficient R30's for fixtures that require them?

CatW said...

Thanks! I walked out of the big box stores twice now b/c I didn't know which to buy and didn't have the time or interest to track down an employee who might or might not have known which replacement bulb I needed. A very big thank you!!

Michael Caruso said...

Thank you, I explained this to my wife but I am not an electrician. Your explanation makes it clear.

Michael Caruso said...

Thank you, I was concerned that the BR30 would be to hot for my recessed lighting and the salesman was not sure. the sticker on the housing said to use a PAR30 but this is an indoor fixture.I was told the PAR was outdoor

K-Rock said...

Thanks! V helpful and now I wont worry about burning down the house!

sumerman said...

First hit when I Googled "light bulb r30 br30." And exactly the information I sought. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a clear and concise explanation. Not that easy to find and a pleasure when I do find one.

Robin said...

Thanks

SJ said...

Bought new BR 30 LED flood lights for indoors. The socket says use only R30. Bought BR30 which is newer rating. None of them will light in the sockets. Is there differences in style or are there some differences we need to look at? All 3 sockets (recessed)worked prior. Renovation done in 1990.

knapsack said...

thanks a bunch that helps I was wondering why I cant find too many R30s

Anonymous said...

Just also want to say thank you for a good description. Changing bulbs these days is becoming quite the challenge with all the new choices.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for a simple answer. Please send this to all the big box stores as they don't have a clue.

Anonymous said...

What about br30 versus r30 led light bulbs? Are br30 still more efficient if they both have LED bulbs inside?

Anonymous said...

Thank you great answer

Anonymous said...

Finally, a source of concise information for the homeowner. My electrician is no use at all when it comes to light bulbs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Very thorough without expounding.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain! Exactly what I needed to know!

JJ said...

Great explanation. Thx

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Just the info I needed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this article. My R30 bulb went out and the warning label inside the housing said only use a R30 reflector bulb, but the stores only had BR30 bulbs. Your article explained it clearly. Thank you.

Scott said...

Great information, thank you for the summary.

Anonymous said...

Super clear & helpful information. Thank you.