A homeowner screwing a BR30 light bulb into a recessed can fixture with the text "BR30" superimposed above the image

Imagine, you get to the store’s lighting section, and the first thing that captures your attention is BR30 light bulbs. Since it’s your first time coming across these bulbs, the letter-number combination makes your head spin with more questions than answers. 

In such a situation, the main question you’ll struggle with is, “what is a BR30 light bulb?”

This article will take you through BR30 light bulbs, including their sizes and uses. We’ll also discuss the energy-efficient LED BR30 bulbs to help you choose the right option.

Let’s get started!

What Is a BR30 Light Bulb? 

A BR30 light bulb, also known as a reflector bulb, is a wide-beam angle floodlight with a diameter of 30/8 or 3.75 inches (9.53 cm). Due to their reflective material, BR30 bulbs are suitable for extensive and directional outdoor lighting.

What Size Is BR30 Bulb?

A BR30 bulb measures 3.75 inches (9.53cm) in diameter. The diameter is measured in eighths of an inch and is essential as it helps determine the appropriate bulb fixture for electrical and mechanical connection into the socket. 

Choosing the wrong ceiling light fixture for a BR30 bulb will not provide a suitable connection for the bulb’s operation.

a BR30 LED bulb sitting on a wooden table with the words BR30 and an arrow pointing to it

Like most bulbs, the BR30’s diameter is calculated in eighths of an inch. So all you have to do is take the number 30 and multiply it by an eighth of an inch (30 • 1/8) to get 3.75 inches.

Besides calculation, you can measure the bulb’s diameter with a ruler or caliper to confirm its size. If you go this route, you should measure the diameter at the widest point of the bulb.

What Is BR30 Used For?

A BR30 is a wide-beam angle bulb mainly used as a floodlight. The bulb’s beam angle is more than 45 degrees; therefore, it’s suitable for flooding a wider area with a high-intensity light. 

The reflective material in BR30 light bulbs intensifies the light output, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor uses.

BR30 bulbs are predominantly used in track lighting and recessed lighting fixtures. While track lighting is suitable for illuminating larger objects from different angles, recessed lighting is ideal for brightening an entire room with a single unit.

Moreover, BR30 bulbs are equipped for directional lighting, thanks to their bulging shape. As a result, they’re often used in decorative fixtures, especially those that need dimming.

In a household setting, BR30 light bulbs are used for the following:

  • Living room lighting, especially in places with high ceilings
  • Task lighting in study rooms
  • Dining hall lighting
  • Outdoor security lighting in the driveways and gardens

What Is an LED BR30 Bulb?

LED BR30 light bulbs are a more energy-efficient version of the incandescent BR30 bulbs. They use up to 90% less energy than incandescents, making them highly economical and environment-friendly. 

Moreover, LED BR30 bulbs have a longer lifespan of up to 25,000 hours based on a daily usage of three hours. But in my experience, LED’s never really last as long as their stated life time (as someone who used to own an LED lighting distribution company).

How do BR30 LED bulbs save such a high amount of energy? Well, it boils down to the technology used in these bulbs.

Conventional incandescent BR30 bulbs rely on incandescent technology to emit light. Incandescence involves generating light by heating an object, in this case, a tungsten filament.

The heating process in incandescent BR30 light bulbs wastes a lot of energy. In fact, 90% of energy is lost as heat, meaning only 10% generates light.

LED BR30 light bulbs use solid-state lighting (SSL) technology that relies on semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to generate light. These bulbs produce light when an electric current illuminates the LEDs.

Besides the energy efficiency benefits of LED BR30 bulbs, other advantages include the following:

  • Environmental friendliness – LED bulbs don’t have mercury vapor, making them safe for the environment.
  • Instant-on – unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs attain maximum brightness once switched on. Since these bulbs don’t lag, you don’t have to wait for them to achieve full brightness.
  • Dimmable light source – you can use a compatible dimmer switch to adjust a BR30 LED bulb’s brightness to match your desired decor.
  • Size flexibility – LED BR30 bulbs are smaller than their incandescent counterparts, making them suitable for small spaces.

Check out this article for the four easy ways to tell if your light bulbs are energy-efficient.

What Does BR30 Mean in Lighting?

In lighting, “BR” is an acronym for Bulged Reflector. In other words, traditional BR30 bulbs had a bulged reflector that increased their light. Consequently, they took on a bulged shape.

a BR30 and BR40 light bulb next to each other on a light wood table with their boxes that they came in. The BR40 is slightly larger
You can see that the BR40 on the right is slightly larger since it is 40 eighths of an inch instead of 30 eighths of an inch.

The bulging shape in these bulbs is also responsible for the soft light that aids in viewing broad areas without intense shadows.

Although these bulbs are still referred to as bulged reflectors, modern BR30 LED bulbs don’t use bulged reflectors. The LEDs in these bulbs efficiently emit focused and directional light without needing reflectors.

Is BR30 the Same as PAR30?

BR30 is not the same as PAR30. The main difference is that while the former is used as a floodlight, the latter is an excellent spotlight—while BR30 bulbs have wide beam angles exceeding 45 degrees, PAR lights have less than 45 degrees in beam angles, limiting their capacity to spread light.

Due to their directional light-emitting capacity, PAR30 bulbs are often used in track and accent lighting. They are also suitable for highlighting artwork or other valuable items.

In contrast, BR30 bulbs have wider beam angles that allow them to spread light over a larger area. Consequently, they are primarily used as floodlights.

Since BR30 and PAR30 bulbs have the same diameter (30/8), differentiating between them can be challenging. However, a rule of thumb to remember is that BR30s are excellent for floodlights, while PAR30s are suitable for spotlighting.

the words PAR38 vs PAR30 on the left with a PAR38 light fixture on the right attached to the siding of a house
PAR bulbs are a bit wider and skinnier, and used to really push light out in a “beam” type of light spread. Typically they are used in outdoor flood fixtures where the light needs to also project farther out.

In essence, LED BR30 light bulbs are the perfect option for your household setting if you want to cover a larger area with one bulb. 

They are energy-efficient and provide better illumination with less power consumption, making them highly economical. Moreover, due to their small size and dimming capabilities, you can fit them in any room without compromising style or ambiance.

Is BR30 the Same as R30?

BR30 is not the same as R30. While both bulbs have wide beam angles and reflectors, BR30 bulbs have an extra reflector in the neck to capture and cast light forward. The additional reflector ensures no light is lost in the bulb’s neck.

In terms of diameter, both bulbs are 30/8, which means they can fit in the same fixtures. However, BR30 bulbs are typically shorter and broader than R30s due to the extra reflector.

Here is an image to help you visualize these sizes:

Unlike R30 bulbs that disperse light at a wide angle, BR30 bulbs produce softer and more directional light. Consequently, these bulbs are ideal for floodlights as they provide a softer and more uniform glow.

Overall, BR30 bulbs are the perfect option for household settings because they are energy-efficient, economical, and aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, due to their vast beam angle, you can light up any room without compromising style, ambiance, and dimming capability.

Will BR30 Bulbs Fit E26 Socket Base?

A BR30 bulb will fit an E26 medium socket base, North America’s most commonly used base. The “E” stands for Edison, and the number following it represents the base’s diameter in millimeters.

The regular light bulbs we use throughout the house also use the E26 edison socket base, the same as a BR30 socket base.

In this case, “26” means that this socket base has a 26-millimeter diameter. This standardization is why BR30 bulbs fit perfectly into E26 medium socket bases.

Are All BR30 Bulbs Dimmable?

All BR30 bulbs are not dimmable. However, unlike incandescents, most LED BR30 bulbs are dimmable. Therefore, they should be your go-to choice if you want a dimmable option.

It is essential to check the bulb’s specifications before purchasing to ensure you get a dimmable one for your application.

The table below summarizes the crucial facts about BR30 light bulbs:

Diameter size3.75 inches (9.53 CM)
Lumen output850
Beam Angle110°
LED Wattage11
Wattage Equivalency65

Table 1: BR30 bulb facts

Final Thoughts

BR30 light bulbs are standard floodlights in residential and commercial lighting fixtures. The LED version of these bulbs combines the energy-saving benefits of LED technology with the classic shape and design of conventional BR30s. Therefore, LED BR30 is your go-to option to save energy. 

Now that you know what a BR30 light bulb is, check out this article to learn what an A19 light bulb is.

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