Here Come the LED PAR38 Floodlights

For a while now I’ve been wondering where all the outdoor LED floodlights were. After all, wouldn’t that be the logical place for super high-power solid state lighting technology? Turns out they’ve been around, but more and more venders are starting to bring new products to market and prices are continuing to drop – making them more accessible to consumers. New LED-based PAR 38 bulbs from Larson Electronics, for example, can produce 2200 lumens in an IP67 or even IP68 format. That means that it puts out roughly the same light as a 150 watt PAR38 outdoor flood bulb, but has a 50,000 life and operates at just 20 Watts.

That’s my kind of bulb.

Most of the new bulbs are designed to operate on voltages ranging from 100 Volts up to 277 Volts AC as well as 12/24 volts DC, so they have a wide application for both residential and industrial use. Right now you can find PAR38 indoor and outdoor bulbs from Larson, Philips, EcoSmart, Utilitech, Sylvania, Samsung and GE from between $30 and $70. We’ve tested indoor dimmable LED lighting and found it to be an exceptional improvement over both incandescent and florescent lighting.

Even though they’re more expensive, the power savings and longevity work out pretty good in terms of the overall cost of ownership. We’re looking forward, however, to when the solid state LED-on-a-chip technology and associated electronics stop being issued at “novelty” pricing and hit the mainstream. That’s when retail consumer costs will drop dramatically and we’ll truly usher in the new age of LED lighting.

And then the stopgap of non-commercial fluorescent bulbs can be replaced by the “leaner, meaner” LED.

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