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Home » PAR16 vs PAR20 Light Bulbs: What is the Difference?

PAR16 vs PAR20 Light Bulbs: What is the Difference?

Par16 vs Par20 Light Bulbs

There are so many different light bulbs on the market, it can be hard to know which one is going to provide the right amount of light and which one is going to save you money. We are going to look at two of the parabolic aluminized reflector bulbs or PAR bulbs.

In order to understand a little more about the Par16 and the Par20, we will go over their size, brightness, and power consumption. To start, we will cover the general specifications before looking at one brand for a closer look.

Par16 vs Par20 – Side by Side Comparison




ImagePAR16 Led Light BulbPAR20 Led Light
Height2.6 inches3.62 inches
Width1.97 inches2.6 inches
Average Brightness300-400lm500-700lm
Average Watts4W7W
Incandescent Equivalent35W40W

Because they are both Par bulbs, they have the same shape. The first difference is with the size, which is represented by their numbers. The Par16 has a diameter of 1.97 inches and the Par20, 2.6 inches. The Par20 is also slightly longer. Remember this is an average, different brands will have different sizes, but by fractions of an inch and the Par20 will always be larger.

Both the Par16 and the Par20 have an E26 screw-in base. So, in this respect, they are interchangeable. If you have 3” ceiling cans, the Par20 is the best fit because the Par16 might look a little lost. If you have 2” cans, the Par16 is the option.

Another difference is the power. The Par16s normally are around 4W, the same as a 35W incandescent bulb. The brightness of the bulbs is between 300 and 400lm. The Par20 is, on average, a 7W bulb, equivalent to 40W. The lumen is a little higher at between 500 and 700lm. These are narrow beam bulbs, most with a beam angle of 45º.

Read next – PAR20 vs PAR38 Light Bulbs: What is the Difference?

Par16s and Par20s on the Market Today

We compared the Par16 and the Par20 from Sunlite to understand the exact differences. We also chose the LED options for power energy consumptions.

The Sunlite Par16

At 7W or a 75W equivalent, the Sunlite Par16 is higher than average. They have an E26 base and a long neck, making them 3 inches high. They offer 500lm but are dimmable. You can choose from 2700k to 5000k depending on how warm you want the light. You get a 35º beam angle and an impressive 25,000-hour lifespan. What’s more, based on 3 hours of daily use, the bulb will cost around $0.84 per year.

The Sunlite Par20

This LED bulb is 2.5 inches wide and 3.38 inches long. It is also 7W, but the lumen is a little higher at 520lm. Everything else from the lifespan, Kelvin, and cost of running is the same as the Par16. They are a little cheaper and have a CRI rating of 80, so you may notice more vivid colors.

Read next – PAR16 vs PAR38 Light Bulbs: What is the Difference?

The Final Verdict

If your decision isn’t based on the size of your fittings, we would choose the Par20. The pack of 6 is only a few dollars cheaper but as the cost of running is the same, it makes more sense to go for the less expensive bulbs. You also have the advantage of the CRI rating.