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Evaluating Your PAR LED Lamps: What Every Retailer Needs to Know
May 1, 2014
Author: Sally Lee, Retail Market Segment Manager, OSRAM SYLVANIA
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​A survey of 87 retailers conducted by Pacific Gas & Electric found many are unhappy with their lighting and are considering LED lighting to save energy. But, at the same time, they lack sufficient information to evaluate products.

PAR lamps, such as PAR38 and PAR30, are popular for accent lighting because they create contrast, focusing light emission in a single direction. Available in a variety of beam spreads, they offer retailers a lot of flexibility. Creating what they often refer to as “punch,” retailers reach for “spot” lamps when lighting key displays, and “narrow flood” and “flood” lamps to layer in bright fill lighting or create great wash effects. Trading halogen for suitable energy-saving LED PAR lamps can reduce ongoing energy costs by up to 80%, resulting in savings that fall to the bottom line, like net profit.

Determining if LED replacement lamps in PAR trackheads or downlights can do the best job possible is somewhat reliant on observing mock-ups. It’s difficult to qualify such a visual product from published common bid specifications, including lumens, wattage, beam angle, efficacy and rated service life.

Retailers may be less familiar with the overlap in beam classifications across manufacturers, and noticeable light pattern variations exist between PAR halogen and LED products with “the same” nominal light output (lumens), beam angle and field angle.

A better approach to evaluating similar lamps and capturing more subjective qualities (such as beam characteristics and color quality) is to benchmark options with a scorecard. Which qualities should you evaluate? Check out my full article in Chain Store Age for more tips.