Selecting MR16 Lamps

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HARRINGTON LIGHTS

is pleased to provide the following information to help you select MR16 lamps.  
(If you came to this page as the result of a search, but you want MR16 halogen bulbs, you may view our MR16 lamps here.)

The beam angle of the lamp and the distance from the lamp to your work surface will determine the size of the area that is directly lighted.  These two factors plus the wattage of the lamp will determine the brightness at your work surface.

The following table is an approximation of Beamspread data for Solux lamps.  This information can be helpful in estimating light from other MR16 lamps with similar beam angles.

DS = Distance from Source (in feet)
BD = Beam Diameter (at DS)

10 degree 17 degree 24 degree 36 degree
DS BD DS BD DS BD DS BD
  2'   .35'   2'   .60'   2'   .85'   2' 1.30'
  4'   .70'   4' 1.20'   4' 1.70'   4' 2.60'
  6' 1.05'   6' 1.79'   6' 2.55'   6' 3.90'
  8' 1.40'   8' 2.39'   8' 3.40'   8' 5.20'
10' 1.75' 10' 2.99' 10' 4.25' 10' 6.50'

Example 1:  You have an object you wish to highlight.  It happens to be a vase that is about 18" tall.  The track light fixture with the MR16 is 5' above the vase and 4' away horizontally.  Since the angle distance is equal to the square root of the total of height squared plus (horizontal) distance squared: 5x5=25; 4x4=16.  25+16=41.  The square root of 41 is roughly 6.4, so the distance is about 6.4'.  Since the angle will elongate the beam "circle" on the object, a 10 degree beam will highlight the object and a 17 degree beam will highlight more than the object alone.  Because of perspective, the object "appears" to be less than 18" to the light source.

Example 2: You have a recessed ceiling fixture above an area where you like to read.  The ceiling is 7'6" and your favorite chair puts you at about 24" above the floor.  The distance is therefore about 5.5' and you want to be sure you'll be able to shift around in your chair while you read.  A 36 degree beam angle will illuminate about a 4' circle at 6' and that ought to do it.  The next consideration will be whether you need 50W or if 35W will get the job done.

SEE ALSO: Track Tips & Tricks for some ideas in laying out track lighting.

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