There are many different types of uplights that hold a wide variety of bulbs. Each has a specific function in outdoor landscape lighting. When used properly, the desired look will be accomplished. We will be covering interchangeable LED outdoor lighting fixtures.
The most commonly used type of LED uplight is the MR16 fixture, which measures 51mm across the surface of the bulb. It’s the longest running 12volt LED outdoor lighting fixture on the market and has been the most studied and tested in the field. From accenting a house to hitting a small statue, the MR16 outdoor lighting fixture can do just about anything. There are many manufacturers that produce different types of fixtures, but the components and insides being mostly the same (socket, housing, shield). One big difference is the material used to make the fixture. Usually, the more expensive the fixture, the better-quality material used in making it (brass vs. plastic). Advances in the technology of the LED 12volt MR16 bulbs can make the light bright enough to light up the biggest tree or provide a dim light to cast on small bushes.
The Par36 fixture is another great type of 12volt LED outdoor lighting fixture measuring 114.3mm across. Before halogen, the Par36 fixture was the industry standard for outdoor lighting uplights. It seemed to fall behind because the technology and research were not around as early as the Mr16 fixture, which for the early years of LED landscape lighting made using a Par36 LED bulb expensive and not as reliable. It has caught up in recent years and professional outdoor lighting companies have begun to use these fixtures again. The Par36 lights can be used for a variety of different functions just like the MR16. By using different types of wattage and degree spread, the Par36 fixture can light up a house, tree, small shrub or bush. Components for the wide range of lights produced by the different manufacturers are mostly the same, the one big difference being the quality and material of the fixture.
To pinpoint little objects or statues, the MR11 fixture is the light to use. This LED outdoor light is small, roughly 35mm across. Professional outdoor lighting companies should use this light when lighting up small slivers of a house, not to throw light into the windows, or when the spread of light needs to be tight. The MR11 is still a beam just as the MR16 and Par36, but will only be used in very specific places because of its size.
The wall wash or “accent flood” will be used to put a soft spread of light over an area. The bulb will vary in a wall wash from a bi-pin to a wedge base bulb, but the outcome will be the same. Unlike the other three lights above, the accent flood is not a beam, but more of a wider wash of light. It will be used in applications like lighting up ivy on a fence or an address plate.
If this has peaked your interest and has you thinking about what uplights to use on your own property, contact Houston Lightscapes, and one of our expert technicians will come out to your home or business to discuss your lighting goals. We will explain different options and we work with you to get the desired results.