Garden Lighting Lamps & Bulbs
In terms of Halogen Lamps there are four common lamp types and sizes these are:
The MR16: 12-volt reflector lamps are 50mm in diameter and fit most low voltage outdoor spotlights, recessed uplights, downlights, recessed step lights and underwater lights. These come in 10 watts, 20 watts, 35 watts, 75 watts and 100 watts. These lamps are the most common extra low voltage lamp on the market and there are various quality variations however these can be negated if the lamps have been on the shelf for a long time. Our best tip is to buy them from an electrical wholesaler or online garden lighting seller whose supply will be constantly renewed.
MR11: 12-volt halogen 35mm lamp. If a smaller and varies from 10 watts, 20 watts and 35 watts power consumption. These type of lamps are mainly used in smaller micro spotlights and give the designer a smaller fitting for areas where MR 16 are too big.
MR8: 12-volt halogen 25mm lamp is the smallest available on the market and comes in either 10 watts or 20 watts. These are mainly used in display and under cabinet lighting but there are newer garden lighting fittings using this bulb coming out all the time
GU10: Mains voltage 50mm lamps are similar in effect and strength to it low voltage cousin however the main differences in the field of garden lighting is its reduced crispness of light and its vulnerability to water and tripping.
Choosing lamps (bulbs) for any type of exterior spotlight, up light or down light which uses a low voltage MR16 halogen spotlight lamp is partly a question of brightness and partly one of correct beam angle. The beam angles are 12, 24, 36 and 60 degrees. Sometimes you will want a small pool of light from a narrow beam to accent a feature without lighting the surroundings; other garden lighting subjects, such as lighting diagonally across shrub borders, will require the widest coverage available, such as a 60° beam. For example, a 60° beam will provide wide coverage from a pergola beam only 1.5 metres above a table below, but if you are up lighting a slender tree the coverage of a 60° beam will be wasted in the night sky; a narrower beam will “fit” the shape of the tree more closely. The widest beam angle available in MR11 lamps is 36°.
Brightness isn’t just about the wattage of the lamp. The brightness of a 20-watt lamp squeezed into a narrow spot beam can produce a brighter pool of light than that of a 50-watt lamp projected in a wide flood beam. So, first “fit” the beam angle to your subject, and then think about brightness.