Exploring PAR Lights: From PAR16 to PAR64 and Beyond

Dive into the world of PAR lights, discovering differences from PAR16 to PAR64. Unlock the magic behind stage lighting with our comprehensive guide.

Lights have a magic of their own. And in the vast universe of lighting, PAR lights shine distinctively. These aren’t just any lights. They’re integral to stage performances, transforming plain scenes into moments of sheer brilliance. As we venture into this luminous world, we’ll uncover the unique essence of PAR lights, from the compact PAR16 to the powerful PAR64, and see just why they’re celebrated in stage settings. Let’s embark on this enlightening journey together.

What are PAR Lights?

Every light source has a story, a purpose, and a design. PAR lights, standing for Parabolic Aluminized Reflectors, are no exception. They are specially crafted bulbs that project light through a parabolic shape, ensuring a more focused beam.

Why does this matter? This unique design lets these lights offer a sharper, more directional light output, making them a darling in various settings, especially on stages. The beauty of PAR lights doesn’t just rest in their design but also in the variety they come in. From the smaller PAR16 to the more substantial PAR64, each has its niche, catering to different lighting needs. Dive deeper, and you’ll see just how these lights have revolutionized stage lighting and beyond.

Understanding PAR Light Nomenclature

When it comes to lighting, every detail matters. The nomenclature of PAR lights, although seeming cryptic at first, is quite straightforward once you get the hang of it.

“PAR” stands for Parabolic Aluminized Reflector. This terminology gives us a hint about the light’s design. Essentially, it points to the unique parabolic shape of the reflector inside the bulb. This design helps in focusing the light, producing a more directional and tight beam, perfect for specific lighting tasks.

Now, the numbers that often accompany the “PAR” term, like 16, 38, or 64, have their significance. These numbers aren’t arbitrary. They represent the diameter of the light source in eighths of an inch. So, for example:

  • PAR16: It’s 16 eighths of an inch or 2 inches in diameter.
  • PAR38: This one is 38-eighths of an inch, translating to 4.75 inches.
  • PAR64: With 64 eighths of an inch, it’s a substantial 8 inches across.

Recognizing these numbers and what they stand for can be a game-changer. It helps in choosing the right light size for the job, ensuring optimal illumination every time.

Breaking Down the Varieties

Every lighting need has a specific tool. The variety of PAR lights available ensures that there’s a perfect fit for every occasion, be it an intimate performance or a grand spectacle.

PAR16 Lights

PAR16 Lights might be on the smaller end of the spectrum, but they pack a punch. Their compact size of 2 inches in diameter makes them perfect for tight spaces or when subtlety is key. They’re often found accentuating artwork in galleries or providing spotlight effects in smaller stage performances. Their precise beam makes them a favorite for highlighting specific details.

PAR20 Lights

Stepping up in size, we have the PAR20 Lights. A tad larger at 2.5 inches in diameter, they strike a balance between being unobtrusive and delivering a significant amount of light. These are versatile lights often chosen for residential settings, shops, or small cafes. However, in the stage world, they can be employed to light up smaller areas without overwhelming the space.

PAR38 Lights

PAR38 Lights come in at a comfortable 4.75 inches. They’re a popular choice for many medium-sized venues. Their beam is wide enough to cover significant space but narrow enough to maintain focus. You’ll spot these in larger galleries, medium-sized stages, and sometimes even outdoors for events or architectural highlights.

PAR64 Lights

Last but certainly not least, the PAR64 Lights are the giants in the world of PAR lighting. At a whopping 8 inches in diameter, these lights dominate big venues. Their broad and intense beam is capable of lighting up vast areas, making them indispensable for concerts, large theater productions, and significant outdoor events. When you’re looking to make a statement, PAR64 is often the go-to choice.

How to Choose the Right PAR Light

When it comes to illuminating a space or stage, choosing the right PAR light is pivotal. But with so many options available, how does one decide?

Venue Size

The size of your venue is a primary determinant. For intimate settings or small stages, PAR16 or PAR20 lights might be the way to go. They provide focused lighting without overwhelming the space. On the other hand, for larger venues or open spaces that require wide coverage, PAR64 lights are often the prime choice, ensuring every corner is adequately lit.

Desired Effect

Are you looking to create a dramatic spotlight? Or do you need ambient lighting for a soft mood? Perhaps you need to highlight specific objects or areas. Your desired lighting effect will play a massive role in your choice. For spotlight effects, you might prefer smaller PAR lights, whereas for a broad wash of color or light, the larger PAR variants would be more appropriate.


Last, but by no means least, is the budget. While you shouldn’t compromise on quality, it’s essential to find lights that offer the best value for money. PAR16 and PAR20 lights are typically more budget-friendly, but if your production requires the power and coverage of PAR64 lights, it might be worth the investment.

In conclusion, while the choice of PAR light largely depends on the specific needs of the event, considering these factors can help you make an informed decision that elevates your lighting game to the next level.

Benefits of Using PAR Lights in Stage Settings

In the dazzling world of stage lighting, PAR lights hold a special place. Let’s dive into some of the standout benefits they bring to stage settings.


PAR lights are the chameleons of the lighting world. Whether you’re looking to create a spotlight, illuminate a large area, or anything in between, there’s a PAR light suited for the job. Their varied sizes and designs mean they can be tailored to fit almost any stage requirement.

Brightness Options

Brightness can make or break a performance. Too dim, and the audience strains to see; too bright, and it can overshadow the performance. PAR lights come with a range of brightness options, allowing technicians to adjust and create the perfect ambiance. Whether it’s the subtle glow of a PAR16 or the powerful beam of a PAR64, there’s always a fit for the occasion.

Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond their functional benefits, PAR lights add a touch of aesthetic charm. They can transform mundane stage setups into visual masterpieces, painting stages with colors and effects that captivate audiences. Plus, their sleek design ensures they blend seamlessly, never distracting from the main event.

In a nutshell, PAR lights are not just about illumination. They’re about elevating performances, ensuring every act, big or small, shines in its best light.

The Future of PAR Lighting Technology

Brighter, Greener LEDs

The quest for more efficient LEDs is relentless. Soon, PAR lights will glow brighter while sipping even less power, thanks to breakthroughs in LED efficiency. This means more light with less guilt about energy use.

Smart Control Takes Center Stage

Imagine adjusting your PAR lights with a simple voice command or a swipe on your smartphone. The future of PAR lighting includes seamless integration with smart home systems, offering unparalleled control over your lighting ambiance.

Sustainability Shines Through

The next generation of PAR lights will not only be brighter and smarter but also greener. Innovations in materials and design are paving the way for eco-friendly options that reduce waste and conserve energy.

Customization at Your Fingertips

Personalization is becoming a big deal in lighting. Future PAR lights will offer more options to customize color temperatures, beam angles, and brightness levels, ensuring the perfect mood for every moment.


Navigating the world of PAR lights can spark a few questions. Let’s address some of the most commonly asked ones.

What does the number in PAR lights signify?

The number in a PAR light, like PAR16 or PAR64, refers to the diameter of the light in eighths of an inch. So, a PAR64 light would have a diameter of 64/8, which is 8 inches.

Which PAR light is best for small venues?

For smaller venues, you might opt for PAR16 or PAR20 lights. They offer a more focused beam, perfect for intimate settings without overpowering the space.

Can PAR lights be used outdoors?

Yes, many PAR lights are designed to be weather-resistant, making them suitable for outdoor use. However, it’s essential to check the specific product details and ensure they’re rated for exterior applications.

How energy-efficient are modern PAR lights?

Modern PAR lights, especially those using LED technology, are incredibly energy-efficient. They consume significantly less power than traditional lighting options while providing equal or even better illumination. Always check the wattage and energy rating for specifics.

Choosing the right lighting can sometimes feel like deciphering a code. But with a clear understanding of PAR lights, you’re well on your way to lighting mastery.


Stepping into the world of stage lighting might seem overwhelming, but with the knowledge of PAR lights under your belt, you’re better equipped to illuminate any space effectively. Whether it’s the subtlety of a PAR16 or the commanding presence of a PAR64, each light has its distinct role. Your stage, venue, or event deserves the best lighting possible. With a clearer understanding, you can now pick the perfect PAR light to meet your needs, ensuring that every spotlight hits just right. Embrace the radiance and let your creativity shine through.


More Article for You

author avatar
Steven Liang
vorlane logo r small
Get Product Updates

Sign up to get the latest product announcement and offer.

    ODM Products
    Vorlane Capabilities
    Contact Vorlane

    Request A Quote

    *We respect your confidentiality and all information are protected.

    wolink vorlane team exhibition used for popup form phone

    Experience Vorlane's Brilliance at Our Next Exhibition!

    vorlane wolink team exhibition

    Experience Vorlane's Brilliance at Our Next Exhibition!

    Request A Quote

    *We respect your confidentiality and all information are protected.