Halogen bulbs are incandescent bulbs, just like the typical 60-watt A19 bulbs we have been using in lamps for years and years. Halogen bulbs, however, are filled with a special gas that actually rebuilds the filament and provides longer average lifespans than normal incandescent bulbs. They come in different shapes and sizes for various different uses. The PAR series of halogen bulbs are flood shaped with the heavy, thick glass that is common to many medium to large sized halogen bulbs. PAR stands for parabolic aluminized reflector. These types of bulbs will provide you with a high light output, a more white-colored light (a higher color temperature - approximately 3000K), and longer life than normal R or BR reflectors.
The PAR14 and PAR16 bulbs are the smallest halogen flood bulbs available. You can tell what kind of PAR lamp you have by measuring the distance across the widest point of the bulb. The number after 'PAR' represents the number of eighths of an inch the bulb diameter is. Therefore, PAR14 lamps are 1 3/4 inch across, while the PAR16 lamps are an even 2 inches across.
PAR16 lamps are available from Sylvania, GE, Philips, Westinghouse, and most other small bulb manufacturers. PAR14 bulbs are only available from Sylvania. Keep in mind, the characteristics of the two designs are virtually the same, with the exception of the diameter of the bulb. They are interchangeable in all but the smallest fixtures.
The Sylvania brand for all PAR lamps is Capsylite. Philips brand for all PAR lamps is Halogena. The GE brand for all PAR lamps is Edison. The Westinghouse line uses only PAR to describe these bulbs.
Both PAR14 and PAR16 bulbs will often have a ceramic covering over the neck of the bulb, just above the Edison (medium) base. This is used to diffuse the heat from the bulb in order to provide a longer life. It also looks more appealing for applications where the fixture does not cover the bulb. If your PAR14 or PAR16 doesn't have this, don't worry. The bulb will function mostly the same as one that does have this covering.
Places were people tend to use PAR14 or PAR16 lamps are numerous. Many times, these bulbs are used in display cabinets in homes and offices. They are small enough to fit into most any type or size cabinet. It is the whiter light that is attractive to most people choosing this type of bulb in those applications. The trophies, jewelry, art work, sculptures, etc. shown under this light will appear more brilliant and will display a truer color.. Other places they are used are in smaller track lighting, floor lamps, and table lamps.