Commercial and industrial lighting for spaces with high ceilings traditionally used high bay fluorescent or metal halide lights. But LEDs are proving to be more beneficial, so the switch to high bay LED lights is inevitable.
If you are unsure about what bay lights are and what the benefits of the LED variety are, we have looked at these topics in detail below. We have also explained how to match the correct wattage and lumens to the ceiling height when choosing a high bay LED light. Let’s get right into it!
What Are Bay Lights?
Bay lights are industrial shop lights specialized and designed to illuminate large areas with high ceilings. These include gymnasiums, commercial buildings, warehouses, retail spaces, etc.
High bay lights in a factory building
The lights come in two types: high bay and low bay lights. These two have several differences, but the primary one that separates them is the ceiling height application.
What’s the Difference Between Low Bay and High Bay Lights?
Low bay lighting is best for a ceiling height of 12-20 feet. On the other hand, high bay lighting is best for a ceiling height of 20-45 feet.
Besides that, the two differ in power consumption and strength/light intensity. Low bay fixtures usually have a lower rating of about 100 watts, while high bay lights can have ratings above 100 watts.
Lastly, there is a difference in mounting mechanisms. Low bay lights usually have hooks or chains for suspension mounting. However, high bay lighting can have chains, pendants, or hanging hooks. Some get fixed to the ceiling directly like troffer lights.
Benefits of LED High Bay Lights: Why Use LEDs?
Many people are switching from incandescent and metal halide lamps to LED high bay lights for the following reasons.
A metal halide lamp
High Energy Efficiency
High bay LED lights are up to 90% more energy efficient than their incandescent counterparts, considering the energy consumption and the lumen output. Also, they have some of the highest lumens per watt ratios.
LED bay lights can provide up to 100,000 hours of illumination, which is about 25% longer than traditional bulbs. Also, they are more durable because they don’t have a filament, generate a small amount of heat, and consume less energy.
Reduced Utility Costs
Since they require less power to provide the same or higher lumen output, high bay LED lights cut energy costs by a wide margin. Additionally, they emit less heat, meaning they won’t overwork the cooling unit.
An LED bay light
Minimal Environmental Impact
LEDs consume less energy, don’t contain harmful elements like mercury, and are recyclable. These factors reduce their environmental impact and disposal cost. If you consider their long lifespan, LEDs need less frequent replacements.
LEDs operate at lower temperatures, making them safer to handle without burning risks. Also, they don’t emit UV rays or mercury.
Solid Return on Investment
Although initially expensive, LEDs increase energy savings, last longer, and can earn you or your business rebates. Therefore, they will be cheaper in the long run.
Fluorescent warehouse lights
LEDs are also aesthetically pleasing because they are available in diverse styles that give multiple options to compliment your building’s design.
Types of High Bay LED Lights
High bay LED lights come in the following types.
Round High Bay Light
Also known as UFO high bay lights, these units have a saucer shape and are the easiest to install because you only have to hang them at a single point. Their beam angle is ideal for 13-foot-high ceilings because it is about 120°.
Round high bay lights
Linear High Bay Light
Linear high bay lights resemble T8 bulbs (fluorescent tubes) and are common in most warehouses or grocery stores. They are ideal for large indoor spaces with multiple shelves or aisles because they illuminate a broader stretch.
Linear warehouse high bay lights
Strip lights are long, skinny fixtures that can be two, four, or eight feet long. It is easier to install strip lights instead of daisy-chaining T8 bulbs or running fluorescent bulbs in long strips. However, they are not ideal for spaces with ceilings above 14 feet.
Where Is LED High Bay Lighting Used?
- Retail stores
- Welding shops
- Commercial warehouse
- Workshop & Factory
- Dance studios
- Machine shops
How To Choose the Correct Amount of Wattage and Lumens
The wattage rating is vital, but you should keep an eye on the lumen output. This output should increase as the ceiling height rises, and you can use the following figures as guides.
- 10 feet or lower: 10000-12000 lumens
- 10-15 feet: 10000-15000 lumens
- 16-20 feet: 16000-20000 lumens
- 21-25 feet: 21000-27000 lumens
- 25-35 feet: 28000-39000 lumens
- 36-40 feet: 40000-47000 lumens
- 40+ feet: 47000+ lumens
The average fixture wattage should range from 125-175 watts for 10-19 feet. It should increase to 200-300 watts for a ceiling height of 20-30 feet and 300-400 watts for a height of 31-40 feet.
How To Choose the Right Bay Lighting?
Consider the following nine factors to pick the best bay light fixture.
Fluorescent vs. LED
Fluorescent fixtures are cheaper to buy than LEDs. However, LEDs have the upper hand because they use 75% less energy than fluorescent lamps, last 25 times longer, and are easier to install.
Warehouse high bay LED lighting.
Low Bay vs. High Bay
Consider the ceiling height when selecting between a low bay and a high bay light. Low bay lights are best for 12-20-foot high ceilings, while high bay lights are best for 20-45-foot high ceilings.
Beam Angle & Width
The beam angle should match the fixture’s height. High-bay-fixture beam angle options include 60°, 90°, and 120°, and you can use the beam angle to calculate the beam width using this formula.
Beam Width = Light Distance x Beam Angle x 0.018
Mounting & Distribution Options
The mounting options for bay lighting include straight arms, slip filters, trunnions, etc. Most LED lighting fixtures include these installation and retrofit kits.
With the light distribution patterns, there are only two. Type V is short but distributes the light over a wide area. On the other hand, type III is long but with a narrow beam width.
To get the best brightness from the fixture, ensure it produces at least 130 lumens per watt.
Round bay lights can illuminate almost any interior space, but the rectangular type is better for aisles, production lines, and workbenches.
Lower color temperatures are warmer and more comforting, while those in the higher range give the best visibility.
Best High Bay LED Warehouse Lighting Fixtures
High Bay Double Power
This double power fixture is the perfect replacement for up to 1500-watt HID systems because it is available in wide and narrow beam optics with a wide choice of lenses. Therefore, it is ideal for high ceiling industrial applications reaching up to 80 feet, such as large and military aircraft hangars.
Another key selling point is the fixture’s long lifespan (up to 299,000 hours at 25°C). Paired with a 10-year limited warranty, you will get value for money.
High Bay Round UFO (HBRU)
This multipurpose round light features an IP65-rated, die-cast, single-piece housing that makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
UFO high bay lights
Additionally, the fixture has several distribution options and a relatively high 142-149 lumens per watt rating for the 135, 175, and 200-watt fixtures. Therefore, the total lumen output ranges from about 19,000 to 30,000 lumens, which is sufficient for all commercial applications.
High Bay Linear High Lumen (HBLHL) Series
Compared to the UFO above, this light source is linear and has a higher light output ranging from around 18,400 to 95,000 lumens.
This high output is due to two reasons. First is the high wattage rating of the units (ranging from 100-500 watts). Secondly, the lumens per watt output is higher (184-190).
Such a high brightness output emits more heat, and the fixture has a high-heat-conducting aviation aluminum construction plus a separate heat sink for the driver. These components maximize heat dissipation.
As you can see, high bay LED lights have several advantages over their halogen and fluorescent counterparts. Therefore, you should consider switching to these fixtures if you have commercial or industrial spaces with high ceilings. Use the guide above when shopping for these fixtures and if you have any questions, contact us for further clarification.