High Bay LED Lights: Complete Guide For 2022

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Whether you’re looking to optimize your existing commercial building or planning to construct a brand new business, you’ll need to think about the lighting plan. Oftentimes, lighting is overlooked because it’s not as exciting as choosing paint colors or flooring materials. But it’s still an instrumental part of your business!

In your research and preparation, you may have stumbled on the rockstar of the commercial lighting world: high bay LED lights. LED high bay lights are an incredibly popular choice for commercial businesses because they are:

  • Energy-efficient ⚡️
  • Purposely intended for large structures 🏗️
  • Long-lasting 💡

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about LED high bay lighting for your commercial building.

What Are High Bay LED Lights?

high bay LED lights large overhead lights

LED high bay lights are specifically designed to illuminate buildings with tall ceilings between 20 and 45 feet. They’re able to provide long-range illumination better than other lighting fixtures. High bay lights are most commonly used in commercial and industrial applications, like:

  • Warehouses
  • Gymnasiums
  • Factories
  • Airplane hangars
  • Equestrian arenas
  • Large retail stores

High bay LED lights are almost always a better investment than fluorescent lights. LED lights are up to 80% more energy efficient than fluorescent lights! They also convert 95% of their energy into light, making them the best choice for cost savings down the line.

Fluorescent lights are getting phased out of most commercial structures since LED lights are the most effective long-term. And for particularly tall commercial buildings, high bay lights are the best solution.

What Lumens Do You Need?

Wattage is the standard measurement of power consumption in the lighting world. Historically, wattage indicated brightness. But since LED lighting is more efficient than lighting in the past, lower wattages can now drive more light. With LED lights, we can’t rely on wattage equating to brightness anymore.

Instead, LED lights are best measured by lumens. Lumens are the measure of visible light produced by a particular light source. This measurement can be used across the board for all kinds of lighting, including LED, fluorescent, incandescent, and more.

Depending on the height of your building’s ceiling, you’ll need the following lumens:

  • 15 to 20 feet: 15,000 to 19,000 lumens
  • 20 to 30 feet: 20,000 to 29,000 lumens
  • 30 to 40 feet: 30,000 to 39,000 lumens
  • More than 40 feet: 40,000 lumens and up

Your ceiling height is a pretty good starting point for selecting the lumens you need. However, your decision can also be impacted by how much bright light you need at ground level and the color of your walls.

How Far Apart Should They Be Placed?

A good rule of thumb for lighting placement is that the closer together you place them, the brighter the ground-level light will be. The farther apart they’re placed, the more uneven the result will be.

You’ll want to have some overlap with your lighting placement so that the light at ground level is bright enough to work and read. Just how close together you place your lights will depend on how bright you need the lighting to be.

Ceiling height has a large impact on how far apart lights can be. Lower ceilings require lights to be closer together, while lights on higher ceilings can be further apart to achieve the same result.

  • For example, if your ceiling is 15-20 feet tall, you should space your lights 12-14 feet apart.
  • But if your ceiling is 30 feet tall or more, you should opt for 20-25 feet in between lights.

high bay LED lights in warehouse with big windows

Different Types of LED High Bays

When opting for LED high bay lighting, you won’t be stuck with one singular design. In fact, high bay lights come in a few different styles, and each one has a different purpose.

Round Lighting

Round LED high bay lights are high-performing options with low costs, long operating lives, and brightness that can last 50,000 hours. You may see them referred to as “UFO” high bay lights since they look like saucers. They’re easy to install since they only need to be hung at one point. These round lights are also more compact than traditional metal halide lights.

Round high bay lights are best for:

  • Replacing metal halide lights but wanting to maintain the same layout
  • Large open areas like factory floors and gymnasiums
  • Ceilings over 35 feet

Linear Lighting

Fluorescent high bay lights traditionally dominated the linear fixture space. However, with the introduction of linear LED lights, commercial buildings are able to take advantage of an option that uses significantly less power and offers a more pleasant light output.

Opt for linear LED high bays when:

  • You want to keep the same layout but replace linear fluorescent lights
  • Lighting passageways, assembly areas, or other rectangular-shaped areas
  • Your ceilings are under 35 feet

Aisle Lighting

Aisle lighting is different than linear lighting in that it’s even thinner. It can be strategically placed in shelved areas to hang in a position that illuminates shelves and the floor without wasting light on the top of shelving units.

Work With a Professional to Install LED High Bay Lights

Here at 4Front Energy Corporation, we love helping commercial business revamp their existing lighting or install brand-new lighting. As a local Minnesota electrician with 10+ years of experience, you can’t go wrong when you trust our expert team.

We’ll help you find the most energy-efficient solution for your business to save you money in the long run— and that almost always includes LED lighting!

Curious to learn more? Reach out today for a free consultation!

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