High Bay vs Low Bay Lighting

High Bay vs. Low Bay Lighting

In the world of lighting, there are a lot of terms and functions associated with certain fixture types. If you are new to lighting or just looking for a refresher, you may have some questions regarding high bay vs. low bay lighting.

High Bay and Low Bay are lighting terms used to describe the correct bay lights needed for the appropriate ceiling height. 

Typically, High Bay Lights apply to any large area with a ceiling height greater than 20 ft.  In return, Low Bay Fixtures are used in large rooms with a ceiling height between 12 and 20 feet.

You will often find bay lights that are 150W or above referred to as High Bay with a beam angle of 90 degrees or narrower.  Low Bay lights are typically 60W to 100W with a beam angle of 120 degrees. 

High Bay lights are usually found in warehouses, factories, and hangars, and Low Bay fixtures are found more in retail stores, grocery stores, and workshops.

Are there major differences between the high bay and low bay lighting?

When considering high bay vs. low bay lighting, the matter of the ceiling height is always the deciding factor. The reason behind this is because these two categories of lighting fixtures are manufactured differently to accommodate the needs of each space. 

For example, one of the major differences is the concentration of the light spread. Most high bays will utilize reflectors to help ensure the light spreads down and out in the way necessary for visibility in the space from the higher distance. A high bay will also feature a high lumen output to compensate for the greater distance compared to low bay light fixtures. A fixture placed so high up may have a harder time maintaining the brightness you expect so it needs to compensate with a higher lumen output to reach all the vital areas and avoid shadows.

What happens if I use the wrong one for my space?

Many people worry about the negative impacts of using the wrong one in their space. While the results won’t be a disaster per se, it will definitely impact the space overall. For example, using a low bay light in a high bay ceiling will result in a lack of proper visibility, and the use of a high bay light in a low bay ceiling will certainly overpower the space and flood it with too much brightness as well as cost more in the long run. This is why it’s important to consider the height of your ceiling and the role it plays in choosing the right lighting solutions for your space.

In short, the height in which these lights are used is the main difference in terms of their application differences. For technical differences, there are two main things: lumen output and how they direct their light. Commonly with lower lights, they will require less lumen output due to their nature to lose less light. Secondly, the reflector or lens angles vary greatly as different heights call for different direction and placement of light.

All of this matters because using the wrong fixture (high bay in a low-ceiling area, or a low bay in a high-ceiling area) can result in unnecessary costs along with under-lit (or over-lit) areas – which can easily cause hazardous conditions. To avoid this, we always recommend asking a pro for advice before committing to one fixture over another.

If you know the height of your open area facility, it will be easy to make the call between needing high bay vs low bay lights. If you need help with the process – be sure to get in contact with The Lighting Center and one of our lighting professionals will gladly help you settle your high bay versus low bay debate.

Choosing whether to use high bay and low bay lights can make a big difference in the safety of your facility, and the efficiency of your operation. Here’s how to know whether you need low bay or high bay lighting.

Before you install either type of lighting, you will need to know:

How tall your ceiling is?

How often you will be running these lights?

That you can retrofit your current fixture with better options?

For more details about high bay lights, please contact us at email: [email protected].

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