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What are Low Bay Lights?

Low Bay light fixtures are designed as a source of light for indoor space. These lights are commonly found installed on ceilings that range in height from 10 to 20 feet high. They are very similar to another common type of indoor fixtures, High bay lights. The main difference between these two styles of lights are power and lumen output. High Bays are more powerful versions of low bay lights mounted at heights 20 feet or higher.

What Are the Best Low Bay Light Applications?

Indoor buildings and rooms are ideal for Low bays, these include:

Warehouses (Ceiling Heights under 20 ft tall)

Gyms and Fitness Centers
Recreation Centers
Pole Barns
Brewery Lighting
Car Dealerships

Mllg Led Hbc 150 50 Fc Shop Lighting

1. Calculating the Number of Lights You Need

This is probably the hardest decision to make. Yet there’s a simple solution. Knowing the best light and how many is the key to a successful lighting install.

The “easy button” is to create a lighting plan. A lighting plan is the tool that will take your lighting requirements and convert them into a real lighting solution. It will pick the right fixture, and calculate how many you need. The plan will not only show you how bright the space is, but how bright it is in the corners and in between lights.

Creating a lighting plan is perhaps the most important thing you can do. It will dictate the rest of your lighting decisions and ensure that you get the lights you need and nothing else.

This takes the risk out of your LED purchase.

We have done 1000’s of FREE lighting plans. We have 100’s of lights to choose from to meet almost any requirement or budget.  We have a warehouse full of LED lights ready to ship.  So your lighting plan to purchase can be a quick and easy.

2. How Much Light Do You Need?

This is arguably the hardest part of the decision. Starting with an understanding of the light levels you need will greatly improve your chance of success.

Never start this process by thinking you to choose a fixture based on watts. 

Creating a lighting plan for your space will almost always find the ideal low bay fixture. Your days of guessing are gone.  The right low bay fixture will provide optimal and balanced, even lighting throughout the space.

Here’s some guidelines to start with. Based on your mounting height, use this simple guide to understand how many lumens each fixture should produce

10-15 feet mounting height:  7,500-12,000 lumens
15-20 feet mounting height: 12,000-20,000 lumen

What about spacing? As a rule of thumb, if you’re mounting height is 10 ft high, then the fixtures should be 10 feet apart. 1 foot of spacing for every 1 foot of height above the floor.

How many foot candles do you need?

For the most part, the range is between 30 and 70. If your space is used for storage, or as an occasional work shop, then 30 fc is fine. If you work in the space all the time, then you will probably be happier with 50 fc. If you’re using the space to paint, or do fine detail work, then 70 fc is a good target.

High Bay Linear Installed Inside Workshop

3. What are the Different Types of Low Bay Lights?

There are many low bay lighting options but they are categorized into three major types. You may find these low bay lights appearing very similar to the high bay lights. However, the major differentiating aspect lies in the ability of low bay lights to support flush mounting.

Hbc High Bay Light Front View

UFO Low Bay Lights

These lights have the closest resemblance with the high bay lightings but differ in terms of the lumen levels.

UFO low bay lights are strong, solid, and circular lights that keep target areas bright in any circumstance.

These lights are meant for suspension from the ceilings, thus, fit them in areas that have up to 15-20 feet high ceilings.

Led Linear Highbay

Linear Low Bays

These light fixtures appear slimmer and much closer to the fluorescent bulbs.

The light they produce is sufficiently bright and perfect for the huge but lower height areas that need constant illumination.

These bays are the most popular low bay lights variety as well as allowing easy conversion of fluorescent lights into LEDs.

Low Bay Surface Mount

Surface Mount Low Bays

The appearance of these lights can be easily confused with the UFO low bay lights. The major thing that differentiates the two lights is their method of installation.

Surface mount low bays aren’t very slim in particular but they appear comparatively sleeker due to the flush mount.

These lights are good for low ceiling heights.

4. Understanding Efficiency of LED Lights

LED fixtures generate a light in the efficacy range 100-200 lumens/watt. LEDs with higher efficiency generate higher lumens by consuming lesser watts than less efficient fixtures.

I highly efficient 100 Watt Low Bay may produce more lumens than an in-efficient 150 Watt fixture. This is one of the main reasons why buying based on watts alone is a bad idea. You must also pay attention to how many lumens the light produces.

Generally speaking, less efficient lights are ‘cheaper’ to buy, but more efficient lights have a much higher payback.

130 lm/w
150 lm/w
180 lm/w

5. Do you need wet-location rated low bays?

The ability of lights to stay safe from water and dust is denoted in terms of IP ratings. The two digits of an IP score represent dust and water protection abilities respectively. You have good water-resistant lights if they have a water protection score of at least 5.

The IP ratings you should look for are between IP65 and IP69K. The higher the rating, the better the fixture will do when exposed to water.

IP65
IP66
IP69K

6. Do you know your Voltage?

Most Commercial and Industrial LED Fixtures are available with an automatic voltage switching driver that can adjust to any voltage between 100-277V. Optionally, some fixtures are available with high voltage drivers of 277-480V or 347-480V.

The higher the voltage service, the more lights you can add to a circuit.

37 Voltage Web Icons
39 Voltage Web Icons
347-480V

7. Choose the right Color Temperature

The temperature of any light source is measured by color temperature or correlated color temperature. The unit of measurement for this scale is Kelvin. Lower color temperatures denote warmer lights of the yellow, orange, and red spectrum. Higher color temperatures denote cooler lights of the white and blue spectrum.

By far, the two most popular color temperature we offer in our line of low bay lights are:

4000K
5000K

Some of our low bay canopy style fixtures have onboard toggle switches that allow you to select the color temperature you like.

 

4000K
5000K

8. Understanding Color Rendering Index

The quality of a light source is denoted by Color Rendering Index, or CRI. This is a way to know the color rendering abilities of light sources as compared to natural light (the sun). And how well these fixtures render the color of objects.

The best way to understand this is to think of those yellow street lights. Those are HPS lights with a poor CRI of about 22. Everything lit up by that light source appears yellow and brown.

You should look for a light source of at least 70 CRI. If you’re doing fine detail work, painting or finishing, consider a CRI of 80 or 90.

70 CRI
80 CRI
90 CRI

 

9. Motion Sensors

Different light control systems like motion sensors and others are used to automate light control to save energy and cut costs by dimming or turning off lights when not in use.

Motion sensors dim Low Bay Lights when the area is void of people or motion. And they immediately brighten the area when motion is detected. To work effectively, the fixture needs to have a 0-10V or 1-10V LED Driver, so the motion sensor can dim the fixture.

Motion Sensors

Dwayne Kula

 

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About the Author

Dwayne Kula is President of LED Lighting Supply. On any given day, Dwayne is writing content for the site and helps manage the marketing initiatives that are on-going. He has a Software Engineering degree and still dabbles in writing software for the company as needed. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, playing the occasional game of golf and exploring New England.

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