​​Commercial and industrial warehouses all over the country are realizing that switching to LED lighting can greatly reduce energy costs and improve employee efficiency.

​​It is no secret that LED lights have revolutionized lighting thanks to their low energy consumption, reduced maintenance, high light output, and a myriad of other excellent benefits. Warehouses can greatly reduce their overhead by switching to energy-efficient LED.

Not only do these lights help business owners lower their energy bills, but they can also greatly reduce their maintenance costs. LEDs have a long lifespan, and tubes, bulbs, and ballast replacements will be a thing of the past.

One of these challenging, but familiar settings, is large warehouse spaces with high ceilings. Most lights don’t have the power to reach the ground and provide bright light. But that’s not a problem for LED Lights in Warehouses.

Warehouse Lighting Plan

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10 Tips to Help You Prepare Your Warehouse for LED Lighting

1. The Key to a Successful Warehouse LED Lighting Installation is to Start with a Lighting Plan. We Will Do One for You for Free.

The first thing you should do before buying LED lights is to create a lighting plan. This is because different spaces need different types of lights. The light levels required for a warehouse can vary greatly based on use and purpose. No two warehouses are the same.

Getting the lighting correct is paramount. Nothing feels worst than a bad result due to insufficient planning. Too bright, not bright enough, or unbalanced lighting will be obvious the minute you turn your warehouse lights on.

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

How Many Warehouse Lights Do You Need?

If you have an existing warehouse with predefined light locations, we can start with that. 99% of the time, our lights will work with your existing layout.

For new buildings and facilities, a warehouse lighting plan will display how bright and how balanced the lighting can be. It will also calculate the number of lights and show you the locations of the lights. We can create a custom warehouse lighting plan for your specific space.

This takes the risk out of your LED purchase.

We have done thousands of FREE warehouse lighting plans. We have hundreds of LED fixtures to choose from to meet almost any requirement or budget.  We have a warehouse full of LED lights ready to ship.  So, the progression of your warehouse lighting plan to purchase can be quick and easy.

2. Determine Your Light Levels. Forget About Watts.

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 need a high bay fixture with a specific number of watts. 

Once you understand that, then most of the hard work is done. Creating a lighting plan will almost always find the ideal fixture. That means you don’t have to guess. It will tell you what the right fixture is.

The right fixture will provide optimal light levels and balanced lighting. We often we see bad results because fixture choice was presumed without have all the information.

There are some guidelines we usually start with, and it has to do with mounting height. The higher the ceiling height, the more lumens you will need. Here’s a simple guideline you can follow.

  • Fixtures mounted at 10-15 feet high should have between 10000-15000 lumens.
  • Fixtures mounted at 15-20 feet high should have between 16000-25000 lumens.
  • Fixtures mounted at 25-35 feet high should have between 36000 lumens or more.
Coca Cola Warehouse 150w High Bay2

3. Decide on the Type of Warehouse Lighting Fixture That Best Fits Your Needs.

There are two main types of warehouse light fixtures: Linear Lights (panel-style lights) and UFO Lights (rugged and compact).

  • Linear panel high bays can replace fluorescent lights like T8 and T5 HO fixtures. If you are replacing tube-style high bays, this is a good choice for you.
  • UFO high bays are perfect for high-ceiling applications. They are more rugged than linear fixtures and most are IP (wet) rated. You can also add optics to narrow the beam for really high ceiling installations.

Hbc High Bay Light Front View

UFO Round Fixtures – the Perfect Metal Halide Replacement

These are sturdy, small, and robust. These fixtures can be a great replacement for all other conventional high bays like Metal Halides and High-Pressure Sodium.

UFOs can be the best option to go with if you want lights for warehouses and gyms. They are also good for locations that encounter to damp conditions since they are typically IP65+ rated.

  • Wattage Options: 100 Watts to 600 Watts
  • Lumens: 13,000 to 96,000
  • Efficiency Ratings: 130 to 180 lumens per watt
  • Replaces: 250 Watt to 2000 Watt Metal Halides
  • Optimal Color Temperatures: 4000K or 5000K
  • CRI: 70+
  • IP Rating (Wet): IP65
  • Voltages: Standard = 100V-277V. High = 277V-480V (on select models only)
  • Impact Ratings: IK08 or above
  • Mounting Options: Eye hook (most common) and Pendant
  • Surge Protection: Available
  • Motion Sensors: Available

LED Linear Panel

Linear Panel Style Fixtures – the Perfect Fluorescent Replacement

These lights will be best for gyms and warehouses and be great replacements for T5 and T8-style high bays. You may also know linear high bays as panel-style.

Most of these fixtures are not impact-rated or wet-rated, so make sure your area is dry and void of potential impacts before choosing them.

  • Wattage Options: 80 Watts to 500 Watts
  • Lumens Range: 11,000 to 42,000
  • Efficiency Ratings: 135 to 140 lumens per watt
  • Replaces : 4 to 8 tube T5 54-Watt HO
  • Optimal Color Temperatures: 4000K or 5000K
  • CRI: 70+
  • IP Rating (Wet): On select models only
  • Voltages: Standard = 100V-277V. High = 277V-480V (on select models only)
  • Impact Ratings: On select models only.
  • Mounting Options: Pendant, Cable Mount, and Ceiling Mount
  • Surge Protection: Available
  • Motion Sensors: Available

4. LEDs on the Market Have a Wide Range of Efficiency. Decide Which is Best for You.

Efficacy is a measurement of how well an LED converts electricity into light. With LEDs, efficacy refers to lumens per watt, or how much energy the fixture needs to consume to produce a certain amount of visible light. You usually see it on a specification sheet as lumens/watt. If you don’t see it, you can easily calculate it by dividing lumens by watts (Lumens per watt = lumens/watts)

The higher a LED light’s efficacy, the fewer watts a high bay consumes to produce the same amount of lumens. In general, higher numbers are better.

How important is efficacy, or lumens per watt, to you? LED lights with a lower efficacy will typically cost less to purchase but will consume more energy over the lifetime of the light. This means that you will have a higher energy bill. Over the lifetime of the fixture, a high-efficacy light will save you a lot more money.

  • ​​A 300-Watt LED Fixture at 150 lumens/watt produces 45,000 lumens.
  • ​​A 500-Watt LED Fixture at 90 lumens/watt also produces 45,000 lumens.
  • ​For each hour both lights operate, the more efficient 300-Watt light uses 200 fewer watts. This is real energy savings.

​More efficient lights cost a bit more at the time of purchase. But they will save you a lot more money in reduced energy bills, far offsetting the extra purchase cost.

Takeaway: A more efficient high bay will save you a lot more money in reduced energy bills over the life of the product. It will easily offset the slightly higher purchase price.

5. Do You Know Your Voltage?

Typical voltage in most commercial and industrial spaces varies between 100 and 480 volts. LED Fixtures can accommodate these ranges and offer 2 main driver options. These drivers automatically adjust to the incoming voltage, so there is no need to set the voltage during installation. The common LED Driver voltage ranges are:

  • ​​100V-277V (Standard – included in the cost of the fixture)
  • ​​277V-480V (High Voltage Option)
  • ​347V-480V (Another less common High Voltage Option)

Takeaway: LED Drivers are auto-switching based on the voltage you have. There is no need to set the voltage if the voltage you have is within the voltage range allowed by the fixture.

37 Voltage Web Icons
39 Voltage Web Icons

6. Choosing the Best Color Temperature for a Warehouse

Color temperature is measured by the Kelvin scale where a low number represents yellow-warm light and a high number represents blue-cool light.

  • 4000K is a good replacement for fluorescent lights or lights used in a commercial environment.
  • 5000K is a great light for industrial applications and a perfect color to replace metal halide and other HIDs.

Takeaway: 90%+ of all fixtures we sell are 5000K.

All 2700 6500

7. What Light Quality (CRI) Do You Need for a Warehouse?

CRI is short for Color Rendering Index. It’s the measurement of the quality of light produced by a light source.

LED lights for warehouses should have a CRI of 70 or above.

Takeaway: The better the quality of light, the less quantity of light you will need. For most applications 70 CRI is fine.

light bulbs cri

8. Use Light Controls – Such as Motion Sensors

Light controls facilitate the automation of light capacity and power on/off handling. While choosing from the various dimming controls available for LED fixtures, motion sensors are the best option for indoor lights.

Motion sensors allow you to set up areas in your warehouse to have the lights turned off when no activity is present. While LEDs will save you money with reduced energy bills, motion sensors save you even more. And they will also extend the life of the product.

And there’s no danger with LEDs turning on and off all the time like it is for other lighting technologies. It will not shorten their lifespan.

A 0-10V dimmable driver must be installed in the LED fixture to work with these controls. These drivers allow motion sensors to automate low light levels. Without them, you can only control on/off.

Depending on the driver, 0V doesn’t always mean power off. Some drivers will only dim to 10% at 0 Volts.

Takeaway: Future-proof your purchase by ensuring your fixtures have dimmable drivers.

LED High Bay Light with Motion Sensor
Mllg Al Led Hb2 Face

9. Is There a Chance the Fixtures Might Get Hit by Flying Objects?

Warehouse operations may have occasions where fixtures are hit during normal operations. This raises the need for rugged and impact-resistant lights for such areas.

The ability to withstand impacts and retain the performance of any light is represented by IK ratings.

IK ratings range from IK01 to IK10 where IK10 denotes the highest level of impact resistance.

Takeaway: UFO Fixtures are typically your best solution if you need impact-rated fixtures.

IK08 Impact Rating
15 Ik09 Web Icons
IK10 Impact Rating

10. Is Water a Concern?

If your fixtures are installed in areas that can get wet, then you need to consider an IP-rated fixture. The most basic of all water protection is IP65. If you require high-pressure washdowns with hot water and steam, make sure it’s IP69K rated.

Takeaway: UFO Fixtures and NSF-Rated fixtures are all IP Rated for wet location installations. For the most part, linear fixtures are not IP Rated (we do have some that are though).


Video Resources to Help Educate You

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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