​​Commercial and industrial warehouses all over the country are realizing that switching to LED lighting can greatly reduce their 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 lighting bills, they can greatly reduce their maintenance costs. LEDs have long lives, 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.

Why Are LEDs Better Than Metal Halide Lights?

Here are a few reasons why LED Lighting is more suitable than HID Lighting.

Reduce energy consumption by 50-90%
Dramatically reduce maintenance costs with 10+ years of maintenance free lighting
Work well with motion sensors – so lights are only at full power when  needed
Instant on – instant off – no waiting for lights to come to full power
No annoying humming ballasts

Why Are LEDs Better Than Fluorescent Lighting?

Many of the same benefits from above apply here. Cost savings and maintenance savings are large. But benefits over fluorescent tubes include:

No humming ballasts, and no flickering/strobing tubes;
No costly recycling costs with LED.
Environmentally Friendly. They do not contain mercury.
Works perfectly with motion sensors with no degradation of

What Is the Life Expectancy for Warehouse LEDs?

Each bulb’s lifespan is different, but many of our LED warehouse lights will last 10+ years operating 12 hours a day, 365 days a year. Adding motion sensors will also help increase the lifespan of the fixture.

Do Linear Fixtures Give Better Light Coverage Than UFO Fixtures?

Yes – there is a slight advantage due to the design of the fixture. Groupings of LEDs in UFO fixtures are close together. Strips of LEDs are installed in linear fixtures over the area of the fixture.

This advantage becomes less clear the higher the mounting is. In fact, in high ceiling warehouses, UFOs have the advantage. Installed narrow beam optics can get the light to the floor where it’s needed.


1. The #1 Key to a Successful Warehouse LED Commercial Lighting Install is to start with a Lighting Plan. We will do one for you for free.

The first thing before buying LED lights is to create a lighting plan. This is because different spaces need different types of lights. Warehouses light levels can vary greatly based on use and purpose. Not two warehouses are the same.

Getting the lighting correct is paramount. Nothing feels worst than a bad result. 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 do. 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 1000’s of FREE warehouse lighting plans. We have 100’s 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 your warehouse lighting plan to purchase can be a 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 X watt high bay fixture. 

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 is the right fixture.

The right fixture will provide the optimal light levels and provide balanced lighting. Too often we see bad results because fixture choice was guessed.

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.

Bulbs at 10-15 feet height should have between 10000-15000 lumens

Bulbs at 15-20 feet height should have between 16000-25000 lumens

Bulbs at 25-35 feet height should have between 36000 lumens or more

Coca Cola Warehouse 150w High Bay2

3. Decide on the Type of Warehouse Commercial or Industrial Lighting Fixture best fits your needs

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

Linear panel high bays can replace fluorescent lights like T8 and T5 HO fixtures. If you are familiar with 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 real high ceiling installs.

Hbc High Bay Light Front View Round UFO Bay Fixtures – the perfect Metal Halide Replacement

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

UFOs can be the best option to go with if you want lights for warehouses and gyms. They are also good for the locations vulnerable to dampness 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 and HID

Best 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: Pendant and Eye hook (most common)

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 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 tube to 8 tube T5 54 Watt HO

Best 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)

Rating for Impact: On select models only

Mounting Options: Pendant, Wire Mount and Ceiling Mount

Surge Protection: Available

Motion Sensors: Available

4. LEDs on the market have a large range of efficiency. Decide which is best for you.

Efficacy is measurement of how well a LED converts electricity into light. With LED’s, 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 spec sheet as lumens/watt. If you don’t see it, you can easy calculate it by dividing lumens by watts (Lumens per watt = lumens / watts)

The higher a LED lights 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 lighting 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 time of purchase. But they will save you a lot more money in reduced lighting 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 as long as 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 Kelvins 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 HID.

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

Color Temperature Bulbs

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 the 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 – like 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 fixture, motion sensors are the best option for indoor lights.

Motion sensors allow you to set up areas in your warehouse to have the lights turn off when no activity is present. While LEDs will save you money with lowered lighting 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 lives.

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?

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

The impact resistance with the performance retaining ability of any light is represented by IK ratings.

IK ratings range from IK01 to IK10 where IK10 denotes the strongest lights.

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 need high pressure washdowns with hot water and steam, make sure its 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)


Get Your Free Warehouse Lighting Plan

Founded in 2008, LED Lighting Supply has been providing high bay lighting solutions to facilities across the country for more than a decade.

Whether you need a free lighting plan or have questions about LEDs, our expert lighting team will help you make the right choice – whether that’s for a school gym or a 1,000,000 square foot facility.

 Contact us for a free lighting plan or to discuss your LED lighting goals.

Warehouse Lighting Plan

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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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