2023 LED High Bay Lights Buyers Guide
LED High bay lights are light fixtures that are typically mounted between 10 feet and as much as 60 plus feet above the floor. They are designed to illuminate large commercial areas with minimal glare. Modern LED high bay lights fixtures use less energy, provide superior color rendering, require virtually no maintenance, and produce less heat, as compared with older Metal Halide (MH) or High Pressure Sodium (HPS) high bay lights. This comprehensive guide will provide information about LED high bay lights, including benefits, controls, optics, options, applications, installation, and maintenance.
Understanding LED High Bay Lights
LED high bay lights are a type of lighting designed to provide illumination in large indoor spaces with high ceilings. These spaces include warehouses, manufacturing facilities, sports arenas, retail stores, and other commercial buildings. LED high bay lights are typically mounted on the ceiling or hung from the ceiling using chains or other support systems.
LED high bay lights use LED technology to produce light. LED stands for light-emitting diode, which is a semiconductor device that emits light when a current is passed through it. LED high bay lights are designed to provide high-quality, energy-efficient lighting for large indoor spaces with high ceilings.
There are many benefits of LED high bay lights, including energy efficiency, long lifespan, and low maintenance requirements. LED high bay lights use less energy than traditional lighting systems, which can help businesses save on energy costs. Additionally, LED high bay lights have a long lifespan, which means that businesses can save money on maintenance costs in the long run.
LED high bay lights also have environmental benefits. LED high bay lights produce less heat than traditional lighting systems, which can help to reduce the need for air conditioning and ventilation. Additionally, LED high bay lights do not contain hazardous materials, such as mercury, which can be harmful to the environment.
Factors to Consider When Selecting LED High Bay Lights
There are several factors to consider when choosing LED high bay lights for your facility. These factors include lighting requirements, work surface height, ceiling height, the number of points of light required to minimize shadows, energy efficiency, durability, maintenance, and cost.
Lighting requirements refer to the amount of light needed to adequately illuminate a space, and this is determined by the footcandles required to perform a specific task. Ceiling height is also important considerations, as height determines the optics and wattage required to properly distribute the required amount of light on the work surface without shadows. An Access Fixtures lighting engineer can perform a photometric study to determine the optimum wattage, optics and spacing of the lights to meet the facility’s requirements.
Two other lighting requirement factors for consideration are the color temperature of the lighting and the color rendering. Color temperature is measured in Kevin and can affect the mood and productivity of workers. Think of it this way. Should the light emitted be colored like the light in a romantic Italian restaurant, 2200 Kelvin, or more like a televised sports event with 5000 Kelvin or 5700 Kelvin? CRI is a measure color rendering. How accurate does the colors rendered by the light need to be? An automotive service bay may only need 70 CRI, but a showroom floor and an auto body shop should have 90+ CRI.
Energy efficiency is another important factor to consider. Every watt required to operate the lights adds up, so be sure to understand the operating expense. Durability and maintenance are also important factors, as LED high bay lighting systems are designed to be long-lasting and require minimal maintenance. An EXTREME-LIFE rated LED high bay light may be more expensive than a basic LED high bay light, but a LED high bay light rated L70 @ 200,000 hours will last a lot longer than one rated L70 @ 50,000 hours.
Common Applications of LED High Bay Lights
LED high bay lights are used in a variety of settings, including warehouses, industrial facilities, gyms, sports arenas, retail stores, and parking garages. In warehouses and industrial facilities, LED high bay lighting systems are used to provide adequate illumination for workers and equipment. In sports arenas, LED high bay lighting systems are used to provide bright, even lighting for athletes and spectators. In retail stores and supermarkets, LED high bay lighting systems are used to highlight products and create a welcoming atmosphere. Finally, in parking garages, LED high bay lights, sometimes with low profile mounts and called LED low bay lights, emit light with broad optics and are used to provide safe well-lit parking areas.
Light levels vary based on the application and level of use. For example, sports arenas can range from a recreational indoor riding arena that requires an average of 20 footcandles to a civic center with televised hockey games that requires 120 to 140 footcandles.
What are the different types of LED high bay lights?
There are different types of LED high bays lights for different applications and facility conditions. The information below is an introduction to the different types. To discuss which type of LED high bay light is best for your facilit, you may want to speak with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist. 800.469.9925.
Round UFO LED High Bay Lights
Round LED high bay lights are frequently called UFO high bays. They are easy to install as they have only one contact point, a loop or hook. The beam spread is typically very wide, allowing for broad light distribution. They are great for open areas, such as factories, warehouses, retail stores, and more. Round LED high bay lights come in a wide range of wattage and can be built to work on any voltage. Most are wet/damp location listed, allowing you to use them in tough conditions, like those seen at industrial laundries, processing facilities and even car washes. As they are mass produced, UFO high bay lights are competitively priced
Linear LED High Bay Lights
Linear LED high bay lights are found in supermarkets, wholesalers, warehouses, firing ranges and other open areas. They can be mounted to the ceiling or hung using chain or cables. Compared with UFO high bay lights are both manufactured as standard production LED high bay lights and custom manufactured to meet exact requirements and specifications . Linear LED high bay lights are available in a variety of sizes, wattage, voltage, lumen output, optics, color temperature, and dimensions to fit into any space where they’re needed.
Vapor Tight High Bay LED Lights
High Bay Vapor Tight LED high bay lights are typically the higher wattage vapor tight light fixtures. They are commonly used in locations where the ceiling is a little lower. These fixtures are desirable as the light fixtures are impervious to dirt, dust and/or water. They are usually linear in shape, and they come in 2-foot or 4-foot lengths. Wattage selection is typically lower than the wattage of UFO and linear high bay lights. They are easy to clean using a hose or lower pressure washers.
Click for more information on Vapor tight LED lights.
LED Hazardous Location and Explosion Proof High Bay Lights
LED hazardous location high bay LED lights and LED Explosion Proof High Bays with a Class 1, Division 1 or Class 1, Division 2 designation are used for industrial lighting in dangerous or extreme environments where flammable gasses or vapors, flammable liquids, combustible dust or ignitable fibers may exist. High Bay Explosion Proof LED Lights are also suitable for wet locations and marine environments with saltwater spray.
Click for more information on LED hazardous location LED high bay lights and LED explosion proof LED high bay lights.
No UV – No Light Under 450 nm LED High Bay Lights
Access Fixtures designs and builds No UV lighting that emits no light below 450 nm. This is achieved using LEDs and without the use of filters. Filters can break down and fail over time. No UV- No light Under 450 nm high bay lights are for production areas that need sufficient light to pass OSHA requirements and emit no UV so the light emitted does not impact the production process
Click for information about No UV – No Light Under 450nm.
LED High Bay Lights With Remote LED Drivers for High Heat Locations
Many locations such as steel plants, heat treating facilities or even a warehouse in a hot southern climate have very high heat near the ceiling where the light fixtures are located. LED high bay light fixtures will quickly fail in locations like this unless the fixtures are purpose built for the heat.
There is one primary point of failure in high heat environments. The LEDs will have quicker lumen depreciation, but if the LEDs are properly heat sinked as like the Access Fixtures’ EXTREME-LIFE L70 @ 200,000 hour fixtures, that is not the major problem. Also the light modules are field replaceable.
The primary point of failure is the electronics, the LED driver. Use a remote mounted LED driver mitigates the problem, as the remote LED driver can be located on the floor instead of in the fixture by the ceiling where it is hotter. The LED driver can also be located in an adjacent cooler room. UPTA LED high bay lights have field replaceable LED light modules and optional remote LED drivers.
High Mounting Height LED High Bay Lights
As noted earlier, most UFO and linear LED high bay lights are made with broad optics. When mounted at a high height such as 30 feet or even 50 feet above the work surface, most light fixtures will fail to get the light down to the work surface where the light is required. The solution is LED high bay lights with sufficient lumen output and optics designed to get the light emitted to where it is needed.
UPTA LED high bay lights by Access Fixtures have up to 960 watts, emit as much as 160 lumens per watt (LPW), and have a vast selection of optics to deliver the light where it is required. Most projects with very high ceiling heights will work with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist to specify the objectives. Then an Access Fixtures lighting engineer will run a photometric study to model the results.
LED High Bay Light Controls, Mounting Options, Installation and Maintenance
LED High bay lights can be mounted in several different ways. Depending on the fixture, high bay lights can be mounted via a surface or canopy mount, malleable hook, v-hooks and chain, adjustable wire mount, loop mount, or a bracket mount that can be direct mounted or mounted via a pendant mount. Some fixtures come with up to four different mounting options, whereas other LED high bay lights are standard with one. Check the mounting options for LED high bay lights that you have interest or discuss it with an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist to determine what the best option is for your facility.
Unless installation is as simple as plugging in the LED high bay light, installing LED high bay lights should be performed by an electrician. The following should be considered when ordering and installing LED high bay lights. Voltage matters. LED high bay lights have LED drivers that work with a specific range of voltage, typically 120-277v and 347-480v. 120-277v is designed to handle any voltage between 120 and 277v including 120v, 208v, 240v, and 277v. 347v-480v is designed for 347v and 480v. Do not connect an LED driver to the wrong range of voltage.
Most LED high bay lights have 0-10v dimming or 1-10v dimming. This dimming system uses 5 wires or a dimming controller connected to the LED high bay light and a battery powered remote. Click here to learn more about how 0-10v and 1-10v dimming works and the dimmers required.
Many Access Fixtures LED high bay lights are available with or ready for advanced controls. A common control is a microwave controller with an occupancy sensor and integrated photocell. Some microwave controllers are plug-and-play where the control clicks into a receptacle in the LED high bay light. More complex controls include DALI, which stands for Digital Addressable Lighting Interface.
Once installed, LED high bay lighting systems are relatively easy to maintain. Routine maintenance tasks include cleaning the fixtures and checking for any signs of wear or damage. LED high bay lighting systems are designed to be long-lasting and require minimal maintenance, making them a cost-effective lighting solution for businesses.
LED High Bay Lights with Adjustable Wire Mount
LED High Bay Light with Canopy Mount, aka LED Low Bay Light
LED High Bay Light with Malleable Hook
LED High Bay Light with Bracket or Bracket to Pendant Mount
High Bay Light with Loop Mount
What is an IP rating and why does it matter?
IP rating determines what type of location your high bay is best suited for. A damp or dirty environment will quickly damage fixtures that are not sealed, making them useless. These are the common IP ratings for high bay lights.
- IP65 is water resistant
- IP66 is water resistant against powerful water jets
- IP67 – Protected against complete temporary water submersion
Click for more information on IP Ratings.
What are optics and how do optics affect performance?
LED chips are directional, making it much simpler to control exactly where the light from your high bay lights is emitted as compared with older HID high bay lights. To get an LED to distribute light with a focused intensity and pattern, optics are required to concentrate or diffuse the light emitted. Most LED fixtures come in a variety of beam spreads, distribution options, and lenses, with multiple wattages to meet the requirements. This facilitates the lights to emit light that is sufficiently bright subject to the lumens emitted and evenly distributed.
Click to download a pdf with examples of LED high by light optics.
What options are available for high bay lights?
LED high bay fixtures are available with many more options than previously mentioned. Some of them include the following:
- CRI – A higher color rendering index, or CRI, increases visibility by making colors more true-to-life. Color rendering index is available from 70+ to 90+ for select Access Fixtures high bays.
- Dimming – Need to be able to reduce the light sometimes? All Access Fixtures high bays are compatible with 0-10v dimming.
- Surge protection – Some high bays are available with surge protection as an option
- Color Temperature (Kelvins) – Many Access Fixtures LED high bays are available with choices of color temperature from 2200K to 5700K.
- Battery Backup – Your high bay lights can provide double duty as emergency backup lights by equipping them with an optional battery backup that keeps the lights on when the power goes off.
- Standard Voltage or High Voltage – Some of these high bays are available in two different voltages
- Wattage – There is an appropriate wattage for any high bay project, guaranteed. Many Access Fixtures high bays are available in multiple wattages.
- Controls – From plug-and-play microwave sensors that sense occupancy and natural light levels, to DALI and DMX controllable LED drivers, LED high bay lights can be manufactured to meet all performance requirements.
Get a Photometric Study – Speak With a Lighting Specialist
Which high bay light is beat for your application? What wattage is best? How many high bay lights do you need? Speak with an Access Fixtures’ lighting specialist. An Access Fixtures’ Lighting Specialist will be able to provide you with all the answers. If your project requires a photometric study, an Access Fixtures lighting specialist will work with one of our lighting engineers to provide you with one.
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