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High Bay and Low Bay Lighting: A Look at Their Differences

High Bay and Low Bay Lighting

High ceiling and low ceiling lighting fixtures are very popular in commercial and industrial spaces. The choice between them depends on the region in which they will be installed and the level of brightness required. Also, choosing one over the other can significantly affect the safety of your facility and the efficiency of operations in your workplace. As such, there are a few differences between high-bay lighting and low-bay lighting that set the two apart and give it an advantage.

A good knowledge of the benefits, limitations and differences between high-bay lighting and low-bay lighting will allow you to better understand which one should be used where and when. It is important to know these as using the wrong luminaire will entail unnecessary costs and you may have underlit areas which could indirectly lead to a dangerous situation.

So, if you're new to lighting or looking for something new to replace your fixtures, we've outlined the main differences between high-bay lighting and low-bay lighting.

What type of lighting is called Bay Lights?

Bay lamps are lighting fixtures used to illuminate large areas such as factories, warehouses, processing facilities, production facilities. These are facilities that need heavy-duty lighting projects to provide homogeneous and well-distributed light in open areas. Also, these lights are mostly used in buildings with ceilings up to 3 meters high.

However, the height of the ceiling will determine the choice between low bay and high bay lighting application.
Before these lights are installed, great consideration should be given to the following:


  • The height of the ceiling in the building
  • Frequency of use of lights in the facility
  • Ease of retrofitting the existing fixture with new bulbs


1. Installation height

High ceiling lamps are used to illuminate areas with ceilings 6 meters above the ground and around 12 meters. Also, for these lights to work efficiently from this height, they need specially designed reflectors in the case of HPS / MH bulbs and lens angles in the case of LEDs. This is to ensure that the light reaches the floor evenly and is not wasted.

On the other hand, the low ceiling lighting is designed for use in ceilings with a height of less than 6 meters from the ground. Specifically, the ceiling can be between 3.5 meters and 6 meters. Therefore, this lighting is mostly used in homes, public buildings and retail businesses.

2. Application

High bay lights are used in industrial and commercial areas and to give an example this is high bay warehouse lighting.

Some application areas of high ceiling lights include:


  • Factories
  • Warehouses
  • airport hangar
  • Municipal facilities
  • School and university gyms


However, low ceiling lights can still be used in some of these locations and it is worth noting that some areas of this application include:

  • Warehouse
  • Gas Station
  • Retail Store


3. Beam Angle:

High bay lighting uses common beam angles such as 60°, 90° and 120°. A narrow beam helps create a more focused beam that provides a high level of lux on the ground.

In contrast, a wider beam angle allows wide open spaces with lower roof heights to have excellent light distribution, as a result the low ceiling lamps have a beam angle of 120°.

In low ceiling applications, lens angles are used to further diffuse the light to maintain the desired level of illumination, and this lens angle helps direct the light to specific locations.


4. Assembly:

High-bay luminaires can be hung on chains or pendants, suspended from the ceiling with hooks, or fixed directly to the ceiling. A range of luminaires can be used for high-bay lighting and some of these include grid-mounted high-bay luminaires, linear high-bay luminaires, round high-bay luminaires, and architectural high-bay luminaires.

There are warehouses where vertical lighting is important as it can help pick things off the shelf. The point to be considered for the use of high ceiling lighting fixtures is that they can illuminate vertical surfaces and also illuminate the floor.


Major Differences Between High Bay and Low Bay Fixtures

The difference between high-bay and low-bay fixtures is in the height of the ceiling under consideration for their installation.

Low ceiling lighting systems are suitable for heights below 6 meters, whereas high ceiling lighting systems are used in areas with ceilings above 12 meters from the ground.

There is a technical difference between both, based on the lumen output and the direction of the light. Luminaires that will be applied at lower levels for lighting systems need less lumen output as they tend to lose less light. In this case, low-bay fixtures use fewer lumens compared to high-bay lighting and therefore do not need to perform as high.

High-bay luminaires have high lumen output to reach vital areas and avoid shadows when longer distances are needed after installation.

Reflector or lens angles may differ as different heights require different directions and placement of light.
For example, high-bay fixtures will make use of reflectors that spread light down and out to provide visibility in the area despite the distance at which it is installed.

As A Result

A comparison between high-bay and low-bay lighting systems showed that there were differences between the two, from the ceiling height at which they could be installed to the luminous power. High ceilings can benefit from high ceiling lighting fixtures, while low ceilings can benefit from low ceiling lighting fixtures. However, these lights are suitable for use in warehouses, factories and generally facilities with a large open area. After their installation, they can help get the job done smoothly.


Contact us about your factory, warehouse, store and large areas that need lighting. Let's choose the most efficient one together and apply it.

 
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