What is High Bay Lighting?

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If you’re looking to improve your warehouse, garage, or any other building with high ceilings, you may have come across something called high bay lighting. So, what is high bay lighting anyway?

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look so you know whether or not high bay lighting is right for you.

What is High Bay Lighting?

High bay lights are used to illuminate environments which have a high ceiling. These ceilings have a height between 20 and 45 feet, and as such, their light source is powerful enough to brighten a large area.

To get a better understanding of high bay lights we’ll be comparing them side by side to low bay lights, which are also used in commercial and industrial applications.

Low bay lights are used in large rooms with ceiling heights ranging between 12 and 20 feet. Generally, these lights are installed where ceilings are less than 20 feet tall.


Why Are They Called Bay Lights?

High bay and low bay lights are mostly utilized in commercial or industrial facilities.

The term “bay light” was first used in these facilities to describe the duo because a skeletal framework is built, creating an interior subspace called bay.

In recent applications, the bay is used to refer to a great location or space that needs to be lit.


What Are High Bay Light Fixtures?

A high bay light fixture is the mounting hardware where the light bulb or electric lamp in question will be placed.

There are numerous types of lights that can be used including:

Each of these comes with a promise of supplying light, however, some do it better than the others.

High bay LED lights, for instance, are expensive but generate less heat since they use most of their acquired energy to produce light. With less heat given off, there’s no need to run an air conditioner 24/7 as compared to other lighting fixtures that produce heat.

LEDs can also help save money on the utility bill because they are energy efficient.

On the contrary, traditional incandescent lights are a cheaper initial investment, however they consume a lot of energy, produce more heat, and do not last as long as LEDs.

Aside from the fixtures listed above, there are other types of high bay light fixtures, including:

  • Linear high-bays
  • Round high-bay lights
  • Grid-mount high-bays
  • Architectural high-bays

Now that you know the basics of high bay lighting fixtures, let’s take a look at some of their applications.


Typical Applications of High Bay Lights

The application of high bay lights in the commercial and industrial industries can be credited to their placement in high ceilings and their ability to produce clear uniform lighting.

As a result, they have been widely adopted in illuminating several industries including:

  • Warehouses
  • Assembly lines
  • Factories
  • Recreational facilities
  • Storage facilities
  • Gyms

Other large buildings where these lights are applied are hangars, event centers, and conference halls. Thus, the big idea is to take advantage of their capability in a setting with ceilings at least 20 feet high.

Now let’s take a look at some of these applications:

1. Airports

Airports have high ceilings in areas such as transportation portals and hangers. As a result, high bay lighting fixtures are adopted for use in these areas.

However, many airports have advanced to the use of natural light in an effort to cut energy costs.

Nonetheless, there is still a need for high bay lights in airports, especially at night time when a great source of light is required.

2. Outdoor Areas

Outdoor areas including malls, local parks, and stadiums, can also use high bay lights.

It’s worth noting that these lights are customized to be used in different mounting hardware, depending on the needs of the region they are to be installed.

3. Factories and Assembly Plants

High ceilings of over 20 feet are evident in most factories and assembly plants, and it does not come as a surprise that they’ll need a high power light source.

You’ll find a type of LED lighting applied in these environments in order to increase productivity.


How Do I Know If I Need High Bay Lighting?

The major difference between high bay and low bay lights makes it very easy to ascertain when to use high bay fixtures. So, the best way to determine if you should settle for a high bay or low bay lighting is to determine the height of the ceiling from the ground.

If you’re dealing with a space in which the ceiling has a height of at least 20 feet from the ground, your best bet would be a high bay light.

The same deciding factor applies to low bay lights, which can be used in regions whose ceiling height is less than 20 feet. One con of the low bay fixture is that the illumination spread will not be as powerful, creating a hazy appearance near the floor.

It may be tempting to use high bay lights due to their lighting benefits, however, using them in a low ceiling area can mount up unnecessary costs. Moreover, the area will be over-lit.

In the same vein, using a low bay light in a high-ceiling area can generate an under-lit room, and potentially lead to hazardous conditions.

Great care has to be taken while determining the height of an open facility before making a decision between high bay vs. low bay lights.



Depending on the facility that requires light fixtures, understanding the differences between high bay lighting and low bay lighting will help you to make the decision on which is the best fit.

If the ceiling is high and around 20 feet or more, then high bay lighting is the fixture for your project. It is also worthy to note that while high bay lights come with several advantages, using them in a region with a low ceiling will only add more cost to the company.

Whichever is the case, your choice of high bay lighting is mainly determined by the ceiling’s height and the amount of light you require.

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