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LED Lighting for Gyms and Gymnasiums

Shop for 5+ year warranty-backed LED gymnasium lighting fixtures from MyLEDLightingGuide. Reduce energy consumption by 75% while improving visitor experience.

Lighting up a gym is key to creating a friendly environment that appeals to those who use the facility. If your lights lack quality, people may not have the best experience and worse they don't come back. With our LED gym lights, we're improving gymnasiums while reducing energy consumption.

LED Gym Lighting

If you operate a gym, there's one thing you need to know: the devil is in the details. The people who come to your gym want one thing – a perfect atmosphere to exercise in. You may not know it, but something as simple as lighting can determine the atmosphere of your gym. Traditional gym lighting can create uneven illumination, resulting in hot spots (very bright spots). The lights can also cause glare and blind people in the gym as they go about their exercises.

A good lighting system can create the perfect environment for the people who use the it. When you install LED gym lights, you improve the experience and also lower your energy usage.

Finding the right fixtures for any area can be hard.  Finding the right lights for a gym can be downright difficult. Gyms come in all shapes and sizes, and LED technology provides the perfect solution for all types of gyms.


The Main Challenges of Gym Lighting

No question about it, gymnasiums have a host of lighting challenges. They have high ceilings and used for high-impact activities. Many gyms are often used for much more than sports events and athletic activities. They are multipurpose spaces that function as: auditoriums, community meeting spaces, and more. Gyms used for a myriad of activities must have flexible lights that meet their different requirements. For example, the activities determine the light output of the fixtures. High-intensity for sporting events and low-intensity for non-sporting functions and ceremonies.

First consideration when choosing your gym lighting is the height of the ceiling. Usually 20 feet or higher need high bays. Lights installed in high ceilings can be difficult to service since they need lifts.

When lighting a gym, you don't want to choose lights you'll replace them often. Because of the high ceilings, maintenance can be quite expensive and time-consuming. LED gym lights are durable, have a long lifespan, and reduce maintenance costs.

Another challenge when it comes to gym lighting is avoiding glare. It is important to remember that gym-goers usually spend a lot of time looking at the ceiling. As they lift weights, do leg exercises, or perform full-body exercises they can't help but look up. Harsh, bright lights that blind the people in the gym, isn't the best experience.


LED gym lighting

6 Crucial Things to Consider When Choosing Gym Lighting

1. The Layout of the Gym

One thing to remember as you design gym lighting is the fitness trends and equipment. What's popular now will not always be popular. Customer needs will also change as the equipment and trends change. You may need to alter the layout of your gym to keep customers happy and coming back.

If you own or manage a gym, be sure to choose a thoughtful lighting design from the get-go. This is an excellent way to future-proof your gym. As fitness trends change, your lighting will give the versatility you need tocan come up with new designs.

Gym Photoemtric Study

2. The Height of the Ceiling

Just like the ingredients can make or break a meal, the light fixtures can make or break a gym. The ceilings in most gyms are at least 20 feet high and need specific light fixtures. For instance, low bays aren't the best in a gym with a high ceilings. They're ideal for ceilings that are not higher than 20 feet.

If a gym with a high ceiling height uses low bays, the light will be insufficient, so the space will be dark. The most common lighting fixtures for indoor gyms are high bay lighting fixtures. These aly designed to light up gyms with high ceilings. They're perfect for most indoor commercial gyms.

Take time to check the type of equipment you'll have in the gym and how much vertical space your patrons will need. Make sure the lighting fixtures do not hang low so they don't interfere with their workouts.


3. The Type of Ceiling

Another thing that has a great impact on the lighting fixtures you choose for a gym is the material used for the ceiling. Plasterboard ceilings work well with almost all gym lighting fixtures, including suspended and recessed options. Concrete ceilings have many limitations and only surface-mounted lighting solutions are suitable for them. T-bar ceilings also have limitations and require troffer lights for a streamlined look. Identify the type of ceiling in your gym before you go ahead and buy light fixtures. 

4. The Hours of Operation

Every gym has specific hours of operation from half a day to 24 hours. If your gym operates for 12 to 24 hours a day, install lights that can function for a long periods. Get lights that don't need maintenance or risk burning out.

In the less utilized areas of the facility, you can pair lights with lighting controls. Optimize by switching them on and off depending on the occupancy. Lighting controls can help you to lower your energy consumption. After you switch to LED technology you'll save even more money in the process.

5. The Color of the Walls, the Ceiling, and the Floor

When it comes to illuminating your gym, the lighting fixtures are not the only thing you should think of. The color of the walls, floors, and ceilings plays an important role in illumination. Light-colored floors, walls, and ceilings have a high reflectance level. You can use light fixtures with a lower lumen output.

But dark-colored walls, floors, and ceilings do not reflect light. Meaning you will need light fixtures with a higher lumen output. Many gyms have plenty of mirrors to help patrons see their workout routines. Since mirrors are reflective, don't make it hard on your clients’ eyes with high lumen output.


6. Flexible Lighting Options

Because different areas of a gym are in use for many purposes, they need different light fixtures. Flexible lighting, such as those that work with dimmers make all the difference. For example, uses of a single room can be different. You can use energizing, bright light for high-energy classes like zumba and aerobics. Dimmer, relaxing light is for stress-relieving classes like yoga and meditation.

Some LED lights are flexible so you can change the light output. Installing flexible fixtures in multi-functional spaces will provide the right lighting. It will create the atmosphere needed for any exercise.

LED Diodes

3 Excellent Tips for Good Gym Lighting Design

1. Make the Most of Natural Light

One of the main goals in the lighting industry is protecting the environment. A daylight control system in your gym helps you to maximize natural light. You can adjust brightness of the artificial light in relation to the sunlight coming in.

The photocells of a daylight control system are usually installed near the floor. If the natural light is bright enough to illuminate a gym, the artificial lights dim to save energy. Indoor gyms that don't have a lot of windows wouldn't need a daylight control system .

Without a doubt, natural light is the best type of light for any facility. This is why advanced lighting technologies like LED attempt to mimic natural light. The light can make people feel energized and more alert and also create a lovely ambience in a room.

A daylight control system ensures that you use sunlight when it is available. In place of artificial light, saving money on your electric bill. If you don't have a daylight control system but your gym has skylights or large windows, take advantage of it. Don’t block them with curtains or other window treatments.

2. Use Motion Sensors and Dimmers for Gym Facilities

Motion sensors are premium lighting add-ons that switch lights on when someone is in the room. They have sensors that detect when people enter a room and immediately switch on the lights. If the rooms become unoccupied for some time, they switch off. Dimmers, on the other hand, dim the light depending on the level of activity in the room. Our LED indoor bay lights are compatible with motion-sensors and photocells.

In areas where there are low-key workouts, the lighting can be dim according to the activity. For instance, yoga and pilates rooms dim the lights to create a tranquil atmosphere. Dim lighting is also recommended for cool-down routines.

The use of cool, bright light during rigorous exercise routines is ideal. Light dimmer switches then can dim the light afterwards. Yoga and pilates, and cool down exercises need less light to create a relaxed atmosphere.

Controls for LED Lighting
3. Uniform Light Is Crucial

Nothing makes a gym more unappealing than dim lighting casting shadows. The lights you choose should distribute light throughout the gym. Avoid bright focal points or shadowy patches. If the light is not uniform, people in a gym will have difficulty seeing gym equipment and other features.

Specific sports in the gym can be effected if the light is not uniform. Players may have difficulty judging the flight and speed of playing objects. Objects can appear to gather speed as they pass from well-lit zones too dim zones. LED gym lights distribute light better.

Types of LED Lighting Fixtures Used in Gyms

LED High Bays

Gyms use high bay fixtures for high ceilings that need illumination from high points. These fixtures are usually mounted on ceilings that are 20-40 feet above the floor. The fixtures have a high lumen output – ranging between 15,000-100,000 lumens.

LED high bays are brighter and efficient compared to metal halide or HPS. Thanks to their high light output, they're perfect for lighting up all areas.

LED Low Bays

These lights are usually mounted on lower ceilings, 12 to 20 feet above the floor. Like high bays, they have a high lumen output and provide uniform light that is well distributed in gyms. Lens angles distribute the light generated by low bays much further.

The fixtures also contain diffusers to lessen the hash reflection with low ceilings. Mounting multi-functional LED low bays on walls and ceilings direct light to areas. Like areas where there is training equipment.

LED Magnetic Strip Retrofit Kits

LED magnetic strip retrofit kits make perfect replacements for T8, T10, and T12 linear fluorescents. They replace problematic fluorescent lamps which use ballast technology and have a very short lifespan. LED tube lights come in different designs but they all feature the same bi-pin configuration of fluorescent lamps.

An electrician simply removes the old fluorescent ballast or bypasses it, sending the power straight to the LED driver to power the strips. LED strip lights are versatile and can be installed indoors or outdoors. They are perfect for illuminating different gym spaces as well as gym car parks and exterior areas.

How to Choose the Best LED Gym Lighting

Avoid Glare

When it comes to lighting, there’s one thing people complain about. Glare. LED lights don't generate light like conventional lights. The intensity of each chip can make glare a serious issue. Glare not only affects people as they exercise, it can also be the cause of gym accidents.

Truth be told, in the past, it was quite difficult to control the glare caused by LED lights. But thanks to continuous improvements in technology, new LED lights are different. They balance luminaire efficacy with visual comfort. These lights have transmissive lenses to cut glare without affecting the light output.

The Unified Glare Rating (UGR), rates glare for lighting products. To make sure that the lights you get do not cause glare, buy those with a Unified Glare Rating of less than 19. One thing you should remember is that a gym has a lot of shiny surfaces. Shiny surfaces reflect light, which means they can maximize the amount of glare in a facility.

Glare can be distracting for people working out. On the other hand, areas with very little light can have a negative impact on the energy of your gym patrons. This is why you should choose lights that create even, uniform brightness. Be sure to pick lights with wide surface areas and not widely-spread, isolated light.

Glare Image

Choose the Right Beam Angle and Lumens

What do you need to illuminate an indoor gym facility? If you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s fine – we’ve got you covered.

Gyms come in different shapes and sizes hence the recommended lux vary. Yet, we want to make sure you have a good idea of the lux needed in your gym. We will use a gym with 1000-square-feet as an example. A gym that occupies 1000 square feet needs approximately 400 lux.

1000 square feet x 400 lux = 400,000 lumens.

Optics Image

Our most popular indoor bay light fixtures have a luminous efficacy of 140 lumens per watt. It replaces 400W-750W metal halide lamps (which commercial gyms use). You only need 14-15 of these fixtures – if you get those that produce 28,000 lumens each.

Another important consideration is the beam angle. It is what determines the distribution of the light. There are two types of beam angles: a narrow beam angle and a wide beam angle. A narrow beam angle is ideal for accent lighting. It generates concentrated light intense and focused. A wide beam angle emits soft, general light with enough distribution in different areas of a gym.

We recommend that you work with a lighting designer when choosing the beam angles of your LED gym lights. My LED Lighting Guide provides a free photometric analysis to help make your job easier. 

Choose High Lumen Output and Color Temperature

For gyms with windows or operate 24 hours, it's important to use lights with the right color temperature. A color temp between 5-6000K, which is closest to daylight, has the same energizing effects as natural light. If you have been using metal halide, HPS, or fluorescents, it’s time to replace them with LED gym lights.

Color Temperature Guide for Gymnasiums

LEDs produce the right color temperature without generating a lot of heat like traditional lights. But the right color temperature is not the only thing that plays an important role. Lumens are the other crucial component – we measure brightness in lumens. LED lights with a color temperature above 5000K and a high lumen output can give a commercial gym all the brightness it needs.

Look At the IK Rating

This rating, like the IP rating, is an international code. It measures the level of protection a light fixture has against mechanical wear and tear and the impact it can take. It is a measure of a light fixture’s durability and robustness.

Using lighting fixtures in a high traffic area (a gym) it is important to get fixtures with the proper IK rating. This is because if the light fixtures get damaged, efficiency may decrease. Light fixtures that are resistant to impact. Analyzing the risk of impact is the first thing you should do before you decide if you need light fixtures with a high IK rating. IK rated fixtures are ideal for high-traffic areas. They are also perfect for areas that are susceptible to vandalism.

IK Impact Rating Image

IK ratings range between IK01 and IK10. Low-impact risk areas use light fixtures with an IK rating of IK07 and below. While high-impact risk areas need lights with an IK rating between IK07 and IK10.

5 Benefits of LED Lighting for Gyms

1. Reduces Operational and Maintenance Costs

Gyms open up all over in busy cities that have limited real estate. Gym proprietors look for ways to lower maintenance costs without increasing membership fees. LED lights last up to 25 times longer than conventional HID and fluorescents so switching is an easy decision. Consider that these lights can offer up to 75% energy savings over their long lifespans. 

The cost-effectiveness of LEDs is of great importance to gym proprietors. Reducing the gym lighting costs becomes practical and sustainable with our LED options. With energy savings up to 75%, you can reduce a tremendous amount of power consumption. Adding simple controls like motion sensors can dim gym lights down when no one is in the area.

Savings for Gymnasiums

CRI for Gymnasiums

2. Provides a Better Experience with Higher Quality Light

Removing metal halide or HPS lights and replacing them with LEDs will improve the experience for everyone using the gym. From getting rid of flickering and buzzing lights to ensuring the gym is never under-lit. LEDs solve all the common downfalls of previous lighting technologies. And being able to control the light levels is also an added bonus.

3. Increases Safety for Athletes


LED gym lights increase safety in gyms with quality illumination, which improves visibility. With so many things going on in a typical gym, it's easy for people to get hurt. Effective illumination by gym LED lights will enable people to avoid accidental injury.


4. Helps Gym Proprietors to Put Their Best Foot Forward


If you use HID lamps or fluorescent, you'll increase the work for your maintenance staff. Every time these bulbs buzz, flicker, or take time to warm up or cool down, it affects the appearance of your gym. It gives people the impression that the gym proprietor or manager isn’t on top of things. Bad lighting also increases eyestrain and makes exercise more difficult for gym members.

You may not know it, but inefficient lighting also presents safety and security hazards. If people get injured in your gym and sue, you may end up spending a lot of money on settlements. Because LED lights are reliable, they ensuring there's one less thing to worry about as you run your gym.


5. Improves the Public Image of A Gym


More and more people are becoming sensitive to environmental issues. So taking steps to reduce your gym's impact on the environment is good PR. It can be a deciding factor in whether people come to your gym or go to another gym. As we said, LED lights do not put strain on our dwindling energy resources and lower carbon emissions. They contain no mercury and do not pose a danger to the air we breathe or our water supply. Something that makes them better than other energy-efficient alternatives, like compact fluorescent bulbs.

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