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LED Gym Lighting

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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.

A gymnasium lighting system is key to creating a friendly environment that appeals to those who use the facility. If your system lacks quality lighting, it may turn people away from enjoying their time and even worse; turn them away from coming back. With our LED gym lights, we are improving the gymnasium experience while reducing energy consumption.

LED Gymnasium Lights

UFO LED High Bays

Linear LED High Bay Fixtures

High Power LED High Bays

Magnetic Strip Retrofit Kit

LED Gym Lighting: The Definitive Guide

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. Many traditional gymnasium lighting fixtures 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 gymnasium lighting system can create the perfect environment for people who use the facility. If your gymnasium lacks high-quality lighting, it may put off people who come to the gym and drive away potential customers. When you install LED gym lights, you improve the overall experience for those who come to the facility and also lower your energy usage.

Finding the right light fixtures for any area can be hard, but 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 are mostly 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 much more. Gyms that are used for a myriad of activities must have flexible lights that meet their different requirements. For example, the light output of the fixtures can be based on the activities: high-intensity for sporting events and low-intensity for non-sporting functions and ceremonies.

Gyms are typically large rooms with high ceilings. The first consideration when choosing commercial gym lighting is thinking of the ceiling – which is usually 20 feet (or higher) above the floor. It is worth noting that light fixtures installed in high ceilings are more difficult to maintain because they may require lifts or ladders when they are being serviced or changed out.

When lighting a gym, it is vital to choose light fixtures that do not need to be frequently replaced. Because of the high ceilings, maintenance can be quite expensive and time-consuming. LED gym lights are extremely durable and have a long lifespan and reduce lighting 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 stare at the ceiling. If the wrong light fixtures are used, they will emit harsh, bright light that may blind the people in the gym, giving them a very bad experience.

LED gym lighting

6 Crucial Things to Consider When Choosing Gym Lighting

1. The Layout of the Gym

One thing you must never forget as you design gym lighting is the fitness trends and equipment. What is popular now will not always be popular. In addition, customer needs will also change as the equipment and trends change. As things change, you may need to alter the layout of your gym. If you fail to do so, you will be left behind and your customers may move to better gyms.

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 and equipment change, your lighting will continue to provide the versatility you need to come up with new arrangements.

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 only specific light fixtures can be used. For instance, low bay light fixtures cannot be used in a gym with a very high ceiling as they are ideal for ceilings that are not higher than 20 feet.

If low bay light fixtures are used in such a gym, the light they generate will be insufficient, so the space will be poorly lit. The most common lighting fixtures for indoor gyms are high bay lighting fixtures. These are specially designed to light up gyms with high ceilings and are perfect for most indoor commercial gyms.

Take time to evaluate the type of equipment you will have in the gym and how much vertical space your patrons will need. Also make sure that the lighting fixtures do not hang low as they may interfere with their exercise routines.

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 its specific hours of operation: some gyms operate half a day, others operate during the daytime, while others are open for 24 hours. If your gym operates for 12 hours every day or is open 24 hours a day, you must install lights that can function for a long period of time without requiring maintenance or burning out.

In the less utilized areas of the facility, you can pair lights with lighting controls that switch them on and off automatically depending on the occupancy. Lighting controls can help you to lower your energy consumption further after you switch to LED technology, saving you 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, meaning you can use light fixtures with a lower lumen output.

But dark-colored walls, floors, and ceilings have a low reflectance level and 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 highly reflective, do not make it harder on your clients’ eyes by getting light fixtures with a high lumen output.

6. Flexible Lighting Options

Because different areas of a gym are used for different purposes, different light fixtures are needed. Flexible lighting fixtures – such as those that work with dimmers – can make all the difference. For example, if you use a single room for different workout classes, you can use energizing, bright light for high-energy classes like zumba and aerobics and dimmer, relaxing light for stress-relieving classes like yoga and meditation.

Some LED lights are highly flexible and you can decrease or increase their light output without changing their coverings. When you install flexible lighting fixtures in multi-functional spaces, you will provide the right lighting for different activities and create the atmosphere needed for any exercise.

5 Excellent Tips for a 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 change the brightness of artificial light according to the intensity of sunlight streaming into the gym.

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 are dimmed to save energy. But the only limitation of a daylight control system is that it is not ideal for indoor gyms that are devoid of windows.

Without a doubt, natural light is the best type of light for any facility. This is why most advanced lighting technologies like LED are specially designed 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, don’t block them with curtains or other window treatments.

2. Use Motion Sensors and Dimmers for Gym Facilities

Motion sensors are premium lighting features that switch lights off and on according to the occupancy. They have sensors that detect when people enter a room and immediately switch on the lights. If the rooms become unoccupied for some moments, they switch off the lights. 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-sensing timers and modules.

In areas where low-key workouts are performed, the lighting can be dimmed according to the workout. For instance, in rooms where yoga and pilates are done, the lights can be dimmed to create a tranquil atmosphere.

Dim lighting is also recommended for cool-down routines. Cool, bright light can be used during rigorous exercise routines and light dimmer switches can be used to dim the light afterwards. Just Like yoga and pilates, stretching and cool down exercises need less intense light that creates a relaxed atmosphere.

3. Uniform Light Is Crucial

Nothing makes a gym more unappealing than uneven lighting which casts shadows in every corner. The lights you choose should distribute light evenly throughout the gym to avoid distractingly 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.

If the gym is used for a specific sport and the light is not uniform, players may have difficulty judging the flight and speed of playing objects. The reason for this is that objects can appear to gather speed as they pass from well-lit zones too poorly lit zones. Since LED gym lights distribute light uniformly, fewer fixtures may be required to achieve the desired lux levels.

4. Sufficient Illuminance of the Vertical and Horizontal Plane

Vertical and horizontal illuminance matter a lot in sports gyms. Illuminance (brightness or incident light) is the quantity of light that hits a specific surface. The light intensity requirement will differ depending on the type of activity performed in a gym. The only way a lighting expert can make sure that a gym is properly illuminated and has the right lux levels is by measuring them.

Illuminance is measured by the density of lumens for each unit area and its standard measurements are lux and foot candles. Light is usually measured on both the vertical and horizontal planes. The vertical measurement is referred to as the vertical illuminance and is the quantity of light that hits a vertical surface like a wall.

The horizontal measurement is referred to as the horizontal illuminance and is the quantity of light that hits a horizontal surface like a tabletop. If you have a sports gym, it is very important to consider both the horizontal and vertical illuminances in your lighting design.

5. Low Surface Luminance

When it comes to designing the lighting for a gym, there is one unique challenge you will face: some of your gym patrons will be exercising on their backs looking up. While it is of utmost importance to create a bright and airy atmosphere, there's one thing you should avoid at all costs, blinding those who will be exercising on their backs.

When buying lighting products for your gym, there's one thing you should look for: low surface luminance. Another great lighting trick is to use uplights. These lights cast light up towards the ceiling. The light they produce is adequate and will reflect throughout the gym without making your clients close their eyes as they do crunches.

Problems with Conventional Gym Lighting Fixtures

Before and After LED Installation

When designing gym lighting, it is vital to select light fixtures that create a comfy environment for all gym-goers. There are three traditional lighting sources used in gyms: high pressure sodium lamps, metal halides, and compact fluorescent lamps. However, all of these lights are not ideal for gyms as they contain mercury, a toxic element that can be harmful to humans and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency requires that all lighting sources containing mercury be disposed of properly.

LED lights don't contain any mercury and have been shown to increase both alertness and energy as the light they produce is similar to that produced by the sun. This particular benefit of LED lighting is important for health-conscious gym-goers.

Another issue with these conventional lighting technologies is that they have the tendency to buzz and flicker after extended periods of use. Metal halides and fluorescent lamps can be very noisy if they operate for a long period of time. For gym members to make the most of their exercise, they must stay focused. Light fixtures that flicker or buzz can be a very big distraction.

High intensity discharge lamps usually produce very intense light directly beneath them and the light intensity diminishes as one moves away from the lamps. If the light fixtures are not well-positioned, they may create bright spots (where there's too much light) and dark spots (where there's little to no light). If the light is very bright and harsh, it may affect the eyes of gym-goers.

Another downside of high pressure sodium and metal halide lamps is that they need to warm up before attaining optimal output. This can be very inconveniencing for gym-goers who work out at nighttime. It is also inconvenient for gym managers as they have to remember to turn on the lights before it gets dark so the gym may be bright enough by the time patrons arrive. LED lights help you to steer clear of this inconvenience because they attain full brightness as soon as they are switched on.

Types of LED Lighting Fixtures Used in Gyms

UFO LED High Bays

LED High Bays

High bay fixtures are typically used in gyms with very high ceilings that require illumination from very high points. These fixtures are usually mounted on ceilings that are 20-40 feet above the floor. The bulbs used normally have a high lumen output – a single bulb can produce 15,000-100,000 lumens.

LED high bays are brighter and efficient alternatives to conventional metal halide and high pressure sodium high bays. Thanks to their high light output, they are perfect for lighting up training areas as well as workout classes.

High Power LED High Bays

LED Low Bays

LED Low Bays

These lights are usually mounted on ceilings that are not very high, 12 to 20 feet above the floor. Just like high bay lights, they have a high lumen output and provide uniform light that is well distributed in gyms. Lens angles are used to distribute the light generated by low bays much further.

The fixtures also contain diffusers which diffuse the light and lessen the hash reflection that may be caused by low ceilings. Multi-functional LED low bays can be mounted on walls and ceilings and can be adjusted to direct light to certain areas – like the areas where training equipment are kept.

Magnetic Strip Retrofit Kit

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.

LED Flood Lights

LED Floodlights

One of the things your lighting fixtures must accomplish is compel more people to sign up for gym membership. LED floodlights can ensure that the exterior spaces of your gym are well illuminated at night. These fixtures can also ensure that people who come to the gym at night or leave do so without being afraid – as well-lit spaces create a sense of safety and security. Make sure you choose LED floodlights that are protected from water for outdoor spaces.

How to Choose the Best LED Gym Lighting

Avoid Glare

In a sporting facility, if a sportsman misses a shot, they will put the blame on glare. In fact, glare is one of the things people complain about when a lighting design is poorly implemented.

Glare can be a grave problem when it comes to LED lighting because LED lights are usually made up of multiple LED chips. If each of these chips produces very intense light, the overall light produced can be overwhelming. Glare not only affects people as they go about their exercise routines, 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 made differently and balance luminaire efficacy with visual comfort. These lights have highly transmissive lenses which minimize glare without negatively affecting the light output.

The Unified Glare Rating (UGR), is used to rate 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 extremely 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 lighting fixtures with wide surface areas and not widely-spread, isolated light.

Choose the Right Beam Angle and Lumens

We’ll begin this paragraph by asking you one question, how many lux do you think are needed to properly illuminate an indoor gym facility? If you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s totally fine – we’ve got you covered.

Gyms come in different shapes and sizes hence the recommended lux vary. However, we want to make sure you have a good idea of the lux needed in an indoor gym, so we will use a gym with 1000-square-feet as an example. Approximately 400 lux are needed in a gym that occupies 1000 square feet.

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

Since our most popular indoor bay light fixtures have a luminous efficacy of 140 lumens per watt and replace 400W-750W metal halide lamps (which are commonly used in commercial gyms), you only need 14-15 of these fixtures – if you get those that produce 28,000 lumens each.

Another important thing to consider is the beam angle, because it is what determines how the light will be distributed. 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 as it generates concentrated light which is intense and focused. A wide beam angle emits soft, general light and distributes it sufficiently to different areas of a gym.

LED lights come with different beam angles and the angles you choose will determine how light will be distributed in your gym. We highly 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 LED Gym Lights with a High Lumen Output and Color Temperature

If your gym only has a few windows or operates for 24 hours, it is very important that you install lights with the right color temperature. LED gym lights with a color temperature between 5000K and 6000K (the temperatures closest to daylight), have been shown to have the same energizing effects of natural light. If you have been using metal halide, high pressure sodium, or compact fluorescent lamps, it’s time to replace them with LED gym lights.

LEDs have the ability to produce quality light in the right color temperature without generating a lot of heat like traditional lighting technologies. But the right light color temperature is not the only thing that plays an important role in the brightness of light. Lumens are the other crucial component – because brightness is measured 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, just like the IP rating, is an international code that measures the level of protection a light fixture has against mechanical wear and tear and also the impact it can take. It is a measure of a light fixture’s durability and robustness. The European EN 62262 and the International Standard 62262 (2002) relate to IK ratings and provide numeric classifications to each lighting fixture that has been tested, representing the degree of impact protection.

Why is the IK rating of a light fixture so important and where do the classifications come in when choosing lighting fixtures?

Since you will be buying lighting fixtures which will be used 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, they may fail to work efficiently or fail to work completely. However, you don't need light fixtures that are highly resistant to impact if there is little to no risk of 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 not just ideal for high-traffic areas, they are also perfect for areas that are susceptible to vandalism.

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


Since LED lights are energy-efficient, they qualify for rebates offered by utility companies. Utilities offer very good rebates for energy-efficient lighting. The rebates and incentives offered by utility companies can significantly lower the upfront costs of switching to LED technology. Since you'll spend less money, your payback period will be very short.

Lighting products that qualify for rebates are those that are certified by DesignLights Consortium. This organization certifies lighting products according to their efficiency and quality. DLC has both standard and premium qualifications, and the products with premium qualification are eligible for higher rebates. If you get light fixtures with DLC premium qualification, your overall return on investment will be higher.

6 Ways LED Gym Lighting Benefits a Gym

1. Reduces Operational and Maintenance Costs

Every other day, gyms keep opening up in busy cities that have limited real estate. Gym proprietors are always looking for ways to lower maintenance costs without increasing gym membership fees. Since LED lights can last up to 25 times longer than conventional HID and fluorescent lights, switching to LED becomes an easy decision – considering 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. Proprietors who are committed to the health and well-being of their patrons install LEDs which create a more energy-efficient environment, decreasing the demand on fossil fuels and providing light that is run by renewable energy.

Reducing gym lighting costs becomes practical and sustainable with our LED gym lighting 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.

2. Provides a Better Experience with Higher Quality Light

Removing metal halide or HPS lights and replacing them with LED gym lights will improve the overall experience for everyone using the gym. From getting rid of flickering and buzzing lights to ensuring the gym is never under-lit, LEDs will solve all of 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 by their ability to offer 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 provided by our gym LED light fixtures will enable people to avoid accidental injury otherwise unpreventable.

4. Benefits Gym Member’s Health

There are many ways LED lights can benefit gym-goers. People go to the gym at different times of the day and one thing that affects their energy and alertness levels (their circadian rhythm) is the cycle of the sun over a 24-hour period. If we don't get sufficient amounts of good light during the day, we end up tired and don't have the energy we need to make the most of a gym membership – which means it won't be a worthwhile investment.

Lighting has a great impact on mood and movement and most gyms use artificial light that looks almost natural as it has the ability to enhance mood. Since this light has a great impact on alertness, it helps gym members to stay alert. And when members are more alert, they are more energized.

LED lights are flexible and can be programmed to provide the right light at any time of day. In a gym, where the right lighting atmosphere is so important, LED lights can make all the difference.

5. Helps Gym Proprietors to Put Their Best Foot Forward

If you use HID lamps or fluorescent, you don't just 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 extremely reliable, they do not malfunction prematurely, ensuring there's one less thing to worry about as you run your gym.

6. Improves the Public Image of A Gym

More and more people are becoming sensitive to environmental issues, and taking steps to reduce your gym's impact on the environment is very good PR – and 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 more 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.

Lighting Different Areas of a Gym

Workout Areas

Without a doubt, these are the most important areas of a gym – because the main reason people go to a gym is to work out. All workout areas should have bright light that improves alertness.

This is where color temperature comes in.

In areas where high-intensity workouts like boot camps and aerobics are performed, the color temperature of the light fixtures should be 4000K-5000K. Bright lights help gym-goers to clearly see the equipment and other features and avoid injury.

In areas where relaxing exercises like meditation and yoga are performed, softer light is needed. The light fixtures installed should make the environment calm. Dimmers can be added to minimize the light intensity and create a relaxed mood.

Darker light is recommended for cycling classes as the members don't physically interact. Dimmers should also be added to the lights in these spaces as the instructors must be able to adjust the light if need be.

Workout rooms should also have lights which light up the paths and exits so that people are able to leave the rooms whenever they wish or in case of emergencies.

Other important areas are the cardio and weightlifting areas. Here, bright light fixtures with a lower lumen output should be used. As we mentioned, some exercises require gym members to look up, and bright light can blind them. The LED lights used here should have diffusers or milky lens covers.

The glare rating of the fixtures is also important as some treadmills and workout machines can cause glare if the light is too bright.

The Lockers and Changing Area

The one thing that greatly impacts customer satisfaction in a gym is the atmosphere. While cleanliness is of utmost importance in this space, the lighting can help create a sense of luxury. People relax in the changing area after working out, so the light must be gentle but bright.

Bright light also helps people to easily store their personal effects or retrieve them after working out. The light fixtures used in the changing area should emit soft light while those used in the locker area should emit bright light.

The Pool and Shower Areas

The LED light fixtures used in these areas must have the proper IP rating and be UL Listed for Wet Locations. Suspended lights are not recommended. We recommend recessed lighting because the fixtures will be more shielded if they're installed inside the ceiling.

The light fixtures used in the indoor pool area must be durable, water-resistant, and safe while those installed in the shower area must be bright enough to enhance visibility and safety.

The Outdoor Space

When darkness sets in, nothing determines the safety and attractiveness of your gym like the lighting. As people pass by the gym and see members working out inside, they may be motivated to sign up for membership. The lights can also increase the safety of the exterior and deter criminals from carrying out unlawful activities.

To ensure that the lights are durable, choose those that are UL Listed for damp and wet locations and have the right IP rating (IP65, IP66, IP67, or IP68). Remember that the light fixtures will be frequently exposed to harsh outdoor elements like rain, wind, and heat. The entrance and exit of the gym must be well illuminated as this minimizes the risk of accidents.

Closing Off

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing the lighting fixtures for a gym is the comfort of your clients. Strive to create an environment that is inviting, safe, and enjoyable. With the right LED gym lights, you can accomplish your goal effortlessly.

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