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LED Low Bay Lights

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LED Low Bay Fixtures

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LED low bay lights are used for lower ceiling bay lighting that requires less light than a typical LED high bay fixture. LED low bay lighting is ideal for small warehouses, shops, garages or work areas low ceiling heights. Low bay lights are also used for parking garages, aisle lighting and for workshops and workstations. LED low bay fixtures typically replace 175 watts to 250 watts HID / metal halide or 2-lamp T5HO to 4-lamp T8 fluorescent lamps.

UFO LED Low Bays

Linear LED Low Bay Fixtures

Food Processing / NSF Low Bays

Hazardous Location LED Low Bays

Replace Metal Halide, HPS and Fluorescent Low Bays

Replace 250W HID

Replace 400W HID

Replace 4 Lamp 54W T5HO

LED Low Bay Retrofit

LED Low Bay Lights:

A Comprehensive Guide

First, A Little About Bay Lighting

In manufacturing facilities, factories, warehouses, and other spaces with high ceilings (10 feet and above), bay lighting is usually the lighting of choice. This is because it has the ability to illuminate these spaces adequately.

The first thing you must determine when choosing light fixtures for an application with high ceilings is to know the type of fixtures you need. Bay lights typically have higher wattage requirements and produce more than 8,000 lumens in order to light up large spaces adequately.

In many large commercial and industrial spaces, the ceilings are normally constructed in a way that they have recessed bay-like partitions. Low bay lights are installed in these partitions to deliver high light levels without causing glare.

What Are LED Low Bay Lights?

Commercial and industrial spaces with high ceilings, like warehouses and factories, usually require low bay lights. These lights have a high lumen output and are meant to provide uniform, well-distributed light in large spaces.

As their name portrays, low bay lights are usually installed in ceilings that are 12 to 20 feet above the floor. Lens angles are normally used to spread the light produced by low bay lights much further. By using lens angles to direct the light to specific places, fewer low bay lights are needed at times.

Low bays usually have very high bulb intensity as there's little room for the light to diffuse before hitting the ground. The fixtures have diffusers to diffuse the light and reduce the harsh reflection that can be caused by lower ceilings. They help produce a more natural, attractive light in large spaces with low ceilings.

Low bay light fixtures usually have a beam angle of 120°. When lighting experts are choosing a beam angle for a low bay ceiling in order to provide the most sufficient amount of light, they usually look at the ceiling height. The lower the ceiling is, the broader the beam angle can be. Most low bay light fixtures have a wattage of 60 to 100.

Low bay light fixtures are usually designed to be installed as close as 8 feet from the work plane in order to provide efficient, low-glare illumination light for manufacturing, storage, and other activities carried out in large, commercial spaces.

Low bays are usually mounted on a ceiling using pendants or chains. They can also be mounted directly on a ceiling or a ceiling girder. These lights are usually mounted higher than fluorescent surface mount light fixtures or recessed troffer lights.

Where Are Low Bay Lights Used?

Low bay lights can be used for general overhead lighting, aisle lighting, workshop lighting, garage lighting, warehouse lighting and in other applications which have ceilings with heights lower than 20 feet.

Low bays provide powerful illumination and meet the requirements of commercial spaces with low ceilings. The light fixtures can be used in a myriad of spaces and are perfect for large spaces that need adequate lighting. These spaces usually need light fixtures that can provide both vertical and horizontal illumination, those that have a high lumen output.

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MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip

Looking for High Bay Lights?

We have you covered. We offer a full line of powerful high bays for higher ceiling applications. Check out our LED High Bays.

Low Bay Light Fixtures: Lighting Technologies Used

HID Technology

High intensity discharge lamps are a type of electrical gas-discharge lamps that generate light through an electric arc. In a HID lamp, the filament of the bulb is replaced with a gas capsule. The light that emanates from the electric arc is usually discharged between two electrodes that are placed close to each other. But all HID lamps have some characteristics that make them unfit for low bay applications.

3 Common Issues with HID Low Bay Light Fixtures

1. High Energy Costs

Common HID lamp wattages for low bay lights range between 175 to 1000 watts, although for low ceiling purposes it is not typical to find anything above 400W. The light output of the fixtures is usually dictated by the wattage. There are four things that play an important role in how the watts are utilized: the work carried out in the area being illuminated, how the lights are spaced, where the fixtures are mounted, and the specific height of the ceiling.

A 1000W or a 400W high intensity discharge light fixture (which are the fixtures that are commonly used in low bay applications), cost about $209 and $525 to operate every year in electricity alone.

2. Lighting Performance

Depending on the type of HID low bay lamps installed in your facility, the performance of your lighting may vary significantly. For instance, if you use metal halide lamps, the light they generate may be very white.

However, metal halide have a very quick rate of lumen degradation – which means the light output of the lamps will start to quickly diminish as soon as they are installed. The useful life of these lamps is very short and they never get to the end of their lives with the same light output. As they get older, you may notice that the lamps produce pinkish light and do not illuminate your space adequately.

If you are using high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, they may last longer as they have a longer rated life than metal halide. However, high pressure sodium lamps have two big disadvantages: they do not render colors well – as they have a very low color rendering index – and the light they produce is very orange.

This basically means that you either get metal halide lamps which have a shorter useful life and better light output, or you get high pressure sodium lamps which have a longer useful life and poor light output. Both options aren’t good.

3. Maintenance Costs

For those who manage industrial lighting or commercial lighting fixtures, maintenance costs are usually a big concern. Besides having a short life expectancy, HID low bay light fixtures are very costly to maintain as they use ballasts which also consume electricity and have a short lifespan.

Replacing burnt out bulbs and ballasts may require the use of lifts. Since many commercial buildings and facilities do not own lifts, they have to hire contractors to service or replace these light fixtures. Over a few years, lighting maintenance expenses can really add up. In just 3 years you may spend $1200 on labor and materials to maintain just one low bay light fixture. Can you imagine how much you'll spend if you have many of these fixtures installed in your low bay application?

Fluorescent Technology

 

Fluorescent lamps, which are also known as fluorescent tubes, are mercury-vapor, gas-discharge lamps that use fluorescence to generate visible light. An electric current within the gas kindles the mercury vapor which produces ultraviolet light, causing a phosphor coating on the lamp’s interior to glow. The average luminous efficacy of fluorescent lamps is 50 to 100 lumens per watt, which means they are more efficient than high intensity discharge lamps.

The most common fluorescents for low bay applications are T8 lamps. These are used in both industrial and commercial spaces. What makes them so popular is that they have aluminum reflectors which help distribute all the light downwards and outwards, creating a warm and bright environment. However, these light fixtures are not without fault. Let's look at a few of their downsides.

 

Common Issues with Fluorescent Low Bay Light Fixtures

1. Harmful To Humans and the Environment

The mercury found in fluorescent lamps is converted to mercury vapor when the lamps are switched on and plays a crucial role in helping the lamps to produce light. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a fluorescent lamp usually contains about 40 milligrams of mercury. If these lamps happen to break, the dangerous chemical inside them may leak into the environment and affect the health of humans.

 

2. Highly Susceptible to Degradation

While fluorescent lamps have a rated life of 7,000 to 15,000 hours, several factors can affect their life expectancy. One of these factors is the switching frequency. If the lamps are frequently switched on and off, they will age very quickly because the electron-emitting surface of their cathodes will wear out.

Operating temperature is another thing that affects the life expectancy of fluorescent lamps. If they are installed in a low bay application with below freezing temperatures, they may fail to operate or malfunction prematurely. Since they do not emit a lot of heat like high intensity discharge lamps, they cannot melt snow and ice if it builds up.

 

3. Limitations

Fluorescent lamps have many limitations. For starters, not all of them are dimmable. If you want dimmable lamps, you must buy those that have been specially designed to work with dimmers. If you try to use non-dimmable fluorescents with dimmers, you may cause them to burn out prematurely and be forced to get new ones.

Another limitation of fluorescent lamps is that they produce a buzzing sound when they are turned on. This is especially the case with lamps that use magnetic ballasts. And as we said, the lamps have a short lifespan, which means they have to be changed out frequently, driving up lighting maintenance costs and negatively impacting your bottom line.

 

LED Technology

 

LED low bay lights are highly energy efficient and can lower energy consumption by up to 75%. Energy expenditure can go down by up to 90% if LEDs are used together with lighting controls such as dimmers and motion sensors. LED low bays emit very little heat and can lower energy consumption further by reducing the demand for air conditioning in a low bay application.

LED low bay lights have a very long lifespan and significantly lower lighting maintenance costs. These lights are not affected by extreme temperatures and function optimally in both cold and hot spaces. They do not buzz or flicker, do not take time to attain full illumination (like high intensity discharge lamps), and do not need ballasts or reflectors to work well.

Types of Low Bay Fixtures

UFO LED Low Bays

When selecting light fixtures for low bay applications, the most important thing is efficiency. Since the light fixtures will light up the space from a high point, the light must be optimized for illumination. UFO low bays have a very unique design that plays a crucial role in their efficiency. Their fin style ensures they transfer thermal properties more evenly.

UFO LED low bay lights provide light that is powerful and uniform. They are very well constructed and have IP65 rating, meaning they can be installed in harsh environments and still work well. UFO LED lights are also UL Listed for safety purposes and DLC certified, which means you can get a rebate check from your utility company.

One thing UFO LED light fixtures do well is merge functionality with style. When installed in a space, they enhance its style because of their striking appearance. These light fixtures are ideal for low bay applications that need beautiful, functional light.

Panel-Style LED Low Bays

These light fixtures are often confused with LED light panels, but the two are not to be confused. Panel-style LED low bays have a look that is similar to that of troffer-style panels; they look like T8 and T5 fluorescent fixtures.

Their major benefit is that they have the ability to distribute light over a large area, so you may need fewer light fixtures to sufficiently illuminate your space. These fixtures also have large heat sinks which excellently dissipate the heat their LEDs produce.

Since panel-style LED low bays resemble T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps, they make perfect replacements for these lamps. They can also be used in place of linear fluorescent lamps. Panel-style LED low bays can replace these traditional lamps and lower energy consumption while providing sufficient light.

Linear Aisle LED Low Bays

These low bay fixtures are normally used in grocery stores, warehouses, and wholesale club stores. They have beam angles which are perfect for use between aisles. If your low bay application has many aisles, these are the light fixtures you should get for the space.

Some linear LED low bays have DLC Certification and are UL Listed, so the initial costs of buying them will be reduced by the rebate you get from your utility company. Linear aisle low bays combine the awesome power of LED with functional design to provide a lighting solution that is both powerful and practical.

LED Retrofit Low Bay Kits

For those who want to switch to LED technology and also save money, this is the best option. A retrofit kit is usually installed in the existing traditional light fixture and the conventional bulb and ballast are replaced with a LED head and driver. Retrofit units are typically more affordable than new LED low bay light fixtures because they are cheaper to manufacture – they have fewer components. They are also cheaper to install as their installation process is not complicated.

Top Benefits of Low Bay LED Lighting

1. They Produce Higher-Quality Light

One of the things LED lights do differently than traditional light sources is they generate higher-quality light. As we said earlier, the common wattages for high intensity discharge low bay lights are 400 and 1000. However, something we must consider is that these lights need ballasts to work properly as the ballasts regulate their voltage and current. Ballasts consume approximately 15% of the energy HID lights consume. So, if a 400-watt HID bulb consumes 455 watts, its ballast will consume an extra 68.25 watts.

Since LED low bay lights consume a lot less electricity than HID lamps and fluorescents, a 150-watt LED low bay can replace a 400-watt HID lamp. Additionally, LEDs do not need ballasts. By simply replacing HID low bays with LED low bay lights, energy expenditure will go down by 75%. Add lighting controls to the mix and energy consumption may decrease by 90%. If your low bay application has many light fixtures, you will save thousands of dollars yearly and get back the money you invested in a short period of time.

Let’s look at metal halide to LED conversion

10,000 -13,000 lumens:  replaces 250W HID fixtures 

13,000 - 23,000 lumens: replaces 400W HID fixtures 

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Get a photometric analysis

Please note that only a proper photometric analysis in your facility will determine what light, wattage and optics are best suited for your facility. You need to take into account the ability of the walls, floors and ceilings to reflect light. Dull surfaces mean you will need more light while reflective surfaces mean you can use less light to achieve brightness.

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MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip

Not all LED Low Bays are the same - read the specs!

Its not uncommon to see 2 different 100W LED Low Bays produce different amounts of lumens (aka light). That's because the efficiency is determined by the LED chips used. Products using older chips will produce less lumens than products using the newer more efficient chips. And the difference can be dramatic. Its OK to pay attention to the watts of the unit, but also pay attention to the lumens it produces.

2. Energy Savings

One of the top benefits of LED technology is that it improves safety while reducing costs. Switching to LED can help a company to save millions of dollars on both energy and labor. LED lights need very little maintenance because they are very well constructed. The light fixtures also have a long life expectancy and draw very little electricity.

Many companies put off switching to LED because of the costs related to a lighting upgrade. But the thing is, the savings LED lights offer make the conversion project worthwhile. In general, the payback period for any large-scale upgrade is about 1 to 2 years.

3. Enhanced Light Performance

Approximately 30% of the light produced by HID lights is infrared. This is wasted light because it is not useful to humans. The percentage is higher for older versions of HID technology. Fluorescent lamps also produce a percentage of infrared light. Another important thing worth noting is that HID lumen output significantly deteriorates as the bulbs age. Some high intensity discharge lamps only produce 30% useful light after 10,000 hours of operation.

Another downside of HIDs is that most emit a considerable amount of UV radiation – which can be very harmful to humans. Because of this deficiency, the lamps need UV filters to prevent serious injury to humans or animals, fading of dyed items due to exposure to the light, and degradation of fixture parts. HID lights are also omni-directional in nature and need reflectors to reflect the light they produce and direct it to the desired areas. This means that their light output is a lot less efficient.

LED lights designed for humans do not produce infrared light or ultraviolet light, retain 70% of their lumen output throughout their entire lifespan, and are directional by nature which means their light does not need to be reflected and redirected.

4. They Lower Light Maintenance Costs

Replacing light fixtures in low bay applications is expensive and labor-intensive. The great thing about LED low bay lights is that they have a very long lifespan and significantly lower lighting maintenance costs.

For example, most industrial LED bulbs can last 60,000 hours when used in an application whose ambient temperature is 55°C. This means that if the bulbs are installed in an application with an ambient temperature of 25°C, their lifespan may be as long as 170,000 hours. This is approximately 20 years!

In addition, most LED lights have the L70 rating. The rating means that these fixtures retain 70% of their lumens for the whole of their lives. High-quality LED low bays have a rated life of 100,000 hours and their performance is not affected by very high or very low temperatures.

High intensity discharge lamps and fluorescent lights have a maximum lifespan of 25,000 hours. What's more, their life expectancy is affected by extreme temperatures. LEDs have solid state construction and rarely experience premature or unplanned failure, something that makes them perfect for harsh environments.

5. Good for the Environment

If your company has set sustainability goals it intends to achieve, installing LED low bay lights can give it the push it needs to achieve the goals. Lighting makes up a large part of any organization's energy consumption. When traditional lights are replaced with LED lights, employees can enjoy working in an environment that is well-lit and doesn't consume a lot of electricity. LEDs last up to 25 times longer than conventional lighting systems and use a lot less energy.

LEDs are a good alternative to green lighting as they drastically lower energy consumption. By doing this, they reduce demand for electricity on the grid and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike traditional lighting technologies, they do not contain any harmful chemicals, meaning their disposal process is not complex.

You may not know it, but lower energy consumption impacts more than just electricity. A good lighting system can result in lower water usage.

6. You Can Get Rebates

The rebates offered for low bay lights by utility companies make switching to LED very compelling. They considerably lower the upfront costs of an upgrade. Utilities in America have different rebate programs for energy-efficient lighting and give cash rebates and incentives for residential and commercial LED lighting projects. They offer both prescriptive and custom rebate options.

Prescriptive rebates state the exact LED lights that should replace conventional bulbs while custom rebates cover anything that is not covered by prescription rebates. Utilities also have another condition for giving rebates: DLC certification. This certification shows that a product adheres to the set standards and is efficient and high-functioning.

You can find out about the available rebate programs by contacting your utility company, using ENERGY STAR’s Rebate Finder, or visiting the Department of Energy's Rebates and Savings page.

Things to Consider when Choosing Low Bay LED Lighting

Luminous Efficacy (Lumens Per Watt)

Luminous efficacy is the true measure of a bulb’s efficiency. It indicates the lumens produced for every watt of electricity consumed. LED bulbs are more efficient than traditional bulbs as they have a higher luminous efficacy. High-quality LEDs have awesome efficacy ratings; the standard luminous efficacy is currently 100 lumens per watt. This means that a good LED bulb should produce 100 lumens for every watt of energy it draws.

Think of luminous efficacy as bang for the buck. The efficiency of your new LED low bay lights will be seen in the reduction of your electric bill as utilities charge by the watt. If you get LED low bays with a high luminous efficacy, they will pay for themselves very quickly.

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MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip

High Efficacy = More Savings

Don't be fooled by the $'s you think you're saving when you buy a lower efficacy priced low bay. The money you will save with the higher efficiency LEDs will save you significantly more than the $s you saved with the cheaper low bay.

Color Temperature

 

Color temperature, which is also known as correlated color temperature, accurately measures the temperature of a light source.

HID and fluorescent lamps generate light in different colors, however, the color range is limited. On the contrary, LEDs produce light in a wide range of colors. The standard color temperature for industrial and commercial spaces is between 3000K and 6000K. Spaces that need very bright light – like showrooms, factories and assembly lines – need lights with a color temperature of 5000K. Most bulbs used in retail spaces have a color temperature of 4000K as very bright light isn't required in these spaces.

The Kelvin scale is used to measure a bulb's color temperature because of its accuracy in measuring very hot and cold objects. Bulbs with a low color temperature produce warm light (in the red, orange, and yellow spectrums) while those with a high color temperature produce cool light (in blue and white spectrums).

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MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip

Best Color Temperature Choice for LED Low Bays

You can't go wrong with choosing 5000K as it is a good choice for replacing Metal Halide. Choosing 4000K will provide a slightly warmer (hints of yellow) lighting.

Color Rendering Index

Color rendering index defines the color of light and tells us how well a light source will reveal the colors of items compared to sunlight (the ideal light source). When it comes to high intensity discharge lamps, people usually complain about one thing: poor light color. Light color is extremely important in low bay applications because it has a huge impact on clarity and contrast.

Most low bay applications require a high level of illumination for work to be done well and productivity to increase. Powerful lighting helps maintain the proper foot candle levels for adequate illumination. If these levels are not maintained, accidents may occur.

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MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip

Choosing the right CRI for LED Low Bays

A good choice would be to look for a fixture that produces 70 CRI. If you need more accurate color representation, say for a retail store, show room or color specific manufacturing, 80-90 CRI will be a better option.

The Beam Angle

The beam angle is what determines how light will be distributed. A wide beam angle produces general, softer light and distributes the light better to different areas of a room. A narrow beam angle produces concentrated light which is good for accent lighting, it makes the light more intense and focused. LED lights are available in a range of beam angles: from 15° (narrow) to 120° (wide). Choosing the right beam angles can greatly improve the lighting in a low bay application.

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MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip

Choosing the right Beam Angle for LED Low Bay Fixtures

Since low bays are typically mounted at low heights, having a wider beam will allow the light to be better distributed. Look for 120 or 150 degree beam angles. Stay away from anything narrower like 30, 60 or 90 degrees, unless you spefically want a lot of light at a certain spot. Narrow beam patterns will make the light less uniform and more spotty.

The Warranty

A good quality indicator of LED low bay lights is their warranty. Reputable LED manufacturers always honor their warranties, provided they are valid. When checking the warranty, be sure to check the warranty for the LED head and the driver as they may be listed separately. High-quality LED low bay lights usually have a 10-year warranty. Most manufacturers give a 5-year warranty for the LED drivers – which is the industry standard. 

Do not be tempted to buy low-quality LED low bays as they may soon malfunction, forcing you to spend money on new light fixtures. Your business activities will also be disrupted by poor lighting or light replacement.

Transform Your Space with LED Low Bay Lights

If you are thinking of changing the lighting in your low bay application, talk to us.

We will take time to find out your project’s objectives before recommending a solution. We have the expertise to offer a solution that meets your project’s priorities.

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