We had a customer in Arizona whose airplane hangar was too dark. He was looking to upgrade his lights to provide adequate illumination for working on aircraft without eyestrain or the need for auxiliary lamps.

Before: LED Lighting Install in Airplane Hangar
"Before" photo of airplane hangar.

To achieve this, he needed, according to recommendations put together by the Illuminating Engineer Society (IES), about 75 foot-candles of light output for his hangar, and he wanted to make sure he got right around that: less would mean he'd invest money and time in the project without achieving his goal; more would waste money needlessly on higher-priced higher-wattage lamps and higher utility bills.

His project had another condition: his hangar was already wired for nine lights, and he wanted to use those existing ceiling boxes rather than have new wiring put in.

He provided us with the dimensions of his hangar, the installation height of the lights, and the foot-candles he required. It's not every customer who knows their target foot-candles; in cases where it's not known, we can provide that number based on the application—conference room, restaurant, big-box store, parking garage, warehouse, etc. In that case, the customer needs to provide us with the dimensions and the installation/ceiling height.

With our customer's information, we ran a DIALux simulation with a few of our lights. For nine evenly spaced fixtures in the hangar, it turned out that our 200W Ultra-High-Lumen LED High Bays best met his needs.

Chart showing expected foot candles on each surface
The Photometric Results section of the DIALux simulation showed our customer how much light, in foot-candles, he could expect on the workplane, floor, ceiling, and walls. He needed around 75 foot-candles, and the combined direct and indirect illumination of the lights we recommended would provide 77 foot-candles at the workplane level and 73 at the floor.

False color rendering of airplane hangar from DIALux simulation
The False Color Rendering section visually illustrates where, and how intensely, light will fall. It alerts you to any gaps in coverage throughout the area. Here you can see that much of the room—including the main work area, which is where our customer was most concerned about adequate lighting—will reach 75 foot-candles.

He installed those lights this spring and sent us Before and After photos. "200W is plenty of light and meets all our requirements," he told us.

After photo of LED lighting install in airplane hangar
"After" photo of airplane hangar, with nine 200W Ultra-High Lumen Designer LED High Bay Fixtures installed.

Thanks to the free DIALux simulation we did for him, he knew what he was getting before he spent any money and experienced no disappointment or regret when he flipped the switch for the first time. You can also get a free DIALux simulation for your application to help you select the best lights for your job. Simply call, text, or email our lighting experts with your dimensions, installation height, and application:

Our East Coast facility at 215.355.7200
Our West Coast facility at 858.581.0597