How to Buy Low Bay LED Lighting
What are low bay lights? Where are they used? What styles are available? What about special applications, like warehouse shelving or wet, damp, or dusty environments? We answer all your questions in today's article. And, if you have questions related to your specific application, such as how far apart to space your low bay lights, what wattage do you need, and should you go with linear or round, just contact our lighting team. We've assisted with many low bay lighting applications over the years and can get you quick answers.
What are low bay lights?
Low bay lights, available in a variety of styles, are designed to provide optimum light spread in large spaces where the ceiling height is between 12 feet and 20 feet.
The most common low bay lights have, in the past, relied on metal halide or high-output (HO) fluorescent lamps. In recent years, LED low bay lights—as well as retrofits to convert old fluorescent and metal halide lights to LED—have gained prominence. People initially consider LED lighting as a way to reduce electricity consumption, but they soon discover a number of other advantages for LED lighting in low bay applications: longer operating lifetimes, lower heat output, zero warm-up time, and, very often, improved light quality.
Where are low bay lights used?
When we hear “bay” we generally think of big open spaces with big, garage-type doors: warehouse bays, automotive service bays, car wash bays, hangar bays, etc. Low bay lights are used in all of these applications, but not only those applications. Any large space with a high ceiling, up to 20 feet, relies, at least in part, on low bay lighting. This includes retail and grocery stores, machine shops and other workshops, sections of airport concourses, fitness centers—literally any large room with ceilings in the 12 to 20-foot range.
General-purpose low bay lights
Most applications fall under this heading: you have a large open space, whether it’s a CNC shop or a weight room, and you need even lighting coverage throughout the space. Round (“ufo”), pendant-style LED low bay lights with 120° beam angles are a great way to provide general lighting. They offer light output equivalent to up to 250W metal halide fixtures, yet their operating costs are just 35-40% of what you’d spend on metal halide.
Low bay LED shop lights are another great general-purpose alternative to 8ft fluorescent shop light fixtures. In addition to their much lower energy and maintenance costs, they allow for end-to-end connections of one fixture to the next. You can set up continuous, unbroken lines of lighting. This not only offers practical applications but aesthetic ones as well.
LED low bays for specific applications
Laundries, car washes, barns, sheds, and any location where washdowns are performed need lighting that can stand up to the conditions. For low bay ceiling heights, we offer Vapor Tight Wet Location LED fixtures with fully sealed housing to protect them from water jets, condensation, dust, and more.
We’d like to also note that our general purpose round low bays are also IP65-rated, allowing them to be used in car washes and other indoor wet low bay locations as well.
Not all warehouses are Amazon-sized warehouses. For those with ceilings 20 feet and lower, purpose-built lighting is just as important as in the big warehouses. Safety and productivity are enhanced when aisle lighting is used for your inventory racks. That’s why ELEDLIGHTS stocks LED Low Bay Warehouse Lighting that can be used in ceilings as low as 13 feet.
Retrofitting existing low bays to LED
Let’s say you have low bay lights already, and you want to switch to LED, but you’d rather not replace your existing fixtures. Great news: that’s totally doable!
Convert Fluorescent Low Bay Lights to LED
LED tubes, available with standard and HO bases, and in T5 and T8 sizes (T8 tubes can be used in T12 fixtures, so if you’re looking to convert those, you’re all set with T8 LED tubes) are a simple way to retrofit a fluorescent fixture to LED. In most cases, you simply wire the fixture’s power to the lampholders instead of the ballast, then pop in the new tubes. Learn more about converting fluorescent fixtures to LED.
Another way to convert is by using LED strip light kits specifically designed to retrofit fluorescent troffers. With these, you wire the fixture to the LED driver instead of the ballast, then attach the strips to the inside of the fixture. Learn more about installing LED strips.
Convert Metal Halide Low Bay Lights to LED
As with tube lights, retrofitting metal halide fixtures simply requires a new bulb. For this we recommend our configurable “post top” LED corn lights. Don’t let the “post top” throw you off: these multipurpose bulbs can be set up to throw light in an ideal pattern for low bay lighting. We offer two models, one to convert 80W metal halide to 40W LED and another to convert 160W metal halide to 80W LED.
Low Bay Lighting Questions?
If you have low bay lighting questions—such as: How far apart should I space my fixtures, Which and how many fixtures do I need for the foot candles I require, etc.—ELEDLights’ lighting experts can help! Call, email, or Live Chat us today. We’ll help you develop a lighting plan tailor-suited to your application and environment.