Efficiency Showdown: High vs Low Bay LED Lights - Which Illuminates Better? – CINOTON Skip to content
High vs Low Bay LED Lights: Which is More Efficient?

High vs Low Bay LED Lights: Which is More Efficient?

Efficiency in lighting is paramount in manufacturing and industrial settings. The space should be adequately lighted and bright enough for the workers to carry on with their work. Besides, proper industrial lighting solutions also play a very important role in ensuring the safety and security of the workers. 

The lighting for any space depends on its size and ceiling height. Before deciding on the light required for the space, you should also factor in the natural light available. 

Understanding High Bay and Low Bay Commercial LED Lighting

Bay lights are typically used to light up spaces with very high ceilings. You might have heard of high bay and low bay lights in industrial settings. What exactly is it?

High bay LED lights are installed in spaces with a ceiling height of 20-45 feet from the floor. This type of light is mainly used in large factories, shopping malls, manufacturing units, exhibition halls, airport hangers and railway stations. 

On the other hand, low bay lights are used in spaces with ceiling heights of 12-20 feet from the floor. This type of lighting is used in warehouses, retail stores, gas stations, indoor parking areas, refrigerated storage and restaurants. 

Thus, the height of the ceiling is the primary consideration when deciding whether to go for high-bay or low-bay lighting. 

Efficiency in Lighting: What Does it Mean?

Not all light emitted from a lighting source can be used. Some light will be scattered and may not focus on the target. Efficiency refers to the amount of usable light from a source. It can be defined as the percentage of light emitted from a fixture. 

Lighting efficiency is critical in industrial and commercial settings because of various reasons.

Save energy

Industrial spaces should go for energy-efficient lighting as it can not only save energy but also decrease costs. Lights with higher efficiency can produce maximum brightness (lumens) by using less energy (watts). This translates to energy saving. 

More brightness

A light with a high-efficiency rate can produce more brightness by using a certain amount of energy. This is highly beneficial in industrial settings where uniform, bright light is required. 

Less heat generation

In most industrial settings, LED lights are used as the LED lighting efficiency is high. Since LED lights produce less heat, they can create a safe and comfortable environment for the workers.   

Comparing Wattage and Lumens

A lighting fixture uses a certain amount of energy to emit light, called Watts. The amount of light that comes out of a lighting fixture is called the lumen. A lighting fixture's efficiency refers to the amount of light emitted as compared to the energy used by the fixture. 

It is considered highly efficient if a lighting fixture emits more lumens per watt. This means that more light is generated for less energy. 

High-bay lights typically have a lumen output of 15000 or more and a wattage of 150W or above. This high lumen and high wattage help brighten up large industrial spaces where high-bay lights are used. 

Low-bay lights, on the other hand, have wattages between 60W and 100W. Their lumens can range between 8000 and 15000. Since low-bay lights are used in comparatively small spaces where the distance between the fixture and the floor is low, this low amount of lumens and watts is enough to brighten the area.   

High Bay vs Low Bay - Beam Angles and Light Distribution

The beam angle, otherwise called the beam spread, refers to the distribution of light from the light source. The beam angles in LED lighting falls in three ranges - an angle less than 30 is considered narrow, one between 30 and 60 is considered medium and an angle above 60 is considered wide. 

High-bay lights will have a narrow beam angle between 50 and 120. This is because, since the ceiling of such a space is high, more concentrated light is required to achieve the desired result. High-bay lights use special deep reflectors to focus the light downward towards the workspace. 

Low-bay LED lights use a wide beam angle of more than 120. Since the floor-to-ceiling height of spaces where low-bay lights are used is low, the light can evenly spread over a wider area. Thus, you need to use fewer fixtures, as the wide beam angles can illuminate a larger area. 

Installation and Maintenance Costs

Though both low-bay and high-bay lights are meant to brighten industrial spaces, their installation is different. 

Since high-bay lights are fixed on ceilings above 20 feet, they are typically suspended from the ceiling to achieve the desired result. This requires more beams for support and a wiring system. Thus, LED light installation costs for high-bay lights can be relatively high. 

Low-bay lights, on the other hand, can either be surface-mounted or suspended. If the ceiling height is very low, surface mounting of the light is recommended to free up space. But, if the ceiling height is slightly high, then suspension mounting can be done. But you should ensure the installation is aesthetically pleasing as the lighting fixtures are clearly visible from down. 

The maintenance cost of high-bay and low-bay lighting depends on the type of lights used. LED lights have fewer components, so repairs are less frequent. Thus, the maintenance costs for LED lights are likely to be low. Regular maintenance is required if metal halide lamps are used, which can increase the cost. 


Lighting efficiency in industrial space is critical as it can save energy and increase the overall brightness of the space. Whether you are using high-bay or low-bay light, light efficiency should be an important consideration. 

Both high-bay and low-bay lights are efficient. However, overall efficiency depends on the use of the right light in the right space. If you have a large industrial space with a very high ceiling, you should go for a high-bay light. On the other hand, low-bay lights are highly efficient for small spaces with low ceilings. 

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