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How to Choose High Bay or Low Bay Lighting?

How to Choose High Bay or Low Bay Lighting?

Adequate lighting is essential for all spaces, especially commercial spaces. Whether it is a warehouse, exhibition hall, retail space, or factory, proper lighting can make all the difference. 

The peculiarity of commercial spaces is their high ceilings. Thus, the lights selected should be bright and illuminate the space evenly from the high ceiling.

Bay lights are typically used in spaces with very high ceilings. There are two types of bay lights: High Bay Lights and low bay lights. Let's examine these lights and their benefits. 

What Are High Bay Lights?

Highbay lights are industrial lights used in spaces with a ceiling height of 20-45 feet. They are commonly used in factories, shopping malls and warehouses with a ceiling height of more than 20 feet.

The main features of high bay lights are as follows.   

High lumen

Lumen refers to the brightness of the light. High Bay Lighting will typically have a lumen of more than 15000. 

Narrow beam

Beam refers to the light rays coming from an industrial lighting source. High bay lights have a narrow beam between 60 and 90 degrees. This narrow beam lets the light concentrate on a small area, thus providing more brightness. 

Deep reflector

Reflectors help reflect light, thus providing optimal illumination. High bay lights have deep reflectors that reflect light downwards and slightly outwards. 

Large fixtures

When compared to standard lights, high bay lights are large lighting fixtures. Thus, they can cover a large area. Whether you are looking for warehouse lighting or lighting for garages, these high bay lights make a perfect choice.

High visibility

High bay lights have a color temperature of 4000k - 5000k. Thus, they offer high visibility. 

What Are Low Bay Lights?

Low bay lighting is used in spaces with a ceiling height of 12 - 20 feet. They are typically mounted on the ceiling using hooks and chain. 

Below are a few of the key features of low bay lights. 

  • Low bay lights have a medium lumen of 8000 to 20,000.
  • The beam angles are wider, i.e. 120-150 degrees. Thus, the light is spread over a large area. 
  • Low bay lights have less glare, and thus, the quality of illumination on both vertical and horizontal surfaces is better.
  • These lights can have a warm to light color tone, thus adding to the aesthetics of the space. 

What are the key differences between High Bay and Low Bay Lights?

A lighting comparison between high bay and low bay lights shows the below difference. 

  High bay lights Low bay lights
Mounting Height 20-45 feet 12-20 feet
Lumen 15000 and above 8000 - 20000
Beam Narrow beam of 60-90 degrees Wider beam of 120-150 degrees. 
Wattage 100-200W 10-100W
Application Large factories, exhibition halls, manufacturing units, train stations Gas stations, retail stores, restaurants and warehouses

What are the applications for High Bay Lights?

High bay lights are normally used in 20-45 feet ceiling height lighting. Thus, they are used in large exhibition halls, factories and manufacturing units where the ceiling height is very tall.

The main advantage of using high bay lights in such spaces is that since the lumen is 15000 and above, it provides enough brightness to the space. Moreover, since the light has a narrow beam of 60-90 degrees, the light gets concentrated on a small area. Thus, you can see things clearly when high bay lights are used. 

What are the applications for Low Bay Lights?

Low bay lights are used in spaces with a ceiling height of 12-20 feet. They are typically used for retail store lighting, restaurant lighting and workshop lighting. 

Low bay lights have a wide beam angle. Thus, it can spread the light to a larger area. Thus, only a small number of lights are required when you opt for low bay lights. Moreover, since these lights can create a warm to cooler shade, they add to the aesthetic appeal of the space. 

What are the factors to consider when choosing the right lighting?

Ceiling height

The height of the ceiling is the primary consideration when choosing commercial lighting. If the ceiling height is between 12 and 20 feet, low bay lights are the perfect choice. On the other hand, if the height of the ceiling is more than 20 feet, you should opt for high bay light to get the desired brightness. 

Light distribution needs

High bay lights have a narrow beam of 60-90 degrees. Thus, the light is concentrated on a certain area and is not distributed to a wider area. On the other hand, low bay lights have a wide beam angle. The light is thus distributed to a wider area and offer better coverage. 

Energy efficiency

Both high-bay and low-bay lights are energy efficient lighting. Compared to traditional lights, they can reduce energy consumption by 85%. This translates to a reduction in the overall operational cost. 

Cost consideration

If you opt for LED lighting for bay lights, the initial cost can be high. However, this cost is negligible compared to the overall savings you make in the long run. Thus, if you are ready to spend money initially, then LED bay lights are the perfect option. 

What are the benefits of each type of lighting?

Advantages of high bay lights

  • High bay lights have a beam angle of 60-90 degrees. Thus, they provide concentrated lighting in a small area. 
  • The color temperature of high bay lights is in the 4000k-5000k range. Thus, they provide very bright light.

Advantages of low bay lights

  • Low bay lights have a wider beam angle of 120-150 degrees, providing light over a wider area. 
  • These lights can provide an aesthetic appeal to the space as their color temperature ranges from warm to cool. 


Bay lights are the best lighting solutions for any commercial setup. Whether to opt for high bay or low bay light depends on the height of the ceiling. In addition, lighting requirements like brightness and distribution should also be considered when deciding which type of light to use. 

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