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What You Should Know About High Bay Lighting

“High Bay Lighting” Defined

Most businesses that own and operate warehouses, factories, and distribution centers have heard of “high bay lights”. But before we get into the latest technologies and their advantages, we wanted to unpack what “high bay lights” actually are and where they are most commonly found.

What are High Bay Lights?

High bay lights” are typically defined as those lights which are 20 feet or more above the ground. Most often used in gymnasiums, warehouses, factories, and distribution centers, high bay lights are powerful lights that are capable of evenly illuminating large spaces with little to no glare.

If you can remember the good old days, think of your old high school gym. Remember those big canister lights that hung down from the ceiling, high among the rafters? Those were high bay lights. 

High bay lights are typically used in industrial, warehouse, manufacturing, and aviation settings. Although high bay lights used to mostly be round, there are now round, linear (and other) LED high bay lights – depending on the application. Whether round or linear, their form comes primarily from their function, rather than the desired design aesthetic.

led linear high bay
Linear High Bay LED Light
Round High Bay LED
Round LED High Bay Light

Other typical features of the old, traditional high bay lights are bright (sometimes harsh) light and big energy consumption.

Now, though, things have changed.

The Modern High Bay Light

High bay lights, like almost every other kind of light, have been revolutionized by LED technology. They are now brighter, safer, more efficient, and cost less money to buy and operate.

Brightness: LEDs put out a much brighter, cleaner, more full-spectrum type of light than you used to get with fluorescent and metal halide high bay lights. There’s also no glare produced by LEDs, making your facilities look and feel more inviting and comfortable for both customers and staff.

Safety: Not only are LED lights free from mercury and other harmful chemicals, but the light they produce is so much richer and cleaner that the space they light is transformed by the new fixtures. This is a HUGE benefit in a typical high bay light setting: a distribution center, factory, hangar, or other settings that usually feature big equipment and big obstacles. Upgrading to LED high bay lights is a great way to make your business safer.

Efficiency: LEDs use a fraction of the energy required by traditional technologies. Your energy bill will be significantly reduced by switching your old lights to LEDs.

“By 2027, the use of LED lighting could save up to 348 terawatts of energy compared to no LED use. That is the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants in the United States. If achievable, that would be an energy cost savings of more than $30 billion at current pricing levels.”

U.S. Department of Energy

Operations: LED lights last exponentially longer than the old fixtures they are now replacing. This allows businesses to dramatically reduce the maintenance cost of replacing worn-out fixtures. Less maintenance + less time obstructing operations + less money spent on new fixtures = a better bottom line for you.

LED High Bay Lights Success Stories

Dillard’s: Dillard’s department stores came to FSG looking for a better lighting solution for one of their largest distribution centers.

FSG installed LED high bay lights to replace the aging metal halide lights which had been in place. The results were nothing less than transformative. The staff inside the distribution center were safer and had a much easier time reading labels and identifying items on shelves thanks to the better light.

Perhaps the biggest, most tangible result Dillard’s received was the rebate check from their utility: over $66,000. For one distribution center.

Dillards High Bay lights

Source: FSG | Dillards Distribution Facility

Holt Caterpillar: LED high bay lights are a huge boon to industrial organizations. Holt Caterpillar, a heavy equipment dealer in Texas, needed to make their operations better.

Their previous lights were dim, creating an unsafe working environment which was especially problematic because of the nature of Holt’s business. Their maintenance costs were also out of control as they were relying on a local electrician to merely replace (rather than improve) any burned out lights.

FSG partnered with General Electric to completely redesign Holt’s lighting across their shops and large storage facilities. The response was unanimous: everyone who worked around the new lights loved the brighter, safer environment. Holt’s management loved the improved safety of their facilities and the dramatically lowered maintenance and energy costs.

Holt Cat retrofit

Source: FSG | Holt Cat Facility

High Bay LEDs and Your Business

If your business or organization uses high bay lights, go take a look at them. More than that, take a look at the environment they are creating with their light. Is it a safe place? Are employees and customers comfortable working and doing business under those lights? 

Then, look at your expenses. Are you paying exorbitant amounts in lighting maintenance every year because of the older lights in your warehouse or shop? Do your energy bills seem to just keep getting larger and larger with time?

There are many things to consider when looking at high bay lighting, such as the rated life of the lights, any rebates you might be eligible to use on your project, how warm or cool your lighting needs to be depending on what the facility is used for (for example, a manufacturing facility might need a lot brighter cooler lighting so that workers can see tiny parts).

If you aren’t sure about which high bay lights you need, give FSG a call today. If you’re tired of forking over tons of money every year on lights that simply don’t perform well enough, give FSG a call today.

We are a full-service lighting contractor. We design, install and maintain high bay lights that actually make your business a better organization. With LED technology, it’s never been cheaper or easier to get that done.

Call us today at (512) 886-1258. Let’s get started on creating a safer, more efficient, better lighting solution for you and your organization.

Lighting Guide

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