Should you choose LED Low Bay or LED High Bay for factory lighting?

Knowing whether to choose LED Low Bay or LED High Bay for your space can be a tricky decision. For many factory and warehouse managers, knowing the difference between LED Low Bay and LED High Bay in the first place is a challenge. Then when it comes to choosing the right light for your factory, many elements need to be taken into consideration such as cost, location, and wattage.

To help you out, we’re deciphering whether LED Low Bay or LED High Bay lights are best for factory lighting and running through the key differences. Take a look… 

What’s the difference between a low bay and a high bay?

The main obvious difference between low bay and high bay lighting is the mounting height. LED low bays are designed to be mounted at heights up to approximately 8m. Historically, a low bay was probably the rectangular ‘white box’ that you are more used to seeing in a factory and a high bay was a pendant type high bay where the physical properties were ignored.

At LED Save, we classify a low bay as an un-lensed product, typically with a beam angle of 120°, and a high bay as a lensed product capable of delivering a specific light pattern when mounted at higher levels. Overall, the differences between low bay and high bay lighting concern the height and beam angle.

How much do high bay/ low bay LED lights cost?

Our new ultra-efficient super cost-effective LED low bay / high bay will provide a return on investment in as little as 9 months!

The table below shows a typical installation of the LEDSAVE Ultra-Fast ROI LED high bay / low bay series:

400W HID  150W LED 
Power / W400150
Number of fittings1010
Hours / day1010
Days / week55
Weeks / year4848
Hours / year2,4002,400

How much do you save with the new 150W LED range?

The savings available during the 5-year warranty period are £3,755.00, whilst the savings over the expected lifetime are an incredible£18,005.00!

Element400W HID150W LED
Electricity cost (£ / KWh)£0.15£0.15
Cost electricity per year£1,440.00£540.00
Electricity Savings / year£900.00
Cost of LED High Bay (Ex VAT)£74.50
Total cost LED High Bay (Ex VAT)£745.00
Break-even point (when you start making money)9 Months!
Estimated Lifetime (hrs)50,000
Lifetime aat estmated usage / years 21
Savings over estimated lifetime#£18,005.00
Warranty period / years5
Savings over warranty period# £3,755.00

# Excludes cost of re-lamping HID fittings.

What mounting height marks qualify for low bay and high bay?

The height of the low bay and high bay lighting depends on several factors. These include:

  1. Cost: an LED low bay costs less than the equivalent LED high bay, therefore sometimes it’s more cost effective to use more low bays to achieve the same light levels.
  2. At mounting heights of less than 7m a low bay should always be used to reduce spotting and poor uniformity at floor level.
  3. Wall and floor colour – light walls and floors reflect more light.

For example, if you consider a 150W product producing 21000 lumens, it’s important to think about where the lumens will be going. LED low bays will keep traveling until they hit a floor or wall where they will be absorbed because they will be putting light out at around 120 degrees. Of course, the amount of absorption / reflection will depend on the reflective properties of the walls and floors, which is why it pays to have a light simulation before installing your lights.

When Should A Low Bay Be Used?

Each case will be different, for example, if you mount a low bay at 12m in a warehouse with light coloured walls and no racking then it is possible to use an LED Low Bay and get an excellent level of lighting, with relatively few units.

However, if the warehouse had darker walls then you would need considerably more LED low bay units to provide the same lighting level, as much of the light that hits the walls would be absorbed.

In cases where the odds are stacked against your space, and light will be easily absorbed/reflected, an LED High Bay with a 60° lens will direct all the 21000 lumens into a smaller area on the factory floor. This will result in a much higher lux level when compared to an LED Low Bay mounted at the same height, meaning that considerably less units would be required to produce the same lighting level.

For racking applications there is also the option of using a narrow lensed high bay where the lens directs the light exactly where needed down the racking aisle rather than illuminating the top of the racking.

There’s always a balance between the correct luminaire and the cost differences between an LED Low Bay and LED High Bay.

A lighting simulation of the proposed area can show the different lighting levels achieved by using different products.

How many low bays or high bays do I need, and what wattage should I choose?

The only way to avoid having too little light, or wasting money by having too many units producing too much light is by performing a lighting simulation. At LED SAVE we are happy to provide a FREE Relux Lighting Simulation.

Please email with the following information:

  1. Your full details (Name, company name, project name and phone number)
  2. A drawing of the area – preferably in .dwg format or similar. If this isn’t available, then a .pdf or a sketch of the area will be OK.

This should include:

  • Dimensions of the area (L x W x proposed mounting height of luminaire)
  • Colour of walls, floor and roof.
  • The activity performed – this dictates the required lighting level.
  • Details of any obstructions e.g. racking

Browse our full range of LED lights over on our website. For more information on how to choose the perfect LED lighting for your space, and find out more about how you can save money with LED lighting, head over to our blog.