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What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

Industrial lighting is a market with unlimited potential, worth more than $10 billion. Large warehouses, production halls, stadiums, shopping malls, exhibition halls, etc. require specialized fixtures to provide adequate lighting due to their high ceilings. 

At this point, many people will wonder, "So should I buy high bay or low bay lights? What is the difference between them?

LED lights are now the preferred alternative to fluorescent lights, but there are many types of LED lights, and the two main ones that are suitable for installation on ceilings and lighting a large area are high bay lights and low bay lights.

These two types of lights have several similarities, let's say they are both installed on very high ceilings, but before you buy them, please remember the important point that they have some differences that make their applications a little different.

Reading this article on the comparison guide between high bay and low bay lights will help you understand what the lights do and how to choose them.

1. What is BAY LIGHTING?

A bay lighting is installed on very high ceilings and then illuminates large areas such as warehouses, commercial buildings, exhibition halls, railway stations, airports, etc.

There are two main differences between high bay lighting and low bay lighting, and they are mainly distinguished by their ceiling height, but they also have other similarities and disparities.

2. High bay vs low bay lighting

Both high bay and low bay lights are installed on very high ceilings to illuminate large areas, and they can provide high brightness while reducing glare.

Using ceiling height is the best way to choose between high bay and low bay fixtures, with low bay fixtures suitable for ceilings 12-20 feet high. While high bay fixtures are suitable for ceilings 20-45 feet high.

The power of the lights also varies. Low bay lights are generally less than 100 W, while high bay lights are generally more than 100 W.

Mounting methods also differ. Low bay lights are typically mounted using chains or hooks for suspension. High bay lights can be suspended from the ceiling using hooks, chains, or pendants, or can be recessed or surface mounted to the ceiling.

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

High Bay Light Fixtures use for warehouse

3. Material composition of BAY LIGHTS

The material composition of the two types is different. Low bay luminaires generally include large-angle reflector shades or large-angle lenses to spread light and reduce glare values, while high bay luminaires generally use special small-angle aluminum shade reflectors or small-angle lenses to effectively shine light onto the ground.

There are many types of industrial lamps, and light sources such as LED, metal halide, fluorescent lamps, etc. There are also many shapes, including round, linear, grid, and square. There is also a wide range of applications, including industrial manufacturing workshops, warehouses, exhibition halls, stadiums, airports, train yards, large shopping malls, etc.

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

High Bay Light Fixtures use for workshop

4. Difference between high bay lights and low bay lights

Some of the differences between high bay lights and low bay lights are as follows.

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

High bay vs Low bay on height

4.1. Installation height

  LED high bay lighting fixtures are used for very high ceilings. For example, stadiums, train stations, and exhibition halls have ceiling heights ranging from 20 feet to 45 feet. (Unit: feet/foot) In addition, for these lights to operate efficiently from this height, they require specially designed reflectors (for HPS / MH bulbs) and lens angles (for LED high bay lights).

This is done to ensure that the light hits the floor evenly and is not wasted.

  Low-bay fixtures are installed between 12 feet and 20 feet high and are more common in retail stores, grocery stores, stores, garages, and workshops.

4.2. Wattage

You will find on the market 100w, 150w, 200w or even higher power LED high bay lights, that can be used to replace the traditional bulb lamp, such as 300 watts, 400 watts metal halide lamp, HPS bulb lamp, these generally belong to the high bay light.

And low bay light general wattage between 10W to 100W, more common such as 60W, 80W, and 100W.

4.3 Application

High bay lights are used in industrial and commercial spaces, an example is high bay warehouse lighting.

Some application areas for high bay lights include

  Exhibition halls

  Large factories

  Airport hangars

  Train stations

  School gymnasiums

  Large shopping malls

  Manufacturing facilities

And the following places are more suitable for the use of low bay lights.


  Refrigerated storage

  Gas stations

  Indoor parking lots

  Retail stores


4.4 Beam angle

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

Beam angles for High Bay Light Fixtures

The common beam angles of high bay lights are 60°, 90°, and 120°. Smaller beam angles allow the light to be more concentrated, thus shining more luminous flux to the ground and improving ground illumination. In contrast, lower ceilings with larger beam angles shine a wider and more uniform light on the floor.

The beam angle of a low bay light is typically 120°. Because the power of low ceiling lights will be smaller, the installation height is generally lower, then if the beam angle is small, it will form a lot of dark areas on the ground, the uniformity is very poor, so it needs a large luminous angle to make the ground light more uniform.

LED bay lights generally use special lenses to achieve different angles, if you need a 120-degree angle, then you need to choose a 120-degree angle lens, if you need a 60-degree angle, then you need to choose a 60-degree angle lens.

4.5 Installation

The high bay light can be hung on a chain using a hanging ring, suspended from the ceiling using a hook, or fixed directly to the ceiling using a bracket.

A range of fixtures are available for high bay lights, some of which include grid mounted high bay, linear high bay, round high bay, and architectural high bay.

The consideration for using industrial light is that it can illuminate vertical surfaces as well as floors.

Vertical lighting in some warehouses with shelving is important because it can help pick items from the shelves.

5. Main difference between high bay and low bay lights

Although there are differences between high bay and low bay lights, the biggest difference is the installation height.

For heights below 20 feet, low bay lights are appropriate, while high bay lights can be used for spaces with ceilings 20-45 feet above the floor.

In addition, there are many parameter differences between the two types, such as luminous flux and beam angle.

When the luminaire is installed at a low height, the more luminous flux will reach the floor, so a high lumen is not needed, while when the luminaire is installed at a higher height, the light loss will be higher, and the more luminous flux is needed to ensure that the luminous flux reaching the floor is sufficient.

Similarly, due to the different installation heights, to make the light reach the ground and have high uniformity, you need to match different reflectors or lenses.

For example, high bay lights due to high installation height, in order to irradiate a large amount of light to the ground, you need to install a smaller beam angle to reduce the loss of light, while low bay lights due to low installation height, in order to make the ground uniformity is high, you can only use a lens with a large beam angle, otherwise, it is easy to form dark areas on the ground, uniformity is very poor.

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

High bay light for workshop

6. How to choose the right bay light?

High-bay and low-bay lighting fixtures are very popular in industrial locations.

The choice lies in the installation height and the level of illumination required, and whichever one is chosen will have a key impact on the safety and operational efficiency of the lighting premises.

Because of this, it is important to understand all the differences between the two more clearly to make the choice more accurate and understanding all the differences will determine whether you can make the right choice.

Below, we have outlined what we believe are the 9 key variables in choosing between a high or low bay.

6.1 LED vs. fluorescent bulbs

Before deciding whether to use a high bay or low bay, the first choice is which bulb to use. LEDs will sell over 15 billion units by 2021. They have officially replaced fluorescent lamps as the most popular choice.

This growth is due to several benefits. LED lights to last 20 times longer, use 70% less energy, and are easier to install than traditional fluorescent lights. It also contains no polluting materials, is environmentally friendly, and is serviceable.

6.2 High Bay and Low Bay LED Lighting

High bay and low bay lighting are lighting terms that describe the different bay lights required for high and low ceilings.

If you want to illuminate a large area of your interior, your first choice is shed lighting, and the first step in making your choice between a high bay and a low bay is to measure the height of the ceiling and the area you wish to illuminate.

6.3 Beam angle and width

By the installation height, you will know which beam angle to choose, while the high bay lights are generally available with beam angles of

60°, 90°, or 120°. Once the beam angle is available, you can calculate the diameter of the range that can be illuminated from the ground, using the formula beam angle x 0.0.18 x distance from the bulb.

6.4 Mounting and distribution options

MKLIGHTS canopy light installation can support a variety of ways, including hanging ring, hook, bracket, etc., before determining which luminaire to buy needs to figure out the venue suitable for which type of installation.

In addition, some places need vertical lighting, then you need a special polarized type of spectrum, while some places need a large lighting range, then you need a large angle of the circular spectrum, so which spectrum is needed also need to confirm in advance. So how do you determine the most appropriate spectrum?

The answer is lighting simulation. MKLIGHTS can provide a free lighting design, by referring to the lighting place to build a model, combined with the luminaire IES, the simulation calculates the expected lighting results after installation, to confirm which spectrum to achieve the best illumination and uniformity.

6.5 Retrofitting

Most LED lighting fixtures to come with retrofit kits. They include angle-adjustable brackets, trunnions, reflectors, and other basic components.

Using these kits can help you save money and time. If you are currently using a fixture that can be retrofitted with a simple retrofit by replacing the bulb, you can choose these kits because of the added savings in replacement cost and time to achieve the same lighting effect.

6.6 Power

If you are currently using very low brightness lamps and lanterns, can not meet the lighting of the whole place, you can consider replacing the luminous efficiency of higher lamps and lanterns, such as MKLIGHTS BD series UFO industrial lamps, luminous efficiency up to 190LM/W, much higher than the market average 120LM / W illumination.

6.7 Color temperature

Color temperature will cause different brightness feeling, a low color temperature of 3000K, give people a warm feeling, so also known as warm white, a high color temperature of 5000K or more give people a very cold feeling, also known as cold white, and the most choice of industrial and bay lights color temperature is generally more than 5000K.

6.8 Shape

According to the different lighting places, the shape of the lamps and lanterns used will be different, generally round mostly, but some workbenches or production lines will also require strip-shaped industrial bay lamps. 

6.9 Energy use

As we all know, LED lamps and lanterns can reduce energy consumption, but if you use some intelligent modules on LED lamps and lanterns, it will make the energy-saving rate of LED lamps and lanterns improve again, such as consider using daylight sensors, motion sensor, dimming and other devices, when someone is working, the lamps and lanterns 100 ^% full brightness, and when no one is working, the lamps and lanterns will enter the energy-saving mode, leaving 30% brightness, so that you can save more electricity consumption in the case of meeting the lighting requirements.

7. Why LED Bay lights are a good alternative to traditional high bay and low bay lighting?

LED bay lighting offers a superior cost-effective and energy-efficient alternative to traditional fluorescent lighting.

Many large industrial sites have previously used metal halide (MH), high- or low-pressure sodium (HPS/LPS or SON), or fluorescent lighting technologies. However, industrial LED lighting has emerged to directly pad the traditional market, and LEDs clearly outperform these lighting methods in several ways, as shown in the following table.

LEDMetal   halideHigh-pressure/   low-pressure sodiumFluorescent

Costs are rather a high upfront.

Its long lifetime makes it 

economically viable.

Quite costly to acquire. 

extremely costly to maintain.

Purchases are inexpensive.

Operating costs are minimal.

Initial expenses are low.

Requires specialized disposal, 

which results in additional 



Lasts 4–40 times longer than most


Frequently requires 


Bulbs may flicker and will need 

to be replaced before they 

reach the end of their useful life.

Long lifespan.

Reduced lifespan (when

repeatedly switched on and off)


There are fewer components, which means there are fewer things that 

can go wrong.

Longevity implies less upkeep.

A short lifetime necessitates 

regular maintenance.

Longevity minimizes 


substances need 

specialized treatment 

and disposal.

Longevity minimizes 


Before bulbs fail due to flickering

or color change, they may need 


Lighting   qualityCRI*,   CCT**, and foot candles*** values are greater than those of other bulbs.

One of the most effective

 sources of high-CRI white 

light available

The lowest CRI is available—

produces a gloomy yellow hue.

Relatively good CRI
Energy efficiency

It consumes less energy to provide 

the same amount of light as 

conventional bulbs.

The directional light output (120° or 

less) of this bulb, as opposed to the 

typical 360° output of conventional 

lights, avoid light from being wasted 

in unneeded places.

A substantial percentage of 

energy generated is lost as 

heat. Because lights need time 

to warm up, they cannot be 

turned on and off on demand. 

Light is wasted owing to the 

omnidirectional (360°) emission.

In general, quite energy-efficient, 

however, the omnidirectional 

output wastes light.

They are quite energy-efficient, 

with the sole drawback being 

their omnidirectional emission.

Warm-up time

It takes very little time to warm up or

 cool down.

Warming up might take up to 

15–30 minutes.

Warming up might take up to 

ten minutes.

When turning it on, there is a 

little delay. Older models might 

take a long time to warm up, but 

modern rapid-start ones are 

almost immediate.


There is no flickering, and the light is


Flickering on and off is a 

common occurrence.

When the bulb approaches the 

end of its life, it will flicker and/or 

cycle on and off.

A buzzing noise might be heard 

from faulty ballasts. Cycling and 

flickering are prevalent.


Dimmable using suitable LED

 dimmer switches.

Might be dimmed using an 

electric or magnetic ballast, 

however, this can affect light 

quality and efficiency.

Manual dimming is possible, but 

it will modify the quality of the 

light and may cause the bulb 

to burn out prematurely.

Newer fluorescent lamps can be 

muted efficiently.

It is necessary to use a dimmable 



LEDs are not damaged by physical 


Failing entails a progressive fading 


When bulbs fail, there is a risk 

of explosion.

Because it contains mercury, it 

needs specialized treatment 

and disposal. Because it is 

fragile, it must be treated with 


Contains hazardous mercury 

that needs expert treatment 

and disposal.

If the lamp is shattered and the 

sodium metal is exposed, it has 

the potential to cause a fire.

Contains poisonous mercury.

Broken bulbs contain mercury 

inside the glass, although only 

a trace quantity escapes as a gas. 

Handling and disposal need 

specialized knowledge.

*CRI (Color Rendering Index) compares the capacity of a light source to disclose colors to that of natural light.

**CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) shows the color and tone of white that may be expected from a light bulb or light fixture.

***A foot-candle is a measurement of the quantity of light that reaches a certain surface area (instead of simply the amount of light that comes directly from a source).

The issue of the ceiling height of the venue is always the deciding factor when purchasing high bay or low bay lights. If not used properly, it can affect the lighting of the entire space. Imagine when you install low bay lights in a high bay warehouse, the lack of light means a lack of proper visibility and affects productivity. Low ceiling retail store fixtures that use high lumen output high beams to illuminate the ceiling will certainly inhibit the space. Using the wrong fixtures will inevitably lead to unnecessary costs, excessive electricity bills, or excessive maintenance costs. To avoid this, we always recommend that you seek professional advice before embarking on a solution. MKLIGHTS Lighting is one of the most professional lighting experts.

8. Where to buy Bay Lights?

Each product you consider should have CE qualification, which is a quality and safety guarantee for LED lighting.

Once you have considered all the necessary factors, find the right supplier to get your lighting. They should be willing to show you all their quality products and guide you in making the right choice.

8.1 Product specifications

Popular   Standard LED Bay Lighting

190LM/W 100W LED High Bay Light   5000K, Dimmable IP65190LM/W 150W LED High Bay Light   5000K, Dimmable IP65190LM/W 200W LED High Bay Light   5000K, Dimmable IP65

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

Lumen output19000LM28500LM38000LM
Dimensions286 x286 x147 MM330 x330 x165 MM330 x330 x165 MM
Replaces300W HPS/MH
High bay or low bay?High BayHigh BayHigh Bay
Beam angle60,90 or 110 degrees
FixturesHanging bolt eye, hanging chain, and safety cable
Warranty5 Years
Average life100,000 hours
Energy ratingA
EconomyUp to USD2,000.00 savings over 5 years


What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5


What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5


What is the difference between high bay and low bay light fixtures?cid=5

8.2 Download

Datasheet_UFO High Bay Light_BD-MKLIGHTS.pdf

Installation Manual__LED High Bay Light_BD.pdf

8.3 Video

9. Where to buy the best lighting fixtures?

Warehouses, factories, gymnasiums, large shopping malls, etc. require unique lighting fixtures and bay lighting is a suitable option.

Measuring the ceiling height is one of the easiest and best ways to decide between using high bay and low bay lighting. They each have their advantages, and one may be better suited to your needs than the other.

Add LED bulbs to your high bay or low bay lighting. Consider other factors, including beam angle and width, power, color temperature, shape, and energy use.

At MKLIGHTS, we have a variety of options to illuminate any type of building. Browse our lighting fixture solutions today.

10. Top LED Lighting Manufacturer in China - MKLIGHTS

As one of the best lighting manufacturers in China, MKLIGHTS produces a wide variety of indoor and outdoor luminaires to meet all your customers' commercial and residential electrical and lighting project needs. Click here to learn more about MKLIGHTS.

MKLIGHTS backs up the quality of its lighting products with a 5-year limited warranty on all our fixtures, mounts, sensors, and more.

Have a project? Need to order luminaires in bulk or resell them as a distributor? MKLIGHTS can meet all your commercial and residential property lighting needs. Call us today at (86)130 7366 6093 or email us at contact us.

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