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5 Important Considerations for High Bay Lighting Projects

High Bay lights are ideal for illuminating commercial and industrial areas with ceilings greater than 6m high. LED high bays are the best way to reduce energy costs but many mistakes can be made when changing out old inefficient technologies that can lead to less than desired results. This article highlights 5 key aspects to consider which will help guide the design and decision-making process for best results.

1. Application

First and foremost, one needs to understand the areas where the lights will be used and the tasks that will be conducted in these areas so that they are illuminated adequately. A plan of the area should be drawn up to highlight the different illumination levels required for the tasks being performed. The lighting must be designed in such a way to ensure the lux levels after installation is at least above the minimum health and safety requirements as set out in SANS 10114-1:2005. Improved illumination directly influences worker safety and productivity.

2. Use Existing Points or Redesign

The easiest and most cost-effective way to reduce energy consumption is by replacing the existing high bay fixtures 1:1 with complete LED high bays or at the very least retrofitting them with LED high bay retrofit lamps*. This is because all the existing reticulation and infrastructure is already in place and it is simply a matter of installing the LEDs. Care must be taken to ensure that the LED high bays used work with the mounting height and spacing of the existing fixtures (which we will get into below) depending on the application.

In some cases, a 1:1 replacement or retrofit solution is not feasible. This can be because it is a new building; the building has undergone a renovation or the task/equipment locations have changed and the current positions of the fixtures are not suitable.
For example, if an open warehouse space has been converted to have hi-rack shelving, one would want the rows of LED high bays to run down the center of the new aisles. The existing position may result in a full or partial blockage of the light which is wasted energy.
In these cases, a redesign is best as it will optimise the lighting and result in better energy savings.

*More info to help decide whether to use retrofit lamps or complete LED luminaires can be found in our high bay FAQ section at the bottom of our LED high bay category page.

3. Mounting Height

LED high bays can be installed anywhere from 4m to 30m+. Generally, the higher the high bays will be installed, the more light output you will need and the narrower you want the beam angle to be depending on the spacing and lux levels required.  A narrow beam angle will help concentrate the light which results in higher lux levels on the ground.

If the upper area of the space of the building is not utilised, it is best to suspend the high bays as low as possible which will increase lux levels considerably and can save considerable costs as a lower output and/or fewer units may be used to achieve the same effect as if the high bays were installed higher up. This is because of the inverse square law of lighting – The intensity of light is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.

4. Spacing

The spacing required for your project depends on the height, lumen output and beam angle of the high bays you're considering as well as the lux level you need to achieve. If you are doing a 1:1 replacement, the spacing is fixed so you will need to select the product according to the mounting height, lumen output, beam angle and lux levels required.

It is always best to have cross-over lighting between the beam spreads of the high bays as this will result in a more even and better-lit environment. A Relux (lighting software) design is the best way to assess the correct size, height, and spacing for the LEDs you require to achieve the desired lux levels. If you need any assistance, please contact us with your high bay project requirements.

5. Product Selection

The product you select is critical to the projects immediate and long-term success. With the mass of LED high bay products on the market it can be difficult and overwhelming to try to select the product that best meets your needs. To help with that, we have written an article that addresses the most important factors to consider when shopping for any LED products. This article, as well as the considerations above will help with assessing the best product for your needs. As always, our experienced sales staff is also available to provide professional advice for your lighting needs.

If you would like to know more about high bay lighting, in general, you can view our high bay FAQ section at the bottom of our LED high bay page here.

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