High Bay VS. Low Bay Lights- How to Choose?

The trend of using low and high bay lights is increasing day by day. They are not only preferable for residential purpose but have also become a significant part of commercial buildings. Their selection is based on two important things- level of brightness required and area where they have to be installed. Though, remember that installing both versions at one place may compromise on the outcomes as you might not be able to get the desired efficiency and safety, especially in a workplace.

But, the real question is, which version is the most appropriate? Whether to go for high bay or low bay lights? What is the difference between high bay light and low bay light?Below are some fundamental differences that will help to come up with the right choice.

What is high bay light?

A high bay light is usually used for a large area with a high ceiling from 20-45 feet  application,such as warehouses, manufacturing facilities, commercial buildings ,factory and high bay for indoor plants etc.

What is low bay light?

A Low bay lights are usually used for a place with a ceiling under 20 feet,which is widely used for low ceiling application,such as most retail store, home and public buildings.

The Difference High Bay and Low Bay Light

Both high and low bay light are suitable for a  large areas  to give off powerful light while reducing glare.

The Different Ceiling Height

The best way to distinguish whether high bay light or low bay light is what is the ceiling height. A high bay light  can illuminate  a large area with a high ceiling from 20-45 feet,while a low bay light only run with ceilings under 20 feet high.

The Different Manufacturing Processing

A high bay light adopts special reflectors made of either aluminum to ensure the light flow down to the floor or prismatic components to diffuse the light and illuminate shelves and other elevated objects.While a low bay light adopts reflectors or lenses strength less than high bay to spread light and reduce glare.

The Different Power

Other difference is the power of high bay and low bay light.A high bay light is general above 100watts,while low bay light is less 100 watts.

The Different  Beam Angle

There are common beam angles  for  high bay lighting including 60°, 90°, and 120°.The smaller beam angle is beneficial for emitting a more focused light to ensure the brightness level on the floor.

In contrast, the larger beam angle allows light fixture to illuminate the larger areas in the other same conditions.

Therefore,under the lower height ceiling, the beam angle of low bay lights is  120 to spread light as much as possible

The Different Hanging Installation

Another difference is the installation of these lights.Low bay light  is suspension mounted with chains or hooks. High bay light can hang from the ceiling with a hook, chain, or pendant or fixed to the ceiling directly.

The Different Application

High bay lights are commonly used in industrial and commercial area with a higher ceiling,such as:


Manufacturing facilities



Processing plants etc

While low bay lights are commonly used in home or industrial and commercial  area with a lower ceiling,such as:


Retail store

Public buildings etc.

In short, the differences between them are as follows:

  • Height of Installation: High bay lights are designed to illuminate areas having ceilings of 20 feet or higher. They need support from specially engineered reflectors for MH/ HPS bulbs and lens angles for LED high bays. While when it comes to low bay fixtures, they are ideal for ceilings of no more than 20 feet. In other words, they are ideal for retail businesses, homes and public buildings.
  • Application: As the name suggests, high bay lights are used in commercial and industrial areas, like factories, municipal facilities, warehouses, airport hangar etc. Whereas, low bay fixtures are essential for retail stores, petrol stations and the likes.
  • Beam Angle: High bay fixtures usually have beam angles of 60, 90 and 120 degrees. They use narrow beam to create high lux level beam on the floor. But, when it comes to low bay lights, they only work at 120 degrees, where lens angles are responsible to spread light so that it will become easy to attain the required lighting level.
  • Mounting: High bay fixtures are hung with pendants or chains, directly to the ceiling or ceilings with hooks. You can either have round high-bays, architectural high-bays, grid mount high-bays or linear high-bays with rest to the space you want to install them. They have the ability to illuminate the entire space so that it will be easy for users to carry out their activities.
  • Lumen Output: The next worth considering difference lies in their direction of light and lumen output. Low bay lights do not lose light as fast as high bays do, meaning that they need lesser lumen output as compared to the other lighting version. The reason why high bay fixtures demand more lumen output could be the area coverage that is comparatively greater and need to produce more light to keep the space bright. Even, lens angles or reflector may cause the difference in the amount of light produced.

When to Choose High Bay Light

When to use high bay lights and low bay lights? Simply, it depends on your actual location and requirement. As we mentioned above, high bay lights are commonly used in warehouses etc. to provide sufficient brightness makes us to find the things on the shelves easier, but this is not absolute, even in the warehouse, some place where still allow low bay lights to be used, it is beneficial to reduce  light power and investment costs. Therefore, before using high bay lights, let’s carefully consider whether you really need it?

Do I need a high bay light?

The most important factor whether you really need to install a high bay light is the height of ceiling itself. If there is high ceiling, you use a low bay light or regular light, then you will take the risk of insufficient brightness or inconcentration of light in somewhere. If there is not high ceilings, but you choose to use high bay lights, it will cause  too bright in a certain area, resulting in not only wasting energy but also higher costs.

Therefore, generally speaking,we should first know the height of the ceiling when using high bay lights or low bays,it is recommend that if the ceiling height is 20 feet or higher in a certain place, it is best to choose high bay light.

How to choose high bay lights

do you know what types of high bay lights before choosing a high bay light. There are many different sizes and types of high bay lights available on the market.  There are  round, linear, and long high bay lights. Etc.

What are their advantages or disadvantages, and when to use it? Let’s look at which light fixture is best for your project.

Round high bay light

Nowadays, round high bay lights are also called UFO high bay lights, and they look like saucers. Among all types of high bay lights, it is also the easiest to install. The light-emitting angle of UFO high bay lights is common 60 or 120 degrees, which is very suitable for ceilings height above 13 feet.

You may have seen UFO high bay lights in restaurants or hotel rooms. They can commonly provide a good lighting requirement for the dining table in  a restaurant area with a height of 13 feet or more .For this application,A 100-watt warm white UFO high bay light is a good choice. Of course, it can also be used in large open commercial areas. For the ceiling is 25 feet high or more, a 240 watt UFO high bay light would be a good choice.

Linear high bay light

If you often visit the grocery store or warehouse, you may be more familiar with linear high bay lights. Their appearance looks like T8 lights, However,except for the appearance, they have almost nothing similarities, the linear high bay light can be long and thin, or long and wide. One linear high bay light can illuminate a larger area, which is very suitable for  large opening spaces or aisle.

The above are the most commonly used types of high bay lights and their applications. If you already know when to use it, the next is how many high bay lights do i need?

The size of high bay light

There are different powers of high bay lights available. Generally, the higher the wattage, the higher the lumens. We can choose different lumens according to different heights.

• 10-15 feet height,a light with 10,000 to 15,000 lumens required.

• 15-20 feet height, a light with 16,000 to 20,000 lumens required.

• 25-35 feet height, a 33,000 lumens light required

The spacing of high bay light

The distance between lights is also an important factor in choosing high bay lights, you can refer to the below spacing:

15 feet high, 15 feet spacing

20 feet high, 20 feet spacing

30 feet high, 30 feet spacing

But these only ensure the normal lighting requirements. If you would high brightness,please appropriately shorten the distance between light and light.

It is important to keep your goal in mind when choosing a high bay light. If you use it in a retail store, the lighting in the store will affect the buyer  decisions. For large commercial buildings, 200 watt LED high bay lights will ensure sufficient light. If you have a small space or softer lighting, a 100-watt LED high bay light will do.

Above 15 feet ceiling, we always recommend a UFO high bay light due to more easier installation. In the aisle area, linear high bay lights become an ideal choice. In a lower height and larger area, you can choose a wide-angle linear high bay light.


In summation, it can be said that high and low bay lights hold a lot of significance in terms of manufacturing, light production and other features. All you need to do is to go for the one that can help to meet your requirements without costing much. Though, if you are confused, it’s better to take advice from experts instead of landing at the inappropriate choice.