Why LEDs for Warehouse Lighting?

A: LEDs are best known in small bulbs, but today the benefits are there for large applications as well.

1. Cost – pricing on high lumen lights like UFO high bays has come way down.  By mid 2018 at we saw or first rise in prices signaling we were near the bottom. Now, is the perfect time to make your purchases and benefit from the lower power costs.   Energy company may provide rebates for switching to more efficient lighting.
2. Energy savings - LEDs use 90% less energy than incandescents, 70% less than metal halide or HPS and 40% less than fluorescent.   At USA average rates of .20 a kilowatt hour, these fixtures pay for themselves in 1-4 years.  Ask us about our savings calculator you can share with your company or just to review.
3. Look  - The LEDs look sleek and modern.   They immediately are recognized for the modern aesthetic they provide.
4. Ease - The LEDs are easy to install.   They are lighter and more compact than the old fixtures.  Plus features like instant on make them easier to use on a daily basis compared to old tube or metal halides that needed to warm up.  Feel free to turn off LEDs at lunch!
5. Safety – No uv or mercury.  LEDs are the safest light in the market, as they produce no uv or mercury like other lights.
6. Low Maintenance - Typically bulbs and ballasts have to be replaced every few years.  With LED, the maintenance can be reduced by 95%. 

Use LED Warehouse lights anywhere

Actual install of 150 watt UFO style warehouse lights in a barn setup.  Highly versatile, LED warehouse lighting can be used from 10ft to 40ft high and buildings from a 1000sq ft shop to a full 1 million square foot distribution center.  

How to design a warehouse light layout

A: start by measuring the space and the height on where the lights will be at. Knowing the dimensions will help you plan it out. 2nd review existing light locations (if any).   If spaced correctly, then sing the same locations can help reduce install cost.  Next is laying out a grid.   The higher you go, the brighter the fixture and farther the spacing.   Here are some examples; At 15 ft height you need about 20,000 lumens and spacing of 14 ft on average.   At 25 feet high you need about 30,000 lumens and 20 foot spacing.   These are suggestions, some areas light sports will need more light.   Get an expert to plan it out or a computer photo study? 

What is the space used for?

The LEDs are used for various purposes such as security, better lighting and creating an ideal ambiance for your space.   These are suggested target footcandles.   Hard to know what these mean, but we can help.

  • Retail & Sports requires brighter – 80-100 footcandles on the ground: It is important for retail to have at least 80-100 footcandles on the ground to create a high end shopping experience.  Gyms and sports need the same.
  • Manufacturing should be about 60-80 footcandles on the ground.
  • Warehouses are closer to 40-60 footcandles on the ground
  • Storage can be 30 footcandles on the ground

One size fits all is unlikely, as it depends on the use case.   Decide the use and then you can target the needed lumens to get there.

What wattage and lumens do I need?

The wattage and lumens needed depends on the space that one wishes to cover, warehouses generally require less than compared to retail spaces. 

Use lumens not watts: Lumens is the amount of light that is being produced, lumens is the measure of light.  More watts does not mean you are getting more light.   Try and get lumens to watt ratio.  140+ Lumen to watt LEDs is good.

Appropriate lumens at Various Heights

We are often asked about what light we should use at various heights.  We always recommend a plan, but here are some rough ideas of where warehouse lights will be bright, but not overly so.
12-15 ft cal for about 10,000-15,000 lumens.  At these lower heights you will need more fixtures at less lumens.   
15-20 ft is ideal for 16,000-20,000 Lumens: 
25-35 ft is ideal for 33,000 lumen lights: As the size of the area increases, it is important to increase the number of lumens.
When it is 25-25ft, then the ideal is 33,000 lumen lights


It all depends on the height of the lights, beam angle and desired footcandles.  Easy right?  We can walk you through it, but here are a few basic tips.

At 15ft high, about 12ft spacing for bright lighting and 15ft spacing for normal is ideal
At 20ft high you can go to 15 for bright and 18ft for normal
At 30ft you can go to 20ft spacing for bright and 25ft for normal

How many lights?

The amount of lights needed for the location depends on the use,  height and width of the area.

Determine a use and desired footcandles
Then we determine appropriate lumens per fixture
Finally we space those fixtures out for good even lighting
Consider things like will dimming be used and doi beam angles need to be adjusted

How to calculate foot candles and lux?

It is not always needed to be able to calculate foot candles and lux.  We can often do simple calculation based on our thousands of installs or use replacement wattages to get there.   We can do photometric studies and get to footcandles. 

Foot candles and lux are the same.   Lux is just metric(not really but let's keep it this simple): Easy math, 10 lux for 1 foot candle.  80fc =800 lux
Lux is complicated and requires a full photometric plan, but there are simple ways to get there
When in doubt, ask a lighting expert for guidance

Crossover lighting produces best results

It is ideal for your location and it provides the most efficient lighting for the area.

Light coming from different directions, known as crossover or overlapping light reduces shadows and evens lighting,   Take advantage of light that comes from different locations to reduce shadows.
Plan lower lumen fixtures for better lighting: The lower the LEDs are placed, the better they would cover the area.
A few giant lights are overkill.  It may be most cost effective but you'll regret it every time you see shadows and get the blinded by looking at the sun affect.
Choosing lumens: The right amount of lumens is critical for the area to be perfectly lighted. 

Look at lumens not watts

Lumens are much efficient than watts. People have started to realize that lumens are more useful in determining the amount of light needed for the area. 

For 400 watt metal halide look at our 150watt models. You need 14,000 lumens to 20,000 lumens.  Go up to 240 if you need more light, down to 100 if a touch less is okay.
For 250 watt metal halide look at 11000-14000 lumens, an 80watt or 100 watt is good
For replacing T5 or T8 type fixtures,  look at 9000-17000 lumens.    Those fixture came in standard and high output (HO) in 2 to 8 lights per fixture   Each standard one gets about 60 lumens per watt effective and the HO about 80 watts per lumen effective. 

Dimming LED Warehouse lights

Dimming warehouse lights is a great way to reduce energy and set the light level you want.  It also helps you in light design by allowing you to go up in brightness and dim down to your level.  Always easier to reduce lighting than to have to add more.

LED Warehouse lights use 0-10v technology to dim the lights.  See our knowledge center article on dimming high output LEDs with 0-10v .

Choosing light color.  Also known as CCT, light temperature of Kelvin

Light color is listed by its Kelvin.  Kelvin is the technical measurement of whether a light is warm or cool in color.

3000K – too warm for warehouse, but may be good if the high bay lights are going in a restaurant or church.
4000K – natural, good for business or other areas of work.  It is ideal for offices, or for those that find 5000K too harsh.
5000K – pure white, good for large spaces and outdoors.  Most popular high bay with about 85% of sales. For spaces such as auditoriums, ball rooms and huge spaces the 5000K is the popular choice.  5000K lights is highly recommended for large spaces and especially outdoors where a lot of lighting may be needed. It covers the area efficiently.
5700k - We do not recommend higher than 5000K, AMA has warned against 5700K and 6500K.   Thats the American Medical Association saying its bad for your health.   

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