When to Use High Bay Lighting Fixtures

Since lighting is never a one size fits all solution, it is important to carefully consider the dynamics of your location to find the right choice. One of the more misunderstood concepts in lighting is when to use high bay lighting fixtures. Here are a few things to know about when to use high bay lighting fixtures which may make it easier to navigate.

How do I know if I need a high bay fixture?

The general answer to this question depends on the height of the ceiling itself. Since most high bay fixtures are mounted or installed higher up, the ceiling is really the only deciding factor. Any ceiling at a height of 20 feet or more from the floor requires high bay fixtures. If you use low bay or regular fixtures in any space with a ceiling this high, you run the risk of the illumination spread not being powerful or concentrated enough to provide proper illumination all the way down which leaves a shadowy appearance closer to the floor. If you use high bays in ceilings which do not require high bay fixtures, you may find you have too many lumens per square foot and an overpowering brightness in the area.

Common High Bay Applications


Since airports, especially areas such as hangers or transportation portals, tend to have higher ceilings, high bay lighting fixtures are a common staple in this location. While many airports are choosing to incorporate natural light as much as possible to cut down on energy costs than in the past, an airport is a 24-hour location so high bay fixtures are especially useful at night.

Factories and Assembly Plants

Most factories and assembly plants have ceilings over the 20 feet marker which makes this a common application of high bay fixtures. While it is usually used for general lighting and then additional task based lighting is added to the lighting plan for maximum visibility where needed, high bays are a staple of this type of area.

Outdoor Areas

High bays can be used in several outdoor lighting applications. From mall walkway lighting to amphitheater lighting at the local park, there are multiple applications for high bay lighting to accommodate outdoor areas as needed.

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