High Bay Lighting vs. Low Bay Lighting Solutions for Your Business

commercial lighting retrofit Toronto
How Can a Commercial Lighting Retrofit Impact Your Business?
December 21, 2021
high bay lighting Ontario
A Quick Buyer’s Guide to High Bay Lights
January 24, 2022
Show all

High Bay Lighting vs. Low Bay Lighting Solutions for Your Business

high bay lighting Ontario

Commercial lighting plays an important role in facilitating business operations. Excellent-quality lighting has the ability to improve visibility as well as the moods of your employees and customers. It can also boost workplace productivity, efficiency, and sales by energizing employees and putting customers in a buying mood. Large commercial establishments typically have what’s known as low or high bay lighting in Ontario. What exactly does this mean? What’s the difference between the two commercial lighting fixtures? Keep reading to learn about high and low bay lighting so you can choose the right one for your business.

What Is Bay Lighting?

Bay lights are used in large commercial and industrial environments such as retail stores, warehouses, and grocery stores to illuminate large areas. They’re called bay lights because they’re large and heavy-duty lighting fixtures that are installed in the overhead trusses or bays of commercial and industrial buildings. There are two types of bay light configurations: high and low. The main difference between the two is the height at which they’re installed, but there are a few other notable distinctive qualities they each have. 

What Is the Difference between High and Low Bay Lighting?

There are a number of important factors that determine whether you need high or low bay lighting for your business. When the time comes to install lighting fixtures for your commercial or industrial structure, consider the following points.

Height of the Installation 

Ceiling height is one of the most important factors that determine the type of bay lighting that’s most suitable for your structure.

Deep reflectors are used in high bay lighting fixtures to direct light downward and illuminate large surface areas to increase visibility. High bay lighting also uses diffused lighting, which has anti-glare properties to make for a more comfortable working and shopping experience for employees and customers alike. This type of lighting is most suitable for ceiling heights 20 to 50 feet such as those used for airplane hangars, factories, warehouses, and gyms. 

Low bay lighting, in contrast, is much lower to the ground and is therefore suitable for ceiling heights between 12 and 20 feet. This type of lighting is designed to provide widespread illumination throughout smaller commercial and industrial environments without the need for built-in aluminium reflectors. Skipping this step can actually cut down your installation and operational costs. Aluminium reflectors can still be used for some low bay lighting fixtures, however, to accentuate certain in-store product displays and draw more attention to them. 

Applications for High or Low Bay Lighting Fixtures 

There are many different industrial and commercial applications for high and low bay lighting fixtures. It just depends on the size and layout of your structure along with your luminescence requirements. 

Here are some of the most common types of businesses and facilities that use high or low bay lighting fixtures:

  • Warehouses
  • Distribution centers
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Grocery stores
  • Car dealerships
  • Commercial indoor garages
  • Retail and department stores
  • Sports stadiums
  • Public and school gyms
  • Community centers
  • Any public space that occupies a large area and accommodates a sizeable crowd 

When it comes to commercial lighting solutions in Ontario, high and low bay lighting fixtures are extremely versatile. They can be installed flush to the ceiling or suspended from the ceiling pendant-style at various heights. Lighting fixtures are also available in an assortment of different styles that can be customized to fit the aesthetic of your business. 

Beam Angles 

Beam angles are another extremely important factor to consider when deciding between high and low bay lighting. The height of the lighting fixture determines how much and how well light is distributed throughout the space. 

Once the lighting fixture is installed, the angle of the light beam it produces can’t be changed unless the fixture is adjusted in a certain direction. Some lighting fixtures have automated adjustment settings that allow you to play around with the light beam angles, while others can only be manually adjusted.

High bay lights produce a significantly more expansive light distribution than low bay lights because the former is further away from the ground. Hence, low bay lights are ideal for illuminating smaller surface areas because they require a lower lumen intensity.


As mentioned, there are several different mounting options for high and low bay lights. Whether you want the lighting fixtures mounted flush to the ceiling or suspended in the air at different or uniform heights depends on your luminescence requirements and the aesthetic of your business. 

Large industrial complexes such as warehouses and manufacturing facilities typically need more illumination. The closer the lighting fixtures are mounted to the ceiling, the better it is for the visibility and productivity of floor workers.

However, if your goal is to create a more intimate and cozier atmosphere in your retail store, then you might want to opt for hanging ceiling lights. Hanging ornate chandeliers or pendant lighting tends to make people feel more comfortable and at home in retail settings. The more comfortable customers feel in your store, the more likely they are to make a purchase. The right lighting and lighting fixtures can help you create the ideal ambience for your store to put people in the buying mood.

To change things up a little, you can even install a combination of flush and hanging lighting fixtures throughout your store. 

What Type of Lighting Do You Need for Your Business? 

Choosing the right lighting solutions in Ontario for your business is absolutely crucial. We’ve already established that high bay lighting fixtures are ideal for large warehouses and public spaces with high ceilings whereas low bay lighting is appropriate for retail and grocery stores. 

But these parameters aren’t necessarily set in stone. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your business. Warehouse lighting in Toronto, for example can be quite versatile. After all, not all warehouses are designed the same way. Some are smaller than others and therefore might do well with low bay lighting fixtures. 

The first step to choosing the right lighting solutions for your business structure is to perform a thorough lighting audit. When it comes to professional lighting distribution in Ontario, trust the experts at Faraday Lighting to provide you with the right solutions for your needs. Our team of expert technicians will thoroughly evaluate your existing or prospective lighting system and map out an ideal custom-tailored solution that fits your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more.