As the days get darker and your facility starts to rely less on natural light and more on strong bulbs to encourage business as usual, there’s never been a better time to consider switching to a more energy efficient way to light up your industrial facility or warehouse.

What is high-bay lighting?

High-bay lighting is generally defined as lighting which is used in high-ceiling areas to light surfaces that are more than 15 or 25 feet. While there is a use for high-bay lighting in almost every industry, some of the more common high-bay applications include: industrial manufacturing facilities, airplane hangars, warehouses, and warehouse-type retailers.

What’s wrong with traditional high-bay lighting?

High-bay fixtures are traditionally paired with a type of lighting called HID; High Intensity Discharge lighting. In addition to being difficult to control and having a shockingly short life span, HIDs and other traditional high-bay lighting options typically contain mercury, a toxic chemical that can have severe repercussions on the environment because of its ability to seriously harm fish, wildlife and human beings.

Today, options with much lower mercury content have appeared on the market, offering members of industry and retail a 3-5 year payback on initial investment. Some of the most energy-efficient options on the market include LED light, fluorescent T5 high-output/high-efficient lights as well as induction lighting, all of which can reduce your energy consumption and lower your operating costs.

Out with the old and in with the new

There are numerous benefits to installing energy saving high-bay lighting alternatives. For example, according to Natural Resources Canada, T5 high-output lamps have a higher light output per unit of electric power, higher light output as lamps age, better colour rendering, energy-saving switching capability, lower mercury content and superior performance at higher temperatures.  Moreover, T5 HO fluorescent high-bay lights  typically use from four to six lamps each, meaning that if a single lamp fails, the T5 system continues to light.

LED lighting is also now available for high-bay lighting, and according to Spectrum Lighting can offer a comparable light output for up to 70% less power consumption! LEDs also offer a significantly longer lifespan than HIDs, burning up to 5 times longer than traditional lighting.

According to Maryland Green Power, induction lighting is a great in-between for those not quite willing to invest in LEDs. Essentially, induction lighting is a fluorescent bulb without the metal electrical contacts used to conduct electricity from the fixture to the light-emitting gas inside the bulb; the advantage of having no metal contacts is that after numerous heating and cooling cycles, the lamp’s glass becomes stressed and the contact area between the glass and the metal can become compromised, resulting in air leaks and the end of that particular bulb. Green Power suggests that induction lamps are capable on saving 40% over their fluorescent counterparts, with a life-span that can reach up to 100,000 hours.

For further reading about high-bay lighting and the opportunities available for increased energy efficiency, take a look at “Purchasing for Pollution Prevention – High-Bay Lighting:  Opportunities for Mercury Reduction and Energy Efficiency” published by Inform, a “green” advocate and watchdog.

Questions or comments about high-bay lighting? Leave them below!

image credit:Leading Edge Design Group