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Low Bays

Low Bays

Where Should Low Bays Be Used?

Low bays are ideal for warehouses and factory environments where a good source of light is required. They are usually mounted up to a height of approximately 9 metres (above this height, high bays rather than low bays should be used).

Types Of Low Bays

There are numerous types of low bays to choose from depending on the circumstances:

LED

LED low bays are becoming ever-increasingly popular due to the vast energy savings involved. As expected, the initial costs of the LED low bay is more expensive than many other low bay alternatives, however the energy savings are vast, often saving around 50% on energy costs.

The savings are even more substantial when maintenance costs are considered as these fittings can be installed and then forgotten about. No lamp or tube changes are required and the fitting will typically last for over 50,000 hours. Unlike metal halide and sodium, LED fittings will lose only around 10% of its light output over the life of the fitting too. LED also offers instant start (unlike metal halide and sodium which require warm up times).

Metal Halide & Sodium

Traditionally, metal halide and sodium low bays are the ones which are used for factory and warehouse applications as they give out an extremely bright source of light (metal halide is a cool white colour where as sodium is a warm coloured light – similar to that of a street light). The fittings themselves are normally the cheapest to buy initially, however, as electricity prices increase, these fittings are becoming less viable due to the large power costs involved.

Maintenance costs are also a consideration as metal halide and sodium lamps will last approximately 10,000 hours compared to typical 50,000+ hours of LED and induction fittings. Expect metal halide and sodium fittings to lose approximately 50% of their lumen output (brightness) over the life of the lamp.

Low energy metal halide is now available where the highest light levels are still required. A 200W fitting would replace a 250W and a 320W fitting would replace a 400W, instantly offering a saving of 20%. Unlike traditional metal halide, these fittings will lose approximately 10% of their light output (rather than 50%+) and will last for 50,000 hours (rather than 10,000) thanks to the electronic ballast and pulse start lamp. These fittings will reduce electric costs along with maintenance costs due to minimal re-lamping.

Fluorescent

These low bays utilise low energy T5 fluorescent tubes or PLL lamps to provide a cost effective, low energy lighting solution. Good energy savings can be made when comparing to traditional metal halide and sodium low bays as well as having the advantage of various colour temperatures available, depending on which tubes/lamps are used.

Can Sensors Be Used?

Further energy savings can be made by using a variety of sensors. PIR/microwave sensors can be fitted to many products so they will only illuminate when movement is detected. This is ideal for larger warehouses where not all areas are constantly in use, saving even more electricity.

Daylight dimming sensors are also available which will only switch the low bay on when the light levels are low enough.

Sensors cannot be used on metal halide or sodium low bay fittings.

Caring For The Fitting

The fitting will require an occasional wiping down, the frequency depending on the cleanliness of the building where they are installed. This will also improve the light levels if dirt is wiped away from the lens/glass.

Installing Your Low Bays

As it is required that all these low bays are mains wired and fixed in a safe and secure manner, it is essential that all work is carried out by a qualified electrician. Always remember, it is illegal to carry out any work should you not be qualified.