The majority of warehouses, commercial spaces, and industrial facilities make use of HID light sources, typically in the form of metal halide lamps. The reasoning behind this decision is sound: the bulbs traditionally used in high bay fixtures must be bright enough to illuminate a large amount of space while simultaneously offering a long lamp life. However, lately, some commercial building owners have been making the switch to High Bay LED Lighting instead.
LED lights offer a 35,000 to 50,000-hour lifespan, which is significantly longer than the 20,000 hours that can be expected of metal halide light bulbs. This increased lifespan helps to offset the higher initial investment cost of LED bulbs and fixture retrofitting.
Switching over to LED bulbs offers energy savings as significant as fifty percent. The happy results of making this change are lower energy bills and a smaller environmental footprint. When considering the amount of energy required to power lighting designed for industrial and commercial uses, the difference can be quite significant.
Quicker Startup Time
Metal halide systems require a two to five-minute warm-up period before they are able to produce full light. They also require five to ten minutes between uses when power is interrupted. In comparison, LED lights turn on and off instantly, regardless of interior temperature, and turn on at their full light output.
Because LED lights don’t require a warm-up period, they are much more effective for use with occupancy sensors. This allows building owners to simplify their operations and further decrease their energy use by turning lights off automatically when nobody is present in the space.
Better Quality Illumination
Depending on what type of metal halide bulbs were being used prior to making the switch to LED, LED lights can often provide a better quality of light and improved color rendering. Employees working long indoor shifts typically find that this helps reduce eye strain and improves overall working conditions.
A Word of Caution
LED lights are most efficient and boast the longest lifespan when they are used in well-ventilated open fixtures. This can complicate things when considering that removal of the lenses from high bay fixtures often results in uncomfortable brightness. There are, however, a variety of ways that building owners can mitigate this potential problem.