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Types of Warehouse Lighting

Whether you're opening a warehouse or planning renovations to your current one, making sure your space is properly lit should be a top priority. Warehouses need to be well-lit so workers can efficiently pick and pack orders and forklift operators can safely move throughout the facility. This guide will go over common warehouse lighting fixtures and how to choose the best type for your space.

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Warehouse Light Fixtures

Choosing the correct lighting for your warehouse can increase efficiency and performance. Let's go over the 6 different types of warehouse light fixtures and where to use them, so you can set up your warehouse with confidence.

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1. Tube Lights

Tube lights are great for placing in specific areas and spaces and are best for mounting at ceiling heights of 8 to 10 feet. Below are the different styles of tube lights out there.

  • Type A Tubes: Works with the existing ballast.
  • Type B Tubes: Works by bypassing the ballast.
  • Type AB Tubes: Works with or without the ballast.
  • Type C Tubes: Works with an external driver.

Where to Use Tube Lights: Warehouse office spaces, breakrooms, and storage areas.

Standard Tube Light Sizes: 2', 4', or 8' in length

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2. High Bay Lights

High bay lights are designed for areas with high ceilings, typically 20 to 45 feet in height, and send more direct light down to the floor. It is important to note that the higher the ceiling height is, the more lumen output you will want your light fixture to have. Below are the different styles of high bays and when to use them.

  • Round High Bay Lights: Feature a wide beam spread to cover a large area with light, making them great for increasing visibility in open areas. They only have one contact point, so they are easier to install than linear lights.
  • Linear High Bay Lights: Feature a more compact, rectangular light distribution to help illuminate specific aisles and shelving areas. They can typically be surface-, suspended-, or pendant-mounted.

Where to Use High Bay Lights: Large warehouses, manufacturing plants, airport hangers, and amphitheaters.

Standard High Bay Light Sizes: 10" to 13" in diameter (round) or 2', 4', or 8' in length (linear).

Note: If your ceilings are under 20 feet in height, you can opt for low bay lights to achieve the same benefits as high bay lights for your small space.

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3. Wall Pack Lights

Wall pack lights are box-shaped light fixtures that are wall-mounted, typically to the outside of a building to provide lighting for vehicles and pedestrians. Below are the different styles of wall packs and when to use them.

  • Traditional Wall Pack Lights: Feature an open design and a wider lens to deliver a wider beam spread. They are particularly great for entryways where extra light is needed for safety and security.
  • Full Cut-Off Wall Pack Lights: Direct light distribution downward to eliminate all uplight illumination. They are dark sky compliant and prevent light pollution.
  • Slim Wall Pack: Feature an adjustable beam angle for greater versatility with light projection.

Where To Use Wall Pack Lights: Loading docks, utility sheds, storage areas, and walkways.

Standard Wall Pack Light Sizes: Range from 6" to 18" in length, depending on the style.

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4. Troffer Lights

Troffer lights, or drop-ceiling lights, are a professional, clean line option for large indoor spaces that need powerful, recessed lighting. Most are designed to be mounted onto standard T-bar grid ceilings. They have a slim, low-profile design and a diffuser or reflector to manage glare and distribute light widely and evenly. This also allows them to provide direct and indirect illumination for greater visual comfort.

Where to Use High Bay Lights: Schools, offices, retail spaces, and healthcare facilities.

Standard Troffer Light Sizes: 1' x 4', 2' x 2', and 2' x 4'.

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5. Industrial Strip Lights

With their low profile design and small footprint, industrial strip lights are ideal for providing size-restricted architectural applications with powerful, even lighting. They are typically ceiling-mounted for a clean look but can sometimes be suspended from the ceiling depending on the building's height.

Where To Use Industrial Strip Lights: Storage and utility areas, retail locations, factory floors, stairwells, and hallways

Standard Industrial Strip Light Sizes: 2', 4', or 8' in length

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6. Commercial Panel Lights

Commercial flat panel lights feature a lower profile than troffer lights. They are typically recessed-mounted or surface-mounted for a clean look or they can be suspended from the ceiling depending on the building's height. Below are the different styles of flat panel lights to choose from.

  • Backlit Flat Panel Lights: Lights are placed in the back of the frame to shine directly through the diffuser and minimize glare. More popular than edgelit panels for their more affordable cost and efficiency.
  • Edgelit Flat Panel Lights: Lights are placed on the side of the panel for a thinner profile. Typically more expensive and uses more power than backlit panels.

Where To Use Commercial Panel Lights: Warehouses, offices, conference halls, auditoriums, and retail locations.

Standard Commercial Panel Light Sizes: 1' x 4', 2' x 4', and 2' x 2'.

LED Light Fixtures For Warehouse

LED lights are known for their energy efficiency, durability, and ease of maintenance. Read on to learn why LED light fixtures are the best option for your warehouse.

Improved Efficiency

LED lighting fixtures use less energy to achieve the same lighting results as incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen lights. LED lights can be up to 90% more energy efficient than halogen and incandescent lighting options.

Save On Energy Costs

Although LED lights have a higher upfront cost, they consume less energy and do not emit heat, which saves on utility costs over time. Plus, many utility companies provide rebates for switching to more efficient lighting.

Longer-Lasting Lighting

LED lights last thousands of hours, with many commercial LED light fixtures being rated to handle up to 50,000 hours. This longevity makes them extremely low maintenance in comparison to other lighting options. Plus, the lack of filament makes them a more durable alternative as well.

Easy to Maintain

Due to their long lifespan, LED lights do not need to be replaced as frequently as other lighting options. Installing or replacing LED light fixtures is an easy task due to their lightweight and streamlined design.

Safer and More Environmentally Friendly

LEDs are the safest type of lighting you can use since they do not contain mercury or other toxic chemicals like some other lighting types. This makes them safe to handle and dispose of, and they are often recyclable.

How to Choose the Best Warehouse Lighting

Choosing the best warehouse lighting fixtures for your warehouse depends on several factors. Besides deciding on the types of fixtures that will work in your building, there are several features to also consider when narrowing down your choice. We've listed six essential features to think about before selecting warehouse lighting.

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1. Brightness

Lumens indicate the brightness of a light bulb, and the more lumens a light fixture has, the more light it gives off. Because LED lights use fewer watts than incandescent or fluorescent lights with the same brightness, it is better to look at a product's lumen output versus its wattage when determining how many light fixtures you need in a specific area. It is important to note that the larger your space is, the more lumen output a light should have to accommodate it.

2. Burn Time

A light fixture's burn time refers to its average lifespan. A standard warehouse light fixture has a burn time of 50000 hours to 54000 hours.

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3. Color Temperature

Measured using the Kelvin Scale, this refers to the color hue emitted by the light bulb. A light fixture with a color temperature between 3000K and 5000K is a good choice for a warehouse. A light fixture with a lower Kelvin of 3000K will have a warmer, yellow color while a light fixture with a higher Kelvin of 5000K will emit a cooler, crisp white color. 

4. Beam Angle

You should look at a light fixture's beam angle to determine if it will work in your desired area. Wider beam angles provide widespread illumination that is great for open spaces, such as storage areas, while narrower beam angles create a more focused beam that illuminates a specific area, such as an entryway. 

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5. CRI Rating

The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is used to measure a light’s ability to show natural colors, which ensures clarity and contrast with objects throughout the area. Providing a natural light source is especially important for warehouse stockers, pickers, packers, and other warehouse workers who regularly read small labels so that you can avoid processing issues. Any light fixture with a CRI of 80 or above is a good choice for a warehouse or facility.

6. Dimmable

Purchasing dimmable LED lights is a great way to reduce energy consumption and set your space at the light level you desire. LED lights become more energy-efficient when they run at under 100% power. Plus, their lifespan increases, which can further save on costs. Commercial warehouse light fixtures utilize 0-10V dimming for smooth and uniform dimming.

Light Fixture Certifications

There are a variety of certifications a commercial light fixture can have. We will go over two certifications that can help you determine if a light fixture is durable enough to withstand a specific area and if a light fixture is energy efficient.

Light IP Rating

A light's IP rating measures its ability to withstand liquid and dust intrusion. It uses a two-digit system to rate a product's level of protection against each, with the first digit representing protection against solids and the second digit representing protection against liquids.

The first digit's scale is from 0 to 6, with 0 meaning the product has no protection against the entrance by a solid foreign object and 6 meaning the product is dust-tight and dust cannot enter it.

The second digit's scale is from 0 to 8, with 0 meaning there is no fixture protection against entry by water and 8 meaning the fixture is suitable for continuous immersion in water.

DLC Approval

If a LED lighting fixture is DLC qualified, it complies with minimum performance standards in distribution, color, and longevity/stress after meeting testing requirements set by the DesignLights Consortium®. DLC approval is specific to commercial fixtures and LED tubes, which are not covered by the Energy Star label, and it provides easy identification for an energy-efficient, quality light fixture.

It's important to note that most utility companies require light fixtures to be DLC listed to qualify for rebate and incentive programs, so look for this DLC certification label when shopping for commercial LED lighting.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

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