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High Time for a Change in High-Bay Lighting

Top five reasons to switch to LED high-bay fixtures

Tags:
  • For Contractors
  • For Designers
  • For Facility Managers
  • New Construction
  • Retrofit
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4/22/2019

They number in the millions, lighting everything from our indoor gymnasiums, swimming pools and basketball courts to our supermarkets, manufacturing plants, industrial complexes and subway concourses. They are the high-bay fixtures, mounted 15 feet or higher above the floor.

But while high-bay fixtures may be everywhere, they are not all the same. 

Consider this: if you convert a 400-watt metal halide to a 324-watt fluorescent high-bay fixture, it produces energy savings of about 19%. Converting the same metal halide fixture to an LED high-bay fixture can generate energy savings of 65% or more, while also giving you vastly better lighting quality and control.

So why would anyone waste significant dollars and accept sub-optimal lighting instead of switching to LED high-bay fixtures?  It’s a good question.

Metal halide fixtures have been the mainstay of high-bay lighting. They cost less and produce a bright, white light with fairly good color rendering.  But their service life, light output and efficacy severely degrade over time, making them much less economical than today’s best LED alternatives.

Fluorescent high-bay fixtures have also become popular in recent decades, providing good color rendering and much better lifetime lumen maintenance than metal halide fixtures.  But even the best offer only modest improvements. 

Then there’s LED. On appearance only, LED high-bay fixtures may not look like a 50-year leap in technology. Many have the same familiar inverted cup shape and hang overhead, making light.

That’s where the resemblance ends. 

LEDs use much less power to create a lumen of light, and that light is more easily controlled. Their useful life is measured in decades and they require little if any maintenance. Plus, like the smartphone in your pocket, an LED chip provides a ready-made platform for any number of environmental sensors, as well as Wi-Fi and networking capabilities.

Sounds undeniably better, right?  Sounds undeniably expensive too, you may be thinking. But think again.

The last decade has seen phenomenal advances in LED high-bay energy efficiency, while LED high-bay fixture prices have dropped drastically.

Cree Lighting’s high-bay portfolio offers many examples of the tremendous difference LED high-bay fixtures can make to your lighting performance — and to your bottom line.  We’ve summarized the five top reasons you should switch to LED high-bay fixtures sooner rather than later:

1. They deliver dramatically better energy savings. Even before any lighting controls are applied, the savings average from 25% to 70%. 

2. Utilities will pay you to buy them.  Many utilities offer hefty rebates on fixtures that show a significant energy usage reduction or qualify under the DesignLights Consortium’s (DLC®) certification program.

3. They last much, much longer. Cree high-bay luminaires have a useful life of more than 100,000 hours — five to 10 times the life of the typical metal halide and fluorescent. A child entering the first grade on the day you install your Cree high-bay fixture will start her first job after college before you need to think about a replacement.

4. They’re low maintenance and no drama. There are no bulbs or ballasts to replace, no pressurized gas lamps or tubes to shatter, and no heavy metals requiring regulated disposal. You can also cycle them without worrying about temperamental lamps and ballasts, cooling off periods, strike times, warm-ups or slow climbs to maximum output. Just instant ON and OFF, whenever you want.

5. They’re a natural for lighting controls. All Cree high-bay fixtures can be dimmed down to 10% in small increments, and advanced lighting controls can be embedded right on the LED chip to save you even more on energy with occupancy sensors, dimming and response to ambient daylight.

To recap: LED high-bay fixtures use a fraction of the energy of metal halide and fluorescent fixtures. They are virtually maintenance-free, last for generations and every LED chip is a ready-made platform for the Internet of Things. They also produce better light.

Do you see a reason to wait any longer?

NEED MORE INFORMATION? Download this Industrial Application Guide to learn more about lighting for industrial applications, both indoors and out.

Cree Lighting High-Bay fixtures include the KBL Series, the HXB Series, the LXB Linear Series and the C-Lite™ High-Low Bay fixture. Visit the product pages for more information.

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