LED High Bay Upgrade: Everything You Need to Know

Application – Various industries and commercial facilities require led high bay upgrades. Some of the most common are:
  • Warehouses
  • Industries
  • Manufacturing units
  • Schools, colleges, universities
  • Gymnasiums
  • Community centers
  • Recreation centers
  • Commercial spaces like retail/departmental stores

8 Common problems with old (metal halide and mercury vapour) high bay lights

Despite a few benefits, some characteristics of these lights can lead to problems. There are eight most common downsides of using old high bay lights. Energy costs: Old high bay and low bay lights range from 175W to 1000W depending on the fixture and application. The higher the light wattage the higher the light output. The variables are a function of the lighted area, combined with the height of the ceiling and fixture mounting. Therefore, this characteristic plays a vital role in the wattages utilized. If we calculate in dollar value to this wattage, a 400W or 1000W HID fixture can cost up to $205 and $520 to operate per night, in a year. Depending on the facility, these costs can add up and unnecessarily increase your energy costs substantially. Maintenance costs: Besides high energy costs, maintenance costs can also affect individuals managing commercial light fixtures, warehouse lighting, and gym light fixtures. For starters, high bay lighting is commonly mounted on ceilings in excess of 15 feet, which requires extra tools and contractors to install. Not to mention, frequently blown bulbs. These maintenance costs can increase over a period of time. Lighting performance: The features of your high bay lighting and low bay lighting can vary significantly depending on the type of lighting installed in your facility. Metal halide lamps produce a much whiter and natural white light than CFL and halogen lamps; however, these types of lamps tend to have accelerated lumen damaging. So, in a visual perspective, you trade a longer life for the poor quality of light. Slow start-up time: Because of the way metal halides operate, they don’t turn on instantly by just flipping the switch.  Metal halides require a warm-up time that can be anywhere from 1-15 minutes. Cooldown period: If the power to the metal halide lamps is interrupted, they will automatically turn off. These lamps need at least 10-15 minutes to cool down before they can be turned back on. Colour fading: Metal halide lights do not continue to produce a uniform colour or brightness over time. Their performance deteriorates after some time. UV radiation: Metal halides emit UV rays due to the gasses used to operate the lamp.  This can become a hazard to those around the lamps. Mercury: Mercury is found in metal halides and can be toxic if anyone is exposed to the mercury in the lamp. This is why old metal halides need proper recycling as they are classified as a hazardous material.

3 Benefits of LED high bay lights

Energy savings: This is the main reason why you should consider LED lighting for your building or facility. Common wattages for LED high bay lights can vary from 95W to 405W. Therefore, by switching to LED lighting, you are immediately reducing your energy consumption by over 70%. You would be saving about $300 per fixture per year in electricity costs if you switch to LED lights. Low maintenance cost: By switching to LEDs, you will witness a reduction in the maintenance of your high bay light fixtures. Owing to its functioning, instead of ceasing to function properly once a fuel source is significantly declined, LED light output degrades very slowly over time. As a result, the functional life of an LED product is significantly longer than that of HID lamps (50,000hours), which reduces maintenance costs significantly. Lighting performance: From a performance point of view, LED high bays are way above old high bays. LEDs utilize a multi-point design, meaning they distribute light on the intended surface evenly. Therefore, light levels across a given surface will vary less between fixture mounting locations.

Lumen output: Metal halide vs. LED high bays

Wattage(Metal Halide)LumensWattage (LED Equivalent)
70 W5,60019 W LED
100 W8,50023 W LED
175 W15,00062 W LED
250 W22,000124 W LED
400 W39,000186 W LED
750 W80,750186 W LED
1,000 W140,000500 W LED

Free led high bay replacement under VEET scheme in Victoria

3 Reasons to go for LED high bay upgrade 

LEDs eliminate warm-up time: Metal halide lamps, in particular, are ill-reputed for long warm-up times. This is why large sports stadiums turn on the lights well before dusk, which means they are consuming energy before they are required. Moreover, metal halides are less efficient at lower power so they are utilizing more energy per unit of light output as they warm up to full power, making it a perfect option to switch to LEDs. Ability to dim lighting: LEDs require LED-specific hardware in order to dim the lighting. Luckily, this hardware is readily available, easy to install, and adds significant value to the overall lighting solution. LEDs actually get more efficient when they are run at less than full power which is quite different than metal halide bulbs. Facilities that install LEDs as part of a comprehensive “smart lighting” solution incorporate the high efficiency LED lights in conjunction with sensors like timers or motion devices, that adapt to ambient conditions and traffic patterns of a particular facility. Capability of frequent switching: The incapability to turn lights off when not in use without causing issues if the lights need to be turned back on is a major problem with metal halides. Once you turn a metal halide off, it takes them15-20 minutes to get it back on, which means the lights often need to be run for longer periods of time than they otherwise would. LEDs can be turned off and turned back on immediately with no deprivation to the light output. That means energy and device lifespan are not compromised when the lights are not needed by running them needlessly.

Why choose LED high bay lights instead of metal halide or other conventional high bay lights?

Some of the most common lighting required for warehouse and industrial settings include metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and fluorescent. While each of these bulbs has its advantages, industrial LED lighting outperforms its traditional counterparts in various ways, which makes the led high bay upgrade even more important. Industrial LED lighting vs. metal halide high bay lights: Benefits of metal halide lights include a decent colour version and relatively suitable foot-candle levels. Some of their major drawbacks are a long time to warm up and a high cost to maintain, and their failure features include flickering. LED high bay lighting vs high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights: HPS lights are mostly used in warehouse, industrial, retail, and recreational facilities where high bay lighting is suitable. Their benefits include cheap selling price, energy efficiency, and a longer lifespan than metal halides. HPS lighting technology retains these advantages over most traditional bulbs, but they lose on all three counts to LED high bay lights.

Industrial LED lighting vs fluorescent lighting:

Fluorescent lights are sometimes utilized in warehouses or industrial applications. The benefits of fluorescent lights include cheaper initial costs and comparatively high energy efficiency. The downside includes the presence of toxic mercury, which needs certain waste disposal procedures, decreased lifetime if switched on and off, and flickering.

Metal halide vs. LED comparison

Feature LED Lights Metal Halide Lamps
Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT)Range of colour temperatures span from 2200K-6000K (warm yellow to light or cool blue)  Colour temperature is 3000K. Some metal halides are available with extremely cool colour temperatures (20,000K)
CRIA very broad spectrum of CRI values is available ranging from 65-95Metal halides are perhaps the best source of high CRI white light on the market
Cycling (turning on/off)LEDs turn on and off instantaneously (there is no warm-up or cool down period). They produce steady light without flicker.Metal halide lights have warm-up period. Bulbs can take 15-30 minutes to get to full operating power.
Energy efficiencyLEDs are highly energy efficient. Typical source efficiency ranges 37 and 120 lumens/watt. They are 80% more energy-efficient than halogen lamps.Metal halide lights have average efficiency (75-100 lumens/watt). They lose out to LEDs due to high heat dissipation.
Heat emissionNegligibleMetal halide bulbs emit a significant amount of heat (roughly 10-15% of the total energy consumed).
Cold tolerance– 40 °C (they turn on instantaneously)– 40 °C
Heat toleranceup to 100°CN/A
Low emissionsYesNo
Warranty3-5 yearsTypically 1-2 years

Upgrade old high bays in your business to energy-efficient LED high bays

The Victoria government provides great incentives and rebates to businesses for upgrading old lights to LEDs under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. You could save up to 80% on your lighting costs by installing the most energy-efficient lighting technology and led high bay upgrade. Recent developments in LED lighting technology mean that the lighting in your business can be powered more efficiently which decreases your energy and maintenance costs significantly. We install VEU-approved products from local brands We install LED products from local brands approved under the VEU program, which are cost-saving and energy-efficient. If you are eligible under the VEU (formerly VEET Scheme) rebate program, products like LED high bays are FREE of cost most of the time (if your business meets free products eligibility criteria). Government LED High Bay Replacement ProgramA-grade electrician installation We have a big network of local A-grade electricians. All our LED installations are done by qualified electricians to ensure professional installation and safety standards. Our flexible working hours render minimum disturbance to your business during the installation process. Fill in the contact form below to replace old high bays in your warehouse or manufacturing unit with an energy-efficient led high bay upgrade today.