Lighting for a High-Ceilinged Shop

Choosing light fixtures for a shop with a high ceiling. November 9, 2008

I have two bays that I work in, each 25'W x 55'L separated by a full height wall. Both of them have ceiling heights of about 22'. Right now I have two 400 watt high pressure sodium lights in each bay. I have to say that these lights, well... suck. The color is horrible (orange/yellow) and somewhat harsh, think streetlights. I was thinking of switching over to some more efficient fluorescent lighting. I was searching the web and found Full Spectrum Solutions, Inc. and they sell a fluorescent light that has a 5900ēK output with a CRI of 91-96. I was wondering if anybody is using their hi-bay lighting and if it was worth switching over. They say it is a 1 to 1 replacement for HID metal halide, and I was wondering if users had found this to be true. And what about power usage, anything noticeable in the electric bill?

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor S:
Why do you need highbay lighting? Do you need clear height for forklifts, etc.? Our shop is strips of T8 fluorescents that replaced the HID and the electric bill dropped 50 dollars a month and the light was wonderful. Our lights are hung at 12 feet and dust collection pipes are at 13 and at 11 are aircraft cables that we hang our extension cords on. This is a perfect height for regular fluorescents punching the light down to the floor. In my opinion high bay lighting is for warehouses no matter what type it is. Do yourself a favour and purchase a lumen meter and go to a place where those lights are installed. Then check with what is recommended by your local labour code for detailed work. You may find that high bay fixtures do not accomplish what you would like.

From contributor A:
One of the cheapest ways to increase the useable light is to paint the walls white. Works especially well if the current walls are block or dark.

From contributor V:
We are currently building a new shop with 16' side walls. We did go with the lights you question. While we have not yet moved in, they are now in operation. I believe they were a good choice. The quality of light is good and they are almost "instant on." I can not give before and after comparison.