How far apart should high bay LED lights be?

Determining the optimal spacing for high bay LED lights is crucial for achieving adequate illumination in large indoor spaces like warehouses, factories, gyms, etc. Proper spacing ensures uniform light distribution, avoids dark spots or shadows, and allows the lights to work efficiently. This article provides a comprehensive guide on recommended spacing for high bay LED lights based on important factors like mounting height, beam angle, lumen output, and room dimensions. Quick answers first – high bay LED lights should be spaced 1.2 to 1.5 times the mounting height apart from each other. For example, if the lights are mounted at 20 ft height, ideal spacing is 24 to 30 ft between light centers. Wider beam angles allow farther spacing while narrow beams require tighter spacing. Higher lumen outputs also permit farther spacing. Continue reading as we delve into the details around calculating appropriate high bay LED light spacing.

What are High Bay LED Lights?

High bay LED lights are designed to provide bright, energy-efficient illumination from higher mounting heights like ceilings of warehouses, gymnasiums, retail stores, etc. Key features:

  • Designed for mounting heights of 15 ft or higher
  • Very high lumen packages ranging from 10,000 to 100,000+ lumens
  • Beam angles ranging from narrow spot to wide flood
  • Withstand high ambient temperatures
  • Durable and robust construction
  • Long lifespan of 50,000+ hours
  • Energy savings of 50-70% over traditional HID high bay fixtures

The intense downward illumination from high mounting heights allows fewer high bay LEDs to light up a large area. But the spacing needs to be right to get optimal light distribution across the entire space.

What Factors Determine High Bay LED Spacing?

There are several key factors that must be considered when determining appropriate spacing for high output high bay LED lights:

Mounting Height

This is the height at which the high bay LED fixtures will be installed from the floor. Typical mounting heights range from 15 feet to 45 feet for most applications. The higher the mounting height, wider can be the spacing between lights.

Beam Angle

The beam angle indicates the spread of light emitted by the LED high bay fixture. Typical beam angles range from 60-150 degrees:

  • Narrow spot beams around 60-90 degrees allow tighter spacing
  • Medium flood beams around 100 degrees are suitable for most applications
  • Wide flood beams 140-150 degrees can be spaced farther apart

Wider beam angles naturally allow for increased spacing between lights.

Lumen Output

High bay LEDs deliver very high lumen packages ranging from 10,000 lumens to 100,000 lumens for the brightest models. Higher the lumens, the farther apart the lights can be spaced. For lower lumen lights, keep spacing tighter.

Room Size and Obstructions

The dimensions and layout of the space being illuminated also impacts ideal spacing. Larger unobstructed spaces may allow wider spacing, while smaller spaces with racking/equipment may need tighter spacing for uniform light coverage.

Recommended High Bay LED Spacing

Based on above factors, here are the general recommended spacing guidelines for high bay LED lighting:

1.2X to 1.5X Mounting Height Rule

As a rule of thumb, a good starting point is to space high bay LEDs 1.2 to 1.5 times the mounting height apart.

For example:

  • If mounted at 20 ft height -> Space lights 24 to 30 ft apart
  • If mounted at 30 ft height -> Space lights 36 to 45 ft apart
  • If mounted at 40 ft height -> Space lights 48 to 60 ft apart

This spacing guideline should provide even illumination with most high bay LEDs. Wider spacing risks dark zones in the space while tighter spacing may lead to excessive overlap.

Beam Angle Guide

Use the beam angle of the high bay LED model as another guide for spacing:

  • Narrow 60-90 degree beam -> 1 to 1.25X mounting height
  • Medium 100 degree beam -> 1.2 to 1.5X mounting height
  • Wide 140-150 degree beam -> 1.5 to 2X mounting height

So wide flood beams can be spaced farther apart compared to narrow spot beams.

Lumen Output Guide

Higher lumen outputs allow slightly wider spacing as well:

  • 10,000 to 20,000 lumens -> 1 to 1.5X mounting height
  • 20,000 to 50,000 lumens -> 1.2 to 1.75X mounting height
  • 50,000+ lumens -> 1.5 to 2X mounting height

So for very high lumen 100,000+ lumen models, spacing up to 2X the mounting height may work.

Room Size and Layout

Also factor in the room dimensions and any obstructions or racking layouts that may interfere with the lighting. For smaller spaces and rooms full of racks/equipment, stick to the narrower side of the spacing range. For large open warehouse spaces, the wider spacing values may be used.

Spacing Guidelines Summary

To summarize, the key high bay LED light spacing guidelines based on mounting height, beam angle and lumen output:

Mounting Height Beam Angle Lumen Output Recommended Spacing
15-25 ft 60-90° 10,000-20,000 lumens 15-30 ft
25-35 ft 100° 20,000-50,000 lumens 30-45 ft
35-45 ft 140-150° 50,000+ lumens 45-60 ft

These are general guidelines only, specific conditions may require spacing adjustments up or down. Do consult lighting layout software and the manufacturer’s recommendations too for precise spacing. Proper placement will deliver the most efficient lighting uniformity.

Factors That Impact Spacing

Some additional considerations that can impact ideal high bay LED spacing:

Reflectivity of Room Surfaces

Lighter colored, reflective ceilings and walls will help bounce and diffuse light, allowing slightly wider spacing between high bays. Darker rooms will require tighter spacing.

Ambient Lighting and Daylight

If there is ample ambient lighting or daylighting, high bay spacing can be pushed out to the maximum recommended limits. Lower ambient light will necessitate tighter spacing.

Room Obstructions

As mentioned earlier, racks, machinery, partitions, stacks etc. will interfere with light distribution and may call for narrower spacing to avoid shadows.

Task Lighting Needs

Spaces where lighting is needed for demanding visual tasks require tighter spacing and higher light levels. For simpler general lighting needs, wider spacing may work.

Energy Codes and Standards

Commercial energy codes and standards like ASHRAE 90.1, IECC etc. prescribe minimum lighting power density and illumination levels that will influence spacing.

Dimming and Controls

Dimmable high bay LEDs allow wider spacing for normal use, and tighter spacing when dimmed down to lower light levels. Occupancy-based controls also help adjust light levels as needed.

Installation and Layout Recap

Here are some key installation tips to recap that will ensure proper LED high bay spacing:

  • Match high bay layout to aisle and racking layouts to provide vertical illumination where needed.
  • Lighting design software is invaluable for optimized spacing and positioning
  • Mark planned locations and grid lines on the floor for consistent placement
  • Aim for uniform spacing but adjust locally for obstructions/equipment
  • Position end rows half the spacing from walls for best coverage
  • Group wiring from lights for fewer branch circuits
  • Use winches and lifts to safely install lights at tall mounting heights

Getting the layout right the first time avoids having to redo installations and allows the high bay LEDs to operate at peak efficiency.


Determining the ideal spacing for high output high bay LED lighting requires careful consideration of several factors – mounting height, beam angle, lumen output and room size/layout being the most critical. A good starting point is to space the LED high bay lights 1.2 to 1.5 times the mounting height apart. Beam angle and lumens then allow adjusting the spacing wider or tighter as needed. Ambient lighting, room surfaces, obstructions and task lighting requirements also impact the spacing design. With optimal spacing, high bay LEDs can deliver highly uniform illumination, lower energy use, and reduced glare and shadows. Lighting layout software, design expertise and the manufacturer’s recommendations are invaluable for cost-effective lighting outcomes.

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