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Community and Q&A

High Bay lighting for garage or other high intensity options?

BrunoF | Posted in General Questions on

I’ve got a 26′ x 36′ attached garage on my project and am in the process of determining the light fixtures.  The space is roughed in to handle 6 fixtures and will end up with an approximately 12’6″ finished ceiling height.

I love the idea of dimmable high-bay lights but I’m not sure if my ceilings are too low to get even coverage from those fixures with a 110-115 deg beam spread.  I also am not wired to handle the 0-10V dc dimmers so I need something that I can dim on a “regular” circuit.  Until I build a sepeate shop i will use 1/2 of this garage for woodworking so I need more light than the typical garage.

Any thoughts on high bays or high intensity alternatives for this application?  


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  1. Expert Member
    Akos | | #1

    The standard for shops is T4 or T8 fixtures. These give nice even diffuse light without the point source glare of some of the other high bay fixtures. There are now sealed LED equivalents of these (ie Metalux). There are triac compatible fixtures out there. I would look for something semi sealed to limit issues with dust.

    Most are 0-10V, not that hard to pull a wire down to a central location, there are also wireless 0-10V units but those are spendy. The nice part about 0-10V is you can get dimmer with ambient light sensing that automatically sense and adjust light level.

  2. gusfhb | | #2

    My manufacturing work space includes a 26x40 with 16 foot ceiling. It was setup with 9, 4 bulb fluorescent fixtures. Originally 36 bulbs. I have swapped most of those with LED bulbs, and deleted quite a few. Down to maybe 30 bulbs. It is pretty standard, no dim areas.

    You have enough fixtures for 2 dual 4 footers per. With a white ceiling probably plenty.
    Add some localized lights over benches or particular equipment

    Not sure on the desire for dimming, when working, the lights are on. I would wire for 2 tor 3 switches so you can not feel like you are wasting electricity when just wandering in to look for something

    1. Andrew_C | | #4

      I agree with avoiding dimming and just wiring a couple of different lighting circuits. Seems like dimming often causes problems (probably incompatible/cheap dimmers and/or lights in my case), and there's never too much light when I want to work on something.

  3. nynick | | #3

    I put 12 4 foot fixtures in my 28x38 3 car garage. 4 along the back wall for my work benches and then 2 in between each of the 3 car bays on the ceiling. I don't need lights above my cars. I need light shining on them from above and to the sides. Much better light coverage and only 2 extra fixtures. All LED.

  4. BrunoF | | #5

    Thanks folks. Perhaps a mix of fixtures would be a good route to take; some 8' long T8, LEDs that I can daisy chain for bright ambient light, then a few of the high-bay / high output linear fixtures over benches?

  5. gusfhb | | #6

    Dunno about LED, but 8 foot fluorescents were always expensive and a pain to deal with. I would stick with consumer items.

    1. BrunoF | | #7

      Good point, if I can easily link the fixtures the 4' ones are probably going to be easier to deal with over the years.

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