Products, Fixtures, & Solutions For Industrial Lighting


There are thousands of different lights which can be used in to illuminate industrial buildings. There is also a phrase in the lighting industry which goes like this: “There is no such thing as a bad light. Just the bad use of a light.”

Just because a light has the work industrial or commercial in its title, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right light for the job you want it to do.

When considering illumination for an industrial environment, it is necessary to back to the basics of lighting design and look at the layers of light:

  1. Ambient light.
  2. Task lighting.
  3. Accent lighting.
  4. Decorative lighting.

We only put numbers 3 & 4 in there for completeness. There are very few, if any, industrial projects which require accent or decorative lighting. But most industrial applications do require ambient and task lighting.

The ambient lighting is the overall and general lighting making the area safe for people to move around.

The task lighting is the light required for the staff to undertake their jobs safely and effectively.


Most of the time general lighting is achieved using high bay lights, low bay lights, or fluorescent tubes.

High Bay lights are usually used when the ceiling heights are over 20 feet. If these use a sodium or metal haylide lamp then they often have reflectors behind them to reflect the light downwards. LED versions of these can have a range of different lenses (optics) to direct the light where it is needed.

Low Bay lights are used when the ceiling heights are less than 20 feet. These often have diffusers o to help spread the light over a wider area.

Both enable large areas to be lit using a low number of lights.

Sometimes fluorescent (or LED) tubes are used to provide general lighting. These are better suited to task lighting.


In some instances, flood lights are also used, but they can give glare, which can be very dangerous when there are fork lifts and people around, or people using dangerous machinery/tools.


Storage, racking and large pieces of machinery need to be considered when planning the general lighting in an industrial environment. They cast shadows and block the light. If a building is being developed without a detailed plan of what activities will take place where, then a higher ambient light level should be planned.


The CRI (Colour Rendering Index) of the ambient lighting should also be considered. This is a measure of how accurately colours are readable under different light sources. For example, identifying different colours under those orange street lamps is a lot more difficult than under nice white metal haylide lamps.



Tubes are popular to add that extra light to where the employees need it. But many other types of light can be appropriate.

We have seen £8 desk lights from IKEA bolted on to the side of vibrating machinery to illuminate an area the operator needs to be able to visually inspect. Due to the vibrations, the lamps only last a week or two, but that is much better than any other lamp they have tried, and they are now very quick at swapping from on lamp to another!

One thing to watch out for with task lighting is to avoid creating shadows. Tubes help avoid this as they are a long light source. Small point light sources do create shadows, and you may find that you need two or more illuminating the task area from different directions.

And don’t forget that an industrial environment will need emergency lighting too.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the document, there are thousands of different products, fixtures and solutions for industrial lighting applications. We recommend that you do not use a company which isn’t trying to fit a restricted range of products from one manufacturer to your requirement. Surely it would be better to use a company which is independent, and can select the right products for your application. Like us! Please ask us to help with your project.