Properly lighting a large commercial building can be intimidating to many building owners, however, it is essential. Commercial buildings such as professional offices, medical centers, shopping malls and retail stores require a tremendous amount of light for the safety and productivity of the space. From potential visitors seeing the building from the road to guests experiencing the indoor space, lighting plays a key role. There are many factors to consider including indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures, tools and accessories needed to bring the space’s lighting to the next level. Let’s take a look at some popular commercial lighting options.
INDOOR COMMERCIAL LIGHTING
HIGH BAY FIXTURES & SENSORS
Light your commercial space with high bay fixtures to maximize efficiency and safety. They produce a ton of light and are ideal for ceilings that are 20 feet or higher. Traditionally, they use high output fluorescent tubes or high intensity discharge (HID) bulbs such as metal halides and high-pressure sodium lamps. However, these technologies have many drawbacks including long warm up times, poor color rendering and high energy costs. Upgrade your high bay fixtures to LED and start saving on your energy bill – either with LED corn cob retrofit bulbs, LED tubes or install fully integrated LED high bay fixtures. Want to save even more on your energy bill? Add a motion sensor to your high bay fixture to control your lighting usage by having them turn on only when needed.
TUBES: FLUORESCENT VS LED
Tubes are a popular choice in lighting when it comes to commercial spaces. For those looking to save on energy costs as compared to HID bulbs, fluorescent tubes are a good choice. Offered in different color temperatures, wattages and lengths, fluorescent tubes allow for customization in any space. However, they do have their downfalls when compared to their LED counterpart. LED tubes operate well in cold weather, produce little to no heat, turn on (full brightness) immediately, have an extremely long life and are the most energy-efficient choice on the market. LED tubes are quick and easy to install with plug and play options that work with many instant start ballasts or direct wire options that bypass the ballast, so it’s no longer needed – saving you even more money on replacement ballasts!
HIGH INTENSITY BULBS: HID VS LED
HID bulbs are the most common choice in lighting technologies for commercial spaces. They are great for tight budgets, as they have low initial costs. However, they do not offer much variety and have a short lifespan. With the rise of LED technology, HID bulbs are being used less and less. LED corn cob bulbs produce a powerful, bright light and are more energy efficient than HID bulbs. They allow for fixtures to be retrofitted quickly and easily – offered in different styles in order to fit any fixture, including shoeboxes, wall packs and high bays. Not only are your standard shapes offered, some LED corn cobs also offer multi-directional lighting with adjustable beam spreads to suit your need.
TEMPORARY & WORK LIGHTS
Enjoy the freedom of being able to move your light source with you while on the job site! Temporary work lights are ideal for new construction and renovation projects. The portable lighting creates a safe environment that is easy to maintain in the chaos of construction. Temporary work lights can be installed on a job site for the duration of the project and then packed up and installed at the next job. Most temporary lights come with metal guards to protect the durable fixtures and can be hung from the ceiling to provide 360-degree lighting. Others can be set up on the ground using a tripod with a bright light source mounted on top. One of the most popular choices for temporary lights is a temporary light stringer – with multiple sockets for lamps enclosed in cages for protection. Whatever option you choose, all are damp location rated and vibration resistant!
OUTDOOR COMMERCIAL LIGHTING
Keep your commercial building’s exterior well-lit with a wall pack! Wall pack fixtures will add a level of security to your parking lot – helping your guests feel safe. They’re also great for making your commercial space more visible for after-dark visitors and improving the appeal of your building. Wall pack fixtures have traditionally used inefficient HID bulbs, which rely on reflective lighting since the light produced by an HID bulb is not directional. About 30% of an HID’s light output is “lost” in the fixture and is never projected outward. However, with LED corn cob retrofit bulbs for existing fixtures or fully integrated LED wall pack fixtures, the produced light is directional, and no light output is lost. They also have a considerably longer lifespan than their HID counterparts.
FLOOD LIGHT FIXTURES
Flood light fixtures offer directional lighting and are commonly used to illuminate parking lots, building facades and landscape elements. Many parking lots have a dim, orange appearance as a result of using HID bulbs. This can give your commercial building an unattractive character – leaving guests feeling unsafe and unwelcome. Consider upgrading to fully integrated LED flood light fixtures instead to allow for a clear, bright white light and eliminate the need for frequent bulb replacements. Plus, you will lower your energy costs! LED flood light fixtures deliver consistent, even light distribution and help to improve the overall appearance of your commercial building’s exterior. When choosing flood lights for your building, consider the area you are looking to highlight. For smaller areas, like gardens or entryways, use a flood light with less lumens and a warmer color temperature (between 3000K-3500K) so you don’t overwhelm guests or create unwanted glare. For larger areas, such as parking lots, use a flood light with a high lumen count and a bright white color temperature (between 4000K-5000K).
ELECTRICAL TOOLS & INSTALLATION ESSENTIALS
ELECTRICAL & INSTALLATION
From start to finish, you’ll want to make sure all your bases are covered when it comes to electrical and installation essentials. From wall switches and outlets to plugs and connectors, there are many products needed to complete the job. Other items to be aware of include mounting brackets and hanging kits, boxes and panels, wire connectors and sockets. Every toolbox should always have tape, zip ties and nuts and bolts.
There’s nothing worse than being on the job site without the proper tools. With trusted brands like Garvin, Caddy and Ideal, Lighting Supply has you covered! Lamp changers and your other basic hand tools like screwdrivers, crimpers, pliers and wire strippers are essentials every professional should carry. When working with electrical currents, it's important to have test equipment handy such as light meters, ballast testers, lamp testers and receptacle testers. Lastly, don’t get caught in a dark basement or crawl space without your flashlight! To ensure a working flashlight, always keep a healthy stock of batteries in your tool bag or box – or upgrade to an LED flashlight!
With a staggering of options and factors to consider, commercial lighting can become overwhelming. Let our Customer Service team help put your mind at ease by answering any questions or making educated suggestions for what your commercial building’s lighting may require. Give us a call at 877.231.2852, email [email protected] or leave a comment below.