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Which light should I go with, and how many do I need?

One of the most common questions asked by customers is “Which light should I go with, and how many do I need?” Here’s a guide to help steer you in the right direction in choosing the proper lighting.

  Side note: we are in the process of overhauling our website, and our new website will feature a calculator that will figure this out for you! We are pretty excited about this feature and hope it will help current and future customers in determining their lighting needs.

  • Determine if you need lighting for indoors or outdoors. Anything that would be exposed to water or the elements would be considered an outdoor light. 
  • On our homepage, we have categories listed for indoor or outdoor lighting. Choose the appropriate category.
  • Determine how much light you want. We recommend 75 lumens/ square foot.  This is what about 95% of our customers go with and are happy with.  If you are looking to light an area that you won’t be working in and just need for, well, light, we recommend going with a little fewer lumens/ square foot, such as 60 or 45. 
  • Choose a light that you like. For example, I’ll give a few suggestions based off of our most popular selling lights.  The T8 Integrated LED lights are going to be more expensive if you are lighting a large area, but they will spread your light out the most and create less shadowing.  The Double Row Integrated LED is the next best thing- it will be a little less expensive and won’t spread out your light as well, but it will still give you lots of light to work with.  
  • Find the lumens in the item description of the light you chose. Figure out your building/area’s square footage, multiply that by the lumens/ square foot that you decide, and divide by the lumens of the light you chose. This will tell you how many of a specific light you need.

Example: I have 1500 square feet and want to go with 75 lumens per square foot.  I choose the T8 Integrated LED, which I can see from the item description has 2750 lumens.  1500x75=112,500. 112,500/2750= 40.90.  This would mean I would need 40 or 41 lights to properly light this area. 

  • Most of our lights are linkable, which means you power the first light and link the rest of them together off of that first light.  Determine how you want your rows to be laid out within the specific area that you are lighting.  If you need help determining this, don’t hesitate to call.

Side note: Keep in mind that you can’t have more than 200 watts of power coming off the first light in the rowExample: The T8 Integrated cannot have more than 9 lights linked together.  If you need more than 9 lights for your row, most people will put a junction box in the center, and power the lights either way from that junction box.

  • Check with your local power company or power supplier for rebates. Most power companies offer some kind of rebate, and depending on where you live you could see up to a 50% rebate from your purchase price.  You can also subscribe to our newsletter! Each month we usually have some sort of promotion which may help you get a discount on your project.
  • If you already have fluorescent fixtures, check out our Fluorescent Conversion For this light you just need to purchase as many lights as you have in your fixture.  You will have to rewire the fixture to bypass the ballast, but most people appreciate not having to bother with replacing ballast anymore. It is a one-time replacement that saves you time and money! These lights also qualify for any rebates your power company may have.
  • If you are replacing Mercury Vapor or Metal Halide lights and want to replace them with something similar, we suggest replacing them with our Linear High Bay light or our Circular High Bay light. You can either replace them with the amount of fixtures you have, or use the instructions above to determine how many lights you would need based on lumens.  A lot of customers will replace these with the surface mount lights, yet some prefer to have a similar look to their current fixture. 
  • Aside from the lights listed above, we also offer a few tractor lights and off-road lights. Most of these lights are an add-on light or can easily replace factory lights. Some of the lights listed offer John Deere replacement specifications (since that’s what we use) but there are so many uses for them it’s best to call if you can’t determine if they will work for your situation or not. 

At Petersen Parts, we’re here to help.  We stand by our products as they’re made to our specifications and undergo rigorous quality control testing. We will always try our lights on our location prior to offering them to the public to ensure a safe and effective lighting solution. 

Be on the lookout for the unveiling of our new website! Like mentioned above, it will offer a calculator to help determine how many of which light to go with, and offer suggestions within the calculator of which light may be best suited for your needs.  The new website will also offer updated photos and specifications, as well as a better flow and ease of use for the best experience possible.  It will also feature customer photos to help give an idea of what the lights look like in use and how you may apply them to your buildings/homes/garages.   If you prefer not to use the website, we are always a call away to help with whatever you may need.

Hopefully, this article has offered some guidance on how to properly choose a light and how many lights for your project.  Have any questions? Send us an email through our “contact us” page and we’d be happy to help.



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