Retrofit or Replace: Your ULTimate Guide to Choosing

FIRST, WHY LEDS?

It’s no secret the number one reason to retrofit is utility cost savings. Even at its most basic level, LED lighting saves up to 50% on energy use. The addition of lighting controls further reduces costs by right-sizing lighting levels in energy-wasting, overlit conditions common in most commercial and industrial facilities.

We offer a variety of LED lighting solutions, including lamps, retrofit kits, and luminaires, to fit nearly any application. Retrofitting your existing lighting with LED is typically characterized by a quick return on investment which benefits the facility owner, occupants, and visitors for years to come. Those benefits go well beyond energy savings. Experience:

Maintenance savings — LEDs last longer. Replacing existing lighting with LED eliminates lamp replacement cycles and ballast maintenance, paying dividends in high-use or hard-to-reach areas.

Interior space improvement — Old lamps and ballasts are prone to color inconsistencies, flicker, and buzzing. LED lighting solutions visibly and audibly improve the overall aesthetic of your facility for all occupants.

Productivity + well-being — LEDs have daylight quality light while other light sources do not. Meaning, LEDs deliver the right amount and quality of light to workplaces for reduced eyestrain and headaches and boosted productivity.

Environmental impact — LEDs do not contain dangerous chemicals which require costly recycling, like mercury. And with a lifecycle 3-5x greater than non-LED light sources, you don’t see many LEDs in landfills.

Longer Lifetime — Typical fluorescent tubes may have a 10,000-hour lifespan and a diminished warranty depending on the lamp use. Our T8 lamp will have a rated life of 50,000 hours along with a 5 year warranty, while our LED Strip Assembly has a 7 year warranty.

Ease of installation — LED retrofits are commonly fast and easy to install. Several retrofit solutions leave the existing light fixture unchanged, eliminating or minimizing changes to the grid with minimal ceiling disturbance.

Future considerations — LED lighting solutions are digital platforms easily connected to controls. Opting to install controls with your retrofit presents future functionality while staying ahead of tightening code compliance requirements.

Rebates — LED lighting and controls commonly qualify for rebates through utility companies who reward commercial electricity users. Rebates may significantly reduce or even pay for the cost of the retrofit. Use our rebate tool to search your local area.

Facility leasing list value — For all of the reasons listed above, you can increase the value of your facility listing when it’s green. An investment in lighting is an investment in your business.


TO RETROFIT OR TO REPLACE

To retrofit: upgrade existing lighting system elements with LED technology. Retrofitting includes a variety of techniques that convert existing luminaires to LED.

To Replace: exchange the entirety of a product with a like product. Replacing lighting fixtures requires the replacement of non-LED luminaires to LED luminaires. Full LED luminaire replacement precipitates significant long-term savings and business advantages over the original product and upgrades the look to a new and fresh ceiling.


RETROFIT TYPES

While LED luminaires present you with the latest technology and potential for the greatest utility rebates, retrofitting can provide greater energy savings and greater payback with more convenience to you. Regardless, lighting improvements are widely acknowledged to require minimal investment and produce measurable results. Consider the following solutions while keeping in mind your specific facility, space, and reasons for retrofitting.

LED LUMINAIRES: REPLACE THE EXISTING LUMINAIRE WITH AN LED LUMINAIRE

Remove and replace fluorescent parabolic troffers, pendants, and HID wall packs with an LED fixture. This comprehensive approach retrofits your lighting system with the latest LED technology and lowest maintenance needs.

When to consider LED Luminaires: If you’re already planning extensive remodeling of a facility space. Replacing the existing fixtures with LED luminaires may create more ceiling disturbance which in turn causes more dust and debris—unsuitable environments for facilities such as classrooms or hospitals. If the placement of the new fixtures has changed due to volumetric light output and re-spacing (to eliminate over-lit conditions), plan on moderate ceiling disturbance.


LED RETROFIT KITS + MODULES: CONVERT EXISTING LUMINAIRES TO LED

Replace the lamps and ballasts with LED equivalents or with LED engines and boards equipped with drivers to connect to the luminaire. Switching ballasts for LED drivers enables you to introduce dimming capability for more control and higher energy savings. LED retrofit kits also have a lumen life almost 3x longer than basic LED tube replacement. Depending on your utility company, you may get a higher rebate by converting the luminaire to LED.

When to consider LED Retrofit Kits or Modules: If your existing luminaires are architecturally unique or you aren’t planning a comprehensive remodeling of a facility. Installing an LED Kit (Tubes + Drivers) or an LED Light Engine to convert the fixture should also have minimal ceiling disturbance; however, there may be more debris from the process of retrofitting the fixture. Minimizing dust and debris accelerates projects, lessens clean-up, and ensures the safety of occupants. Furthermore, avoiding plenum disturbance eliminates the need for asbestos remediation in older facilities, such as school buildings.


LED TUBES + BALLASTS: REPLACE LAMPS/BALLASTS WITH MATCHED LED COMPONENTS

Existing luminaires are left intact while the lamps are replaced with LED tubes to bypass or remove the ballasts. This is possibly the easiest way to retrofit your facility without triggering code compliance requirements and has no modifications to the luminaire.

When to consider LED Tubes + Ballasts: If you need a quick and easy retrofit with little to no ceiling disturbance. Retrofitting with LED Tubes has no impact on the grid ceiling fixture or the plenum above. There’s no more dust and debris than you would expect from a periodic maintenance re-lamping.


THE CHOICE IS YOURS

The bottom line is we do both. Whether you choose to convert an existing luminaire to LED or replace the lamps/ballasts with matched LED Components, you can benefit from low ceiling disturbance with our LED Replacement Tubes, LED Retrofit Kits, and LED Retrofit Kits with Bluetooth Controls. If you choose to fully replace your existing luminaires, we provide a turnkey solution with decades of experience.

The real choice is when you decide to start reaping the benefits of retrofitting. Everyday you wait could mean higher energy and maintenance costs, lost facility valuation, less funds for other programs, and a greater negative environmental impact.

Explore our solutions today:


EVALUATIVE TABLES —

RETROFIT

PRO

CON

MATERIALS

Less expensive

LABOR

Fast installation

CODE COMPLIANCE

No compliance issues

UTILITY REBATES

High with LED lighting controls

Less with LED tube replacement

CONVENIENCE

Tubs and kits most convenient

Lighting controls least convenient

CEILING DISRUPTION

LED tubes have zero impact, kit installation is minimal

Kits with lighting controls cause the most disturbance

SPACE + TIME

Less consideration needed

LONG TERM

Some maintenance required



REPLACE

PRO

CON

MATERIALS

More expensive

LABOR


Longer installation time

CODE COMPLIANCE


Some compliance issues

UTILITY REBATES

Excellent rebates


CONVENIENCE


Less convenient

CEILING DISRUPTION


Moderately disruptive

SPACE + TIME

Optimal for future considerations

Requires extensive time and space

LONG TERM

Very low maintenance



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