The lighting of a commercial building can make a huge difference. It might help merchandise look better in a retail store or, at the very least, give workers a quality light source that won’t strain their eyes. Because of this, many businesses might consider retrofitting their light system. Let’s explore the dos and don’ts of LED lighting retrofits.
What Is Retrofitting?
The light-emitting diode (LED) is the component of an LED light source that emits visible light. These days, you can find an LED in just about every consumer electrical product. Specifically, LEDs’ small form, low operating costs, and high color rendering have made them the industry standard.
An LED retrofit replaces old, inefficient light fixtures with something new and improved. When converting an old fixture to LED would be too costly or impractical, the whole fixture would need an overhaul, readying it for the LED swap.
There are some things you want to have on your radar when considering LED retrofit. If not, you may face complications that make this overhaul a pain. Everyone should start their process by determining the “why” behind it.
Retrofitting with LED lights has several benefits. Determine your motivation so that you can get the most out of the retrofit. When upgrading many fixtures, for instance, to increase the lumens in a room, it’s important to consider the overall effect.
Even if lumens are not your primary concern when converting to LED, you should keep them in mind. It is essential to consider how a refit would affect the room and its lighting from every perspective, whether you want to emphasize power savings or functional performance.
The first thing you should do after deciding on the retrofit is to conduct a lighting audit. The lighting audit will provide the basis for the rest of the lighting upgrade, making it a crucial step. Audits are often necessary to collect data for utility rebates and incentives.
The audit considers everything from the number of fixtures to individual room occupancy rates and meter readings.
This detailed report is useful for arranging and troubleshooting components ordering, setup, and invoice checking. The implementation team won’t have access to the most important information for the project without it.
Companies must conform to several states’ and municipalities’ construction and energy rules. You can do this by inspecting the most recent standards to ensure they comply with the current requirements.
You shouldn’t buy a new lighting system without ensuring it complies with all applicable regulations. Otherwise, you will lose valuable time and money for something your local government would never sign off on.
Look for Savings
Considering the initial investment in a lighting conversion without factoring in the possible savings over time is missing the bigger picture. But retrofitting makes even more sense when you can profit from the initial upfront costs through rebates and other incentives. It is crucial to analyze the initial outlay and see what other discounts are possible, if any, to stretch your dollar further. What you learn from your lighting audit should put you on the right path.
Sensors, Timers, Reflectors
Investing in lighting beyond the basic turn-on/off function can be a huge benefit, so let’s look at what sensors, timers, and reflectors can add to the equation.
Adding timers to any fixture is a great way to get the most out of your LED conversion. With the help of timers, you will no longer have to worry about wasting energy from unnecessary lighting. This feature is useful in places like stores and warehouses that don’t require light overnight because the building is vacant.
Sensors are another fantastic addition to your LED retrofitting fixture. These sensors only activate when they detect motion. Only illuminating the area where someone is at ensures no light goes to waste. Many individuals switch to LED lighting because of the money they can save on their utilities, and adding sensors guarantees that you don’t waste energy.
People often move to LED lights because of the minimal upkeep compared to previous types of lighting. While you can’t neglect them entirely, all it takes is a simple wipe down with a cloth every so often to keep the lights shining and dust-free. LED lights are popular because of their high brightness; thus, dust buildup is undesirable.
You’re doing yourself a disservice if you only go halfway with retrofitting. Leaving some lights alone while surrounding them with LEDs will hardly fix the issue.
Replace any nearby incandescent light bulbs with LED versions or reduce the usage of the other incandescent light bulbs to get the most out of the retrofit. Just remember to match the color temperatures between the two lights so that they don’t conflict.
Fortunately, if you follow the “dos” when retrofitting, you won’t have to worry about the “don’ts”. That said, learning what to avoid can better prepare you for retrofitting.
Thinking With Your Wallet
When a project calls for a hefty investment involving hundreds of new light fixtures, shopping around for the best deal might be inviting. If you try to save money by sacrificing quality, you’ll spend more overall. When making bulk purchases, look for a warranty you can put your faith behind, giving you peace of mind.
Too Much Power
Dimming lights or decreasing their power density uses fewer resources while providing a similar amount of illumination. Lighting designers use ballasted fluorescents and dimmers to achieve this effect, which can be expensive.
The most efficient alternative is to use LEDs, which often come equipped with built-in drivers and dimming functionality, increasing their lifespan and luminosity.
Keeping Up With the Joneses
Many of us fall into the trap of getting something new simply because it’s trendy. Focusing on the newest and greatest controls or features might detract from the primary goal of a lighting retrofit: improving efficiency and saving money.
It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of each improvement component. For example, are weatherproof fixtures necessary? The advantage is worthwhile if the answer is yes. If the answer is no, you shouldn’t spend money on the added feature.
Verify Your Findings
One technique you can use to determine whether the retrofit was worthwhile is to compare the actual savings to the projected savings provided by the implementation partner.
Remember, savings rates may not indicate long-term savings rates, so it’s crucial to evaluate progress over time continuously. Overdriving low-wattage LED panels may cause a product failure and violate the warranty, and various lumen curves apply depending on the quality of the fixtures.
Following the dos and don’ts of LED lighting retrofits should yield the best results if you undertake the retrofitting process. If you do, please consider Stylighting to be your light bulb supplier. We are happy to point you in the right direction and help make your retrofitting as pain-free as possible.