A lighting system can impact a business dramatically behind the scenes, oftentimes without anyone realizing it. When it comes time to replace a lighting system because of burnt-out bulbs, complaints or simply a need for a better lighting system, companies often stumble upon LED technology. From there, there are two main routes to take: a full fixture replacement or retrofitting.
Retrofitting is the process of simply replacing the existing luminaire and ballast with LED technology while maintaining the existing fixture. Whereas with a full fixture replacement, not only are the luminaire and the ballast replaced, but so is the fixture it all sits in.
Most commonly companies choose to retrofit over full replacement when they approve of the visual appeal their existing fixtures offer. Otherwise, in situations, such as a car dealership where they may want a highly professional and up-to-date look, they may be more inclined to do a full fixture replacement to get the most modern looking fixtures in their lot.
A common misconception is that retrofitting has less benefits over a full replacement. This simply isn’t the case. For example, the LED retrofit kits at MyLEDLightingGuide offer nearly the same exact efficiencies as other new fixtures on the market. And this isn’t rare either; the gap between efficiency, quality and even warranties is virtually non-existent in today’s LED landscape.
In fact, LED retrofitting has some extra hidden benefits that are commonly overlooked when comparing them to entirely new fixtures. These hidden benefits may just sway someone that was on the fence to choose a retrofit kit, and it’s obvious why.
Here are the top overlooked benefits LED retrofit kits offer over entirely new LED fixtures:
Upfront Investment Is Lower
Because retrofit kits require less material and weigh less (resulting in lower shipping costs), LED retrofit kits can end up being anywhere from 10 percent all the way up to 30 percent cheaper when compared to the new fixture equivalent.
This can make the upgrade to LED much more economical for businesses (excluding the rebates, energy savings, increase in lifespan and all the other cost-saving benefits LED technology offers).
Keep the Existing Fixtures Installed
If a building purchased new fixtures recently (within the last 10 to 15 years), they may still be in very good shape. For this reason, if the business is satisfied with the fixtures’ look, it wouldn’t be wise to throw them out and get new ones. This is a perfect example of when retrofitting really makes sense for a buyer.
Cheaper to Install and Maintain
Retrofitting an existing light fixture is as simple as replacing the luminaire and ballast with a new one. Depending on the application, this can be tremendously more cost efficient, considering a paid professional may take longer to install brand new fixtures compared to retrofit kits. And because it’s almost always recommended to use a professional, it’s an unavoidable expense and the only way to reduce it is via shorter installation times.
It’s obvious that less waste will ensue with retrofitting because the existing fixtures will remain installed. Depending on the number of lights that are installed in a facility, this could reduce the amount of waste that is produced and the costs of removing that waste could potentially be reduced greatly as a result.
Even if the savings are minute, this reduction of waste is a great achievement for any green efforts a company may partake in!
When Does It Make Sense to Fully Replace?
There are three main scenarios when a full fixture replacement will make the most sense, one of which was covered previously in this post:
- The existing fixtures are old or broken and need to be replaced.
- A new look is desired (consider a car dealership that wants to maintain professionalism, it will want modern fixtures to maintain a great curb appeal).
- New building or additions.
These hidden benefits that are commonly overlooked will greatly help aid electrical contractors, facility managers, and even building owners when it comes time to upgrade their lighting system to LED while staying within budget and still gaining all of the benefits LED technology offers.