One thing we’ve said time and again is that upgrading to LED technology is the best decision you’ll ever make. However, making the decision to switch to LED is only half the battle. Once you’ve made up your mind, there is another important decision to make: to either retrofit your current fixtures or buy new fixtures.
If you’re a business owner or a decision-maker, we know there’s nothing you want more than to save your company money. You may also be looking to lower your company’s environmental footprint and help save the environment. It makes financial sense to retrofit your existing fixtures as retrofits offer the same benefits as new fixtures.
Retrofitting can help you to save money and also impact your business’ bottom line positively – because good lighting increases employee productivity. Just by replacing traditional lighting fixtures with LEDs, you can lower energy consumption by up to 75%. Add lighting controls and energy consumption will go down even more – by up to 90%.
Because we want to clear any doubts about retrofitting, let us discuss how it differs from a full fixture replacement.
What Is Retrofitting?
Retrofitting means adding something that wasn’t part of the original structure. In lighting, it means replacing conventional lamps and ballasts with LEDs without getting rid of the existing fixtures. Retrofitting is recommended if a building’s fixtures are in good working condition.
What Is A Full Fixture Replacement (A Full Redesign)?
This means getting rid of traditional lamps, ballasts, and fixtures and replacing them with new LED fixtures. It is worth noting that a full redesign is more expensive than retrofitting and is only recommended if the existing lighting fixtures are dysfunctional, completely enclosed, if a building is new (and the lighting system hasn’t been installed), or if a building is getting remodeled.
Retrofitting is the most economical way of switching to LED. Here are 4 of its benefits.
1. Low Upfront Costs
One of the reasons many businesses put off switching to LED technology is because of the associated costs. Yes, LEDs were very costly when they were first introduced to the market, but this is no longer the case, especially if you choose retrofits.
Sure, retrofitting requires an initial investment. However, the kits are cheaper than new LED fixtures. Their installation costs are also lower as electricians don’t take a lot of time fixing them.
Retrofits are designed as direct replacements of conventional lighting technologies. They fit perfectly into existing fixtures and offer all the benefits of LED technology for a fraction of the cost. What’s more, you may end up paying a lot less for retrofits as the government and some utilities offer incentives, rebates, grants, and programs that further decrease the upfront costs.
2. Reduced Maintenance Costs
One of the biggest downsides of high intensity discharge lamps is their high maintenance costs. They have very short life expectancies and a very high rate of lumen depreciation so they usually have to be replaced before they reach the end of their lives. Because replacing these lights is a time-consuming process, electricians usually change them all together as changing individual fixtures can be quite expensive.
LEDs have very low maintenance costs as they have the longest lifespans of all lighting technologies. Their shortest lifespan is 50,000 hours, which means you can use them for years without having to replace them. They also retain 70% of their brightness for their entire lives and don’t have to be replaced before their lifetimes come to an end.
3. A Great Way to Future-Proof Buildings
Future-proofing is a general term that can refer to infrastructure, buildings, cities, communities, countries, or even the whole planet. When it comes to buildings, future-proofing means changing a building with an aim of maximizing its whole life value when confronted with unpredictable, ongoing change.
Change is inevitable and the lighting systems that were used 10 years ago are no longer popular today. This is why it is so important to future-proof your building, because like it or not, you’ll have to change it one day.
As environmental pollution continues to have a negative impact on our planet, governments pass new laws that require buildings to become energy-efficient. If there ever comes a time when your building doesn’t meet a new energy demand, it may be demolished or you may have to redesign it. That’s why we recommend retrofitting. It makes your building energy-efficient and prolongs its lifespan.
4. Less Waste
LED lights are designed to last. When you upgrade your lighting to LED, you may end up purchasing fewer lights as new generation LEDs have a high luminous efficacy – they produce more lumens for each watt of electricity they consume. Since LEDs have a long lifespan, you won’t have to replace them for years, which means fewer materials will end up in landfills.
LED fixture retrofits use fewer materials than new fixtures. This lowers the total system cost and the quantity of materials that need to be recycled or thrown away.
Fluorescent lamps and some HIDs contain mercury which can be harmful to the environment if it is not disposed of properly. Changing to mercury-free LEDs and using fewer light bulbs means reducing waste and conserving resources.
While retrofitting has a myriad of benefits, we’ve decided to focus on these four today. Don’t ever believe the lie that retrofits are not as good as new LED fixtures. This may just be a fabrication created by dishonest manufacturers looking to make a quick buck.
At The Lighting Center, we sell both retrofits and new fixtures so you can be sure we’re not trying to promote one product over the other. The retrofit kits we sell are just as good as the new LED fixtures. Talk to us today and we’ll help you choose the best kits for your building.