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With all the concerns about environmental issues – like global warming and air pollution – decision-makers are always looking for ways to lower the environmental footprint of their organizations and institutions. Thankfully, new technologies that offer environmentally-friendly solutions are in plenty.

However, many new technologies have a high upfront cost which may be prohibitive in some cases, despite their short ROI period.

Furthermore, many businesses and organizations are not willing to change their existing lighting infrastructure just to accommodate a new lighting technology. They already have lighting fixtures in place – in good working condition – and it doesn’t make sound financial sense to get rid of them.

Enter retrofitting

LED retrofit kits make perfect replacements for older lighting systems. They are designed to fit into existing fixtures and offer all the awesome benefits of LED technology for a fraction of the cost.

Retrofitting simply means replacing the lamp and ballast with a LED bulb instead of replacing the entire fixture. In most circumstances, the labor required is comparable to that of re-lamping. LEDs are usually made of smaller components and can be easily integrated into different fixtures.

No doubt about it, LEDs have numerous benefits. But today, we’ll just focus on those that are often ignored.

Here are 5.

1. A Low Upfront Cost

Many businesses rate energy as their top operating cost concern. And for many, the initial cost is the No.1 hindrance to an energy improvement project.

If you’ve been putting off converting to LED technology, here’s some good news: the project won’t be as costly as you think.

What do we mean?

Yes, retrofitting, like any other project, requires an initial investment. However, the imaginary figure in your head is probably more than your retrofitting project will cost.

The low upfront cost of retrofitting is without a doubt, one of the best things about it. Retrofits do not cost as much as new LED lighting fixtures because they use fewer materials. Their shipping costs are also lower as they are not bulky.

In addition, the government and some utility companies offer rebates, grants, incentives and programs which can further lower the initial cost. How great is that?

2. Lower Installation and Maintenance Costs

Retrofits are very easy to install and an electrical professional can quickly do it.

What does this mean for your business? It means you’ll spend less money on labor.

If you run a business like a grocery store or a car dealership, you can lose a lot of income if your business operations are interrupted even for a few hours. But since retrofits don’t take time to install, the electrician can change out the bulbs before or after business hours, ensuring work is not disrupted.

LEDs also have a long lifespan – between 50,000 and 100,000 hours – and do not need frequent maintenance like traditional bulbs (because they are constructed differently). Because of this, they lower maintenance costs.

3. The Existing Lighting Fixtures Are Retained

It is no secret that new LED fixtures are more expensive than retrofits. And because many people have the misconception that new fixtures are much better than retrofits, they decide to postpone switching to energy-efficient lighting until they can afford new fixtures.

Big mistake.

Retrofits are just as efficient as new fixtures and lower energy consumption and maintenance bills, paying for themselves in a very short time. And because LEDs last longer than all other lighting systems, the savings they offer continue to increase and accumulate with time.

4. Buildings Are Future-Proofed

As environmental pollution increases, new laws are passed that require buildings to become more energy-efficient. One way to avoid being affected by new laws is by “future-proofing” your building with new technology.

At some point in the future, buildings that don’t meet new energy demands may have to be redesigned or demolished. When you make your building energy-efficient even before the law requires you to do so, you give it a new lease on life and extend its life cycle way into the future.

“Future-proofing” is particularly important for buildings that have cultural or heritage significance. When they integrate LED technology, they lower their environmental footprint and still retain their beauty and character. As new demands for energy keep cropping up, they don’t have to be redesigned.

5. There Is Less Waste

Retrofitting does not create as much waste as a full fixture replacement and is an economical way of upgrading to LED. With a full redesign, electrical professionals have to properly dispose of the lamps, ballasts, and fixtures. This process is not only costly, it is not kind to the environment.

With retrofitting, only the lamps and ballasts are gotten rid of, meaning waste is considerably reduced. If you are an organization or an institution looking to decrease your environmental footprint, waste reduction is the way to go.

When Is a Full Fixture Replacement Necessary?

Sometimes, a full fixture replacement (a full redesign) is the only option for a building.

A full redesign means getting rid of the lamp, the ballast, as well as the fixture (the bulb housing) and replacing them with a LED bulb and fixture. It is usually the best option if lighting fixtures are damaged, outdated, or completely enclosed.

LED bulbs cannot be incorporated into fixtures that are enclosed (unless they are specially designed to be used in enclosed fixtures) because their heat sinks won’t be able to disperse the excess heat they produce, which means their lifespans will be reduced.

Some businesses opt for a full fixture replacement in order to make their premises look attractive to their customers – like car showrooms.

A full redesign is also ideal for new buildings or those that are getting redesigned as electricians can easily access the lighting infrastructure. And while this procedure is more costly than retrofitting, it is the only option at times.

However, it is important to note that a full fixture replacement doesn’t offer more benefits than retrofitting. For instance, a retrofit kit sold by The Lighting Center are just as efficient as new LED lighting fixtures. Thanks to new technologies, there’s almost no difference between LED retrofits and new fixtures.

If you’ve made the wise decision to switch to LED technology, give us a call. Our lighting experts are always available to give you all the help you need. We promise to make the transition easy.

Last Updated: 10/01/2020

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