You’ve heard that switching to energy efficient lighting can save money.

But where to start?

Old 400 Watt HID (Metal-Halide and High-Pressure Sodium) fixtures are installed almost everywhere in commercial and industrial spaces. You see them used in parking lot fixtures, flood lights, wall packs, street light cobra heads and for indoor spaces like warehouses, factories and gymnasiums. Energy costs are rising every day. So how can you take advantage of the energy savings when converting to LED?

Well there are several options available. What works for your fixtures is totally dependent on your fixture type and your goals. You should expect at least 50% energy savings over HID. Add controls, like motion sensors and daylight harvesters, and you can achieve up to 90%.

Things to Consider before the LED Conversion

Who will do the install?

Some conversion options require a licensed electrician. Others allow you to screw in a bulb into the socket. But this should not be the determining factor in your conversion decision.

What retrofit options do you have?

Typically, you have three options to convert over to LED

  1. New fixtures – Your fixtures are old and are failing. Replacing them would be your best option.
  2. Bolt in Retrofit Kits – Requires removal of bulb, ballast, reflector and socket. The Kit contains everything you need to add LED Head and LED Driver.
  3. Screw in LED bulbs. This would require you to remove the ballast and direct wire the socket to the power. PostTop Bulbs are a good example of this type of LED retrofit.

How much does it cost to convert to LED?

Prices have come down a lot over the past few years. Rebates may be available to help offset the cost at time of purchase. Rebates can be obtained for both new fixtures and retrofit conversions. Once we understand your goals, we can help you find the best option including looking to see if there are any rebates available.

What are the Differences between HID and LED?


Never buy a LED solution based on watts consumed. Determine the amount of lumens you need and get the most efficient LED solution that produces that amount of lumens.

LED does not generate a lot of heat. It does generate some, but it is significantly less them HID bulbs. That is one of the reasons LED is more efficient –  it uses the energy to produce light and not heat.

LED Light is directional. The light goes where its needed. You need less lumens to replace a 400W HID bulb that requires reflectors to focus the lumens. Reflected light is less efficient than directional light.


HID is old technology, consisting of several bulb types that include metal halide, low pressure sodium, high pressure sodium and mercury vapor.

When you convert to LED, you have to include ‘ballast draw’ of the HID bulb. This is is the amount of energy the ballast consumes to power the bulb. It can add as much as 15%. So a 400 Watt HID bulb consumes around 460 Watts of energy. A great deal of the energy consumed produces heat.

HID  bulbs are omni-directional. They distribute light in every direction. It is not directional like LED.

400W HID fixtures are commonly found not mounted higher than 30 ft above the surface.


Five Easy Steps to Convert to LED

1: Do you have a 400W HID Fixture/Bulb?

These bulbs are rather big and there are 2 sizes. One is larger than the other. The smaller of the two is 8-9″ long, the larger bulb is about 11-12 inches long. Somewhere on the bulb, you should see the bulbs identification markings, and it should say 400 (to identify 400 watts HID)

2: Determine the fixtures voltage

Not that this is terribly important at this point, but you need to order your solution with the right voltage. LED comes in basically 2 driver options, 100-277V and 277-480V. The drivers are auto switching, so it will figure out what voltage you have and switch on its own. Make sure you have the right range selected or you will toast your driver.

3: What is the Goal?

A. Energy Savings?

Reduction in energy spend up to 75% is a compelling reason to convert to LED. That should significantly reduce your utility bill.

B. Reduce Maintenance Costs?

LED’s life span is much longer than HID bulbs. Large facilities can spend a lot of time and money maintaining light fixtures.

C. Increase / Decrease in Brightness

Maybe your area is under lit or over lit. Photometric studies done before lets you adjust the light-level. The software will help you decide what the best outcome for your area is.

4: What Type of Fixture do you Have?

Our Retrofits are designed to replace a 400 Watt MH or HPS bulbs and will fit into the fixture without issue. If you use one of our replacement kits, you can make even more space when you remove reflector. Besides creating more space, it has two other side benefits.

  1. Creates more air space to keep the LEDs cool
  2. Preserves the warranty. You just don’t need the reflector.

5: Make Your Choice

We offer both new and retrofit solutions, so we are not biased in one over another. We want your solution to be what works for you.

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