Your Source for Commercial and Industrial LED Lighting since 2008

   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   


How Many LED Watts Do I Need to Replace my Existing Lighting?
 
We hear this question all the time. The unfortunate reality is "watts" is the wrong way to shop when you are replacing your existing lighting. You need to be focusing on "lumens". In the world of LED, a watt is consumed by the LED product and light is produced, that light is called lumens. Some LEDs products are better at doing that than other products. So it is important to understand that not all LED products are equal in terms of how efficient they are at converting watts to lumens. In technical terms, we call this lumens/watt.

 

Here is a practical example. Our LED Retrofit Kits are built to run between 130 and 150 lumens per watt. This means that for every watt consumed, they will produce 130 to 150 lumens. So our 105W retrofit kit at 138 lumens per watt produces 14,528 lumens. In contrast, a competitive retrofit product that uses older LED Chips is designed to run at 97 lumens per watt. This competitive retrofit kit produces slightly over 13,000 lumens but needs 135W to do produce that amount of light. So clearly watts is a poor gauge to determine what you would use to replace an existing light source. If a customer called both companies and asked the "watts" question, we would say 105W, they would say 135W. How is that customer supposed to make a decision? But even then, my 105W produces more lumens than their 135W product.

So when customers ask us how many 'Watts" do I need to replace an existing light source, we always convert them to lumens.

However, there is one large elephant still left here that we need to talk about. And that is the discussion of efficiency. In the above example, our retrofit kits produce more light while consuming 30 less watts per kit. This is important, because this is 30 less watts that you are consuming and paying for on your electricity bill. So efficiency does matter, because it means your electricity bill will be significantly less using the 105W retrofit kit than our competitors 135W retrofit kit. So as with the discussion above, there is a vast difference between LED products being offered on the market today. Read the specs, and educate yourself on lumens. The less watts you consume saves you money, the more efficient the light is means it will produce more light using less energy than less efficient models.
 
Should I Buy New fixtures or retrofit my existing fixtures?
 
This is another interesting question. And over the years, we have seen some pretty interesting answers coming from some of our competitors. Those that sell new fixtures claim new fixtures are the way to go. Those that sell only retrofit kits claim retrofit kits are the only way to go. Who is the LED Consumer going to believe?
 
Fortunately, MyLEDLightingGuide sells both new fixture and retrofit kits and so we are not biased in helping our customer make this decision. Keep in mind one point as you make your decision. LED Retrofit Kits are less expensive than a brand new fixture because you are not paying for the cost of the fixture. You are also not paying for the disposal of the existing fixture. We have heard the stories about how LEDs perform better in a new fixture than they do if you retrofit an existing fixture. That's an interesting argument. Fortunately, we have had cases where we have sent both new fixtures and retrofit kits to customers to "test" the different options. Based on our experience, we have not seen evidence where the new fixture "always" performs better or is preferred over the retrofit solution. In more cases than not, the LED solution wins because they do a great job and the cost is better.
 
Also, some "new fixture" vendors would like for you to believe that LED Retrofits do not last long. Some vendors like to claim that all product coming from overseas are cheap and made poorly. Here is what we believe to be true. Our retrofit kits are currently in their 4th generation of production. Our LED Retrofit kits currently come with a 10 year warranty. They are built with brand name LED Chips and Drivers.
 
Here are some points of discussion you should consider if you are debating whether you should retrofit or replace your existing fixtures.
If your fixtures are in relatively good shape, retrofitting is typically lower cost, all things considered. New fixtures are not cheap, and using your existing fixture will save you money, plus a retrofit kit is less expensive to ship than a new fixture.

•  If you have a large investment in your fixtures, then retrofitting allows you to keep your fixtures but move over to the new technology. A good example of this is area lighting at car dealerships where the pole and light head are an architecturally matching pair. Replacing the head with a non-match led head does not make sense.

•  If your fixtures are old and deteriorating, then you should replace your fixtures. Retrofit kits are not water proof, and you could damage them if they get wet. The LED Drivers are typically waterproof (look for the IP rating on the label, it needs to say IP65, IP66 or IP67).

•  There are instances where we would always recommend new fixtures over retrofit. One instance would be for High Mast Lights and most 1000W MH High Bay applications.

•  It takes slightly longer to retrofit a fixture than it does to replace it.

•  You have to account for the disposal of the bulb, ballast and fixture when you replace a fixture and account for the disposal of the bulb and ballast when you retrofit a fixture.

•  Retrofit solutions perform as well as new fixture solutions.

•  Retrofit solutions will last as long as new fixtures as long as the retrofit kit is installed properly.

•  Regardless of what solution you choose, you need to review the specifications of the LED components.

•  You should always determine how many lumens you need to replace your existing fixture, NEVER purchase based on watts. Not all LED solutions produce the same lumen per watt output.  

•  Pay special attention to the lumens per watt of a fixture. IT DOES MATTER. A LED product at 135 lumens/watt will consume far less energy than a LED product producing 97 lumens/watt. Not all LED solutions are the same. (remember, always buy on the lumens you need, never on the watts you think you need.).

•  To calculate lumens per watt, take the total number of lumens a product produces and divide it by the watts it consumes.

For indoor fixtures, figure on:
 
250W HID

10,000 - 14,000 LED Lumens

400W HID

15,000 - 25,000 LED Lumens

1000W HID

38,000+ LED Lumens

 

For outdoor fixtures, figure on:

250W HID

7,000 to 10,000 LED Lumens

400W HID

12,000 to 16,000 LED Lumens

1000W HID

38,000+ LED Lumens

 
•  Our most powerful retrofit kit produces over 47,000 lumens, our most powerful new fixture produces over 103,000 lumens.

•  We have new fixtures that can replace from 100-1000W HID, we have retrofit kits that can replace from 100-1000W HID.

•  Pay special attention to the lumens per watt of the LED fixture or LED Retrofit. IT DOES MATTER. A LED product at 150 lumens/watt will consume far less energy than a LED product producing 97 lumens/watt. Not all LEDs are the same. (remember, always buy on the lumens you need, never on the watts you think you need.)

•  To calculate lumens per watt, take the total number of lumens a product produces and divide it by the watts it consumes.

•  You can get rebates for both new fixtures and retrofit kits. Make sure they are DLC Listed. That is the key to getting rebates with your utility company. You can check if a product is DLC listed on the DesignLights Consortium website.

•  Rebates with DLC Premium should be higher than rebates with DLC Standard. Your utility company is typically who provides the rebates and sets the rebate amounts.  Check their website.

•  All DLC Products are warrantied for at least 5 years.

•  LED Retrofit kits and New Fixtures must be UL or ETL listed.

•  Replacing the light parts of an existing fixture with the LED Retrofit kits will not void the UL/ETL Listing of the fixture. However, the exception to this rule are explosion proof rated fixtures (ie. Class I Div 2). Never retrofit a certified explosion proof fixture. UL1598C does not cover these types of retrofits.

•  ETL Listing is the same as UL Listing. They perform the same test, and the certification is the same. The only difference is that the company who performs the test.
 
For the most part, you should consider using retrofit kits if your existing fixtures are in good shape.

 

Retrofit Kits to Replace 100W-250W Metal Halide and HPS

30W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 30
Lumens: 4202
Replaces: up to 150W HID
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 VAC
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Driver

45W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 45
Lumens: 6630
Replaces: up to 175W HID
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Driver

60W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 60
Lumens: 9,088
Replaces: up to 250W HID
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Driver

75W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 75
Lumens: 10,997
Replaces: up to 250W Plus HID
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Driver

 

Retrofit Kits to Replace 400W Metal Halide and HPS

105W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 105
Lumens: 15,776
Replaces: up to 400W HID
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Driver

120W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 120
Lumens: 17,531
Replaces: up to 400W HID
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Driver

150W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 150
Lumens: 22,739
Replaces: up to 400W Plus HID
Color Temperature:  4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Driver

200W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 200
Lumens: 29,446
Replaces: up to 500W Plus HID
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Driver

 

Retrofit Kits to Replace 1000W Metal Halide and HPS

280W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 280
Lumens: 38,812
Replaces: up to 1000W HID < 30 FT
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year Warranty - LED Module and 5 Year Warranty - Drive

320W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 320
Lumens: 44,235
Replaces: up to 1000W HID
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty:10 Year - LED Module and 5 Year - Driver

350W LED Retro Kit



Type: LED Retro Kits
Watts: 350
Lumens: 47,119
Replaces: up to 1000W HID Pus
Color Temperature: 4000K | 4500K | 5000K (Standard)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 75+
Rated Life: 100,000+ (L70), Driver 50,000 hrs
Working Voltage: 100-277 | 347-480 [HV]
Warranty: 10 Year - LED Module and 5 Year - Driver

 

How important is Color Rendering Index (CRI) in my purchase decision?

 

CRI is a specification that we simply think of us quality of light. Quantity of light is a measurement of lumens, and quality of light is a measurement of CRI. CRI is a scale between 1 and 100. 100 being great, 1 being terrible. What you need to know is that 6 reference colors are tested to determine how good a light performs against the CRI specification. And it is in this test against these 6 spectrum's that a lights CRI value is determined.

So how much do you need? It really depends who you are. Are you a retail store like the Gap or Bed Bath and Beyond? Are you a car dealership? Are you a hospital that wants to replace your parking lights? Are you a factory, a warehouse or a school? Different businesses have different needs.

Here are some basic rules. If you are a retail shop selling to consumers, high CRI is good. 80+ is preferred. 85 is great, even 90. If you are a not a retailer, then 70+ will be just fine.

But can you visibly see the difference between 70 CRI and 90 CRI. Then answer is yes, if you know what to look for. At a recently lighting trade fair, we walked into a booth that displayed a series of glass bowls of colorful gumballs. Each bowl was under a LED light, and the CRI of that light was labeled above the bowl. We walked from the 70 CRI display all the way to the 95 CRI bowl and thought to ourselves "We're not seeing the difference". So then an engineer walked up to me as we kept on walking from bowl to bowl and he told me to "Look at the red gumballs". And sure enough, the red gumballs became brighter and more vibrant as the CRI increased. The other colors seemed similar from one display to the next. So,as a factory owner, or a warehouse, do you care if the reds in your warehouse are not as vibrant under 70 CRI than under a 95 CRI light? Are you prepared to pay more for that difference? Probably not. If you own a clothing store, then you probably want the best quality of light available.


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