3 Key Points to Consider When Purchasing a LED Conversion Kit

So you are in the market for a LED Conversion Solution. You have existing fixtures and you want to save money by gutting them and installing a LED Head and Driver to replace your metal halide bulb and ballast. There are a lot of similar looking kits out there, so how do you choose. Well here's a small list of 3 points to consider before you purchase.

1. Its about Efficiency

There are a lot of numbers on the spec sheet. So which ones are important? Well, they all are important, but one in particular give you an indication of what you are buying. It's efficacy, our lumens per watt.

What is lumens per watt?

It's a measurement on how efficient this light is. How many lumens can this product produce using 1 watt of energy.

It's essentially your indicator to savings.

If the cut sheet you are looking doesn't include it, its easy to calculate.

Take the total number of lumens the light produces and divide it by the watts it consumes. That's your number.

Good numbers are 130+. Real good numbers are 150+. Terrible numbers are 95+. Our 75-120W LED series of retrofit conversion units have an efficacy of 155 to 165 lumens per watt.

And you will see that some kits look like a great deal. But you are essentially buying real old technology. That's why its so cheap. You can save a lot more money if you buy better lumens/watt LED kits.

2. Check the Warranty - especially on the driver

Some companies offer 5 year warranty, some offer 3. Some offer 10. Some offer 10 on the LED Head and 5 on the driver. So why so many different options?

Here's a word of warning. The driver is the weak link. Many manufacturers either buy drivers from driver companies or they private label them and brand it as their own product. If you look at some of the best drivers available today, Meanwell, Inventroniks, Philips etc, read their labels and their warranties. They are typically 5 years. Private labelled drivers are, at best, as good as these drivers. So ask the supplier, if they are advertising a 10 year warranty, what they've done to their drivers to make them last 2X industry standard?

Here's what they may be thinking. The driver is rated for 50,000 hours. If you use the light outdoors and only at night, that's around 4,380 hours a year. 10 years, and you are at 43,800 hours. That's under the rated life.

And that's all good until you keep your lights on 24 hours a day. Oops. Houston - we have a problem.

Now there are ways to extend the life of an electronic product, such as a LED Light. Keep it cool. Under drive it so its not working at full capacity. But typically, you pay more for those better solutions. So, do your homework, and make sure you understand what you are buying.

For the record, our LED kits are warrantied for 10 years on the head and 5 years on the driver. We use Meanwell drivers and that's what Meanwell warranties them for. If you use them 4380 hours a year, there is no reason to think it won't last 10+ years.

3. Beware of Mogul Adapters

Some kits include an adapter that allows you to screw into the existing socket of a fixture. While this sounds clever, and you might even think it will save you installation time, there are 2 inherent problems with this type of installation

LED Conversion Kits weigh more than HID Bulbs

This cannot be denied. The socket was designed to hold a bulb, not a LED Conversion unit. They are 5X + times heavier than a bulb. Now, add to this the socket may be old (and even brittle), and your fixture is pole mounted and sways in the wind. All that time you saved at initial installation is now lost by a costly repair when the socket breaks holding the heavier LED Product.

With our kits, you remove the socket and install our custom configurable mounting place using the same holes that attached the socket. You've now eliminated the weak link. And in terms of installation time, this extra step takes a few minutes more.

LED Kits with Mogul Adapters can only be DLC Standard Qualified

DesignLights Consortium has 2 standard, DLC and DLC Premium. DLC Premium are more efficient than DLC, and, you cannot get a DLC Premium Qualification if your kit uses a mogul base adapter.

Why is this important?

Utility companies give bigger rebates for DLC Premium Qualified products. Bigger rebates means less cost at time of purchase. This will help offset the extra few minutes it takes to use the proper mounting brackets instead of a failure prone mogul base adapter.

Some utilities are only offering Rebates on DLC Premium Qualified Products

Each utility runs its own rebate program, and it varies. There is no standard. Recently, one of the largest utilities in the nation stopped offering rebates on DLC (Standard) Qualified products. And that includes all LED Conversion Kits with a screw-in adapter for a mogul socket. So yet another reason why a screw in adapter is a bad idea.


So there are more reasons, these are just 3. Feel free to call us, we will be more than happy to discuss this and more to help you make the right decision.

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