LED: Paying More for the Cheaper Light

This is a common message we try and teach our customers when they call us. For example, it is not uncommon for us to get a call to quote a price on a 120W retrofit kit. When we dig in a bit deeper, we find that we are competing against a 'cheaper' version of a retrofit kit. To be fair, cheaper is not meant to be derogatory to the competitors product. The price is cheap because it represents 5 year old technology. Digging in a bit deeper, we find the retrofit kit is producing 110 lumens/watt, for a total of 13,200 lumens.

So comparing that to our 120W retrofit kit is not comparing apples to apples. Our 120W retrofit kits produce 18,600 lumens at 155 lumens/watt. So watts is a bad indicator of matching lumen output.

The retrofit kit that closely matches the competitors 13,200 lumens is our 75W retrofit kit, producing 12,375 at 165 lumens per watt. And even our 75 watt kit may be more expensive than the competitors option, mostly because our kit comes with a 10 year warranty (compared to their 5 year warranty) and ours is DLC Premium Qualified while theirs is DLC Standard Qualified.

So if you left it at that, and made your decision based on just those numbers, you would be paying more for the cheaper light. What you have left out 2 important factors in your calculation that will cost you over the life of the product.

1. Rebates for DLC Premium versus DLC Standard

Utility companies are in charge of rebates, so this may or may not be different or even available. But the rule of thumb is, because DLC Premium uses superior efficient LED chips, you will produce more lumens with less watts, and therefore the rebate you get with DLC Premium is more than you would get for the DLC Standard product. In fact, the amount of rebate with DLC Premium may even offset the extra cost of the price over the other product

2. Cost of Operation over 10 years

This is the one that will point out the cost discrepancy between the two units. If you look at the savings over 10 years, lets use the following data:

  • hours of use: 12 hours a days
  • # days used a year: 365
Cost per kw Savings over 1 year
per light
Savings over 10 years
per light
.08 $15.77 $157.70
.10 $19.71 $197.10
.12 $23.65 $236.50
.20 $39.42 $394.20

This table clearly shows how much you will overpay for each light that uses 120 watts versus the 75 watts of the DLC Premium Qualified Retrofit Kit.

So while you might think that you are getting a deal when you buy the cheaper light, over the light of the bulb, and even after you take the rebate into account, you might be paying a lot more for your cheap light.

LED Retrofits

LED Retrofits are designed to replace Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium in your existing fixture. This is nothing more than replacing your existing bulb and ballast with the LED Retrofit Kit Head and LED Driver. 11 units are available to replace everything from 70W to 1500W HID, making them a good option for any LED HID retrofit conversion. Extremely efficient up to 165 lumens/watt and DLC Premium Qualified to maximize your rebates!

Click Here to See our LED Retrofits

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