LED Directional Retrofits versus 360 Degree Post Tops - When to use

We had a call today from a customer. They were looking to retrofit their existing fixtures with LED. The competitor did a quote for them, and had recommended (LED) Post Tops as the retrofit bulb of choice for them. And this would have been a terrific solution if all their fixtures were acorn style pole mounted lights.

But they weren't, they were high bays, parking lot lights and show room lights. Yes. They are LED. Yes. They will save you money. But if you are trying to plow a field, you don't buy a Porsche. You buy a tractor. The right vehicle for the job. And the same applies to LED. First, let's make sure we set the score right. We sell both. We sell Post Tops and Directional Retrofit Products. We are not Post Top biased or Retrofit biased. We even sell new fixtures. We have no biases! We want what is right for you!

So What is a (LED) Post Top Retrofit Bulb?


A Post Top Retrofit Bulb produces light in 360 degrees. It acts like a light bulb, sending light in every direction. That is why it is the perfect solution for a  Acorn Pole Top Light The LED's create a 360 degree distribution pattern. There are even LEDs at the top of the bulb to light the top of the acorn lens up. The driver is contained in the bottom part of the fixture, and it takes power from the socket. When replacing a metal halide or high pressure sodium bulb, you need to remove or bypass the existing ballast.       

So what is a LED Directional Retrofit?


This LED Retrofit Product produces directional light. It contains a LED Head (shown), an external driver and a series of mounting plates to replace the metal halide bulb, ballast and socket inside the existing fixture. Retrofitting is easy and simple to do. Once you've done the first fixture, the rest take very little time to retrofit. The light is directional. So in a parking lot light or high bay, it makes sense to direct the light to where it is needed. A post top bulb needs a reflector to gather the light and direct it to where it is needed.  That is not efficient. And so this Retrofit Product is far more efficient and brighter than a post top bulb. Lumen for lumen, it would be about 30% brighter.

So both bulbs are good. Both are designed to do a specific job. You just need to understand when its best to use a post top and when it is best to use a directional retrofit unit.

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