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6 Common LED Retrofit FAQs: Answered

Once someone has discovered retrofitting as a completely viable option for upgrading their existing lighting system, there often comes up some very commonly ask questions about retrofitting, more specifically LED retrofits. For more generic questions that are asked frequently about commercial lighting and LED technology in general, we've put together a post explaining them all. You can read that by clicking here.   Let's get started with the first question on the list, and that is what exactly is a retrofit kit?  

What is a retrofit kit anyways?

Well, we've actually put together a post explaining this more in-depth. But to recap, it is the process of upgrading your lighting system with a new light source all while maintaining the integrity of your existing fixture itself. In better terms, it's basically like replacing an old light source with a new one without getting rid of the entire fixture it is housed in.  

Can you dim a LED retrofit?

Yes, you can dim LED retrofits if you want to. By dimming you opt-in for the exact illumination that you want, while reducing your energy consumption even more. Just make sure you are buying a LED retrofit kit that has the option to be dimmable, otherwise you will NOT be able to dim them.  

Retrofit vs full replacement, why should you consider retrofitting with LED?

While a full replacement of an entire is fixture is very valid to do especially when they are outdated or literally falling apart; often times you can avoid that by retrofitting your fixtures. With retrofitting you get to keep your old fixture but just replace the light source in it with a new one. This will allow you to reduce the costs associated with the lighting upgrade tremendously, which will allow you to realize a much larger ROI. Although there are benefits of both, you need to think about your facility or buildings own situation, and go from there. To recap; retrofitting is great if you can keep your old fixtures but if you can't (due to reasons like outdated or near falling apart), then a full replacement is probably the better option.

For more info, check out this info-graphic LED Lighting Retrofit vs Full Replacement Infographic

Why should I even switch to LED in the first place?

Very good question, and this not only applies to those retrofitting but for any facility that plans to make a lighting system update. LED technology has vast benefits in almost every area of the definition "quality" for commercial lighting purposes. Here are just a few of the major benefits that more often than not win over businesses to commit to the conversion over to LED technology:

  • Reduce energy costs by 30% all the way up to 75%
  • No flickering or buzzing EVER with LED technology, not even near the end of it's lifespan
  • Longer lifespan by 2-3 times
  • Higher Color Rendering Index (CRI)
  • and more...

As you can see these are all some pretty big benefits, and that's only the start. These reasons are why many companies are making the conversion over to LED products from other outdated technologies such as metal halide, HPS, and even fluorescent. Why not convert to LED with a retrofit LED kit and realize all of these benefits and more? It just makes sense!  

Is it difficult to retrofit an existing light fixture?

Well, that can depend. To someone who has no knowledge about lighting fixtures and electrical wiring, then yes this will seem like an extremely difficult task. On the other hand for someone who is a professional, this isn't a difficult task at all. The process, in theory, is simple because all it consists of (for the most part) is a replacement of all the existing lamps, ballasts, sockets, and brackets with new ones to fit your retrofit kits. If you have no experience doing this, and even if you do, it is always recommended to bring in a licensed electrician if you can to ensure it is done right and to safety standards.  

Are LED retrofits that are compatible with existing ballasts a good idea?

You need to consider the age of the ballast that is currently installed. In most cases, it will be nearing the end of it's life and thus it won't be the most up-to-date ballast that you could have. This adds for an additional point of failure, which could cost you more down the line in maintenance fees to replace them when they die out. You have to consider that since you are considering the switch over to LEDs through retrofitting, you most likely haven't recently upgraded you lighting system or replaced much. This means that the ballasts currently installed are most likely, at best, as old as the lights in your fixtures currently. But more often or not, they are even older than that which can definitely mean they are nearing the end of their lifespan. Taking this all into account, it's impossible to tell you if using existing ballasts is a good idea or not. Generally, no it's not and it's recommended to upgrade your ballast at the same time you are retrofitting your fixtures but if you know they are new then it may be appropriate to keep them in. 

We hope to have answered your questions in regards to LED retrofitting. Everything from why LED is better than other technology to what a lighting retrofit really is, we've answered it. If we have missed anything or want another burning question of yours to be answered, then be sure to comment it down below or contact us. We will gladly answer any question you may have!  

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