Retrofit Your Existing Fixtures Safely



Businesses are always looking to cut costs where possible. One thing that presents money-saving opportunities is LED technology. Many companies that transition from old lighting technologies to LED technology save money and boost their revenues to some extent (because proper lighting improves employee productivity).



Businesses and facilities that replace HID lighting systems (like high pressure sodium lights and metal halide lights) with LED lighting can save up to 75% electricity. LEDs offer a lot of long-term cost savings, which is why they are quickly becoming the go-to lighting option for many contractors and businesses.

On top of all the benefits LED technology offers, companies can enjoy additional cost savings if they choose retrofitting over a full fixture replacement.

In this post, I'll discuss the differences between retrofitting and a full redesign, and why retrofitting is the best option in some situations. I'll also discuss how both alternatives can significantly lower the costs related to running a commercial lighting system.

So, let's get right to it.

The Main Difference Between Retrofitting and a Full Fixture Replacement


In a nutshell, retrofitting means replacing the existing light with a LED light to improve the light output and to save energy. On the other hand, a full fixture replacement means replacing the light source as well as the light fixture.

LED Retrofit Kits have two main benefits that new fixtures do not: they have a lower upfront cost and are less expensive to install (because installation doesn't take long). However, there are instances when a full fixture replacement is the only option: when the existing fixtures are out-of-date, damaged, or not well-suited to retrofit kits.

Because choosing between retrofitting and a full redesign is not always an easy decision, the retrofitting experts at MyLEDLightingGuide always recommend getting an expert opinion.

A professional LED lighting company can easily point you in the right direction and guide you through the entire process. Without expert advice, you may make a wrong decision that may end up costing you money, which is the last thing you want when you're transitioning to LED technology.

If you’re thinking of embracing LED technology, here are 3 reasons why it is worth the money.

1. Energy Savings


No question about it, this is the main benefit of LED lighting. LED lights draw a fraction of the energy traditional light fixtures draw, resulting in up to 75% energy savings.

Businesses that upgrade to LED technology can achieve a return on investment in 3-4 years, it all depends on how long the lights run each day. And because LED lights last for many years, the savings can go on long after businesses have recouped their investment.

2. Long Lifespan


It is no secret that LEDs have a long lifespan. In fact, the shortest lifespan of LEDs is 50,000 hours, which is still much higher than that of traditional lighting systems. Metal halide and high pressure sodium lights have short lifespans and need replacing every now and then.

Some LEDs have a lifespan of 100,000 hours, which means they only need to be replaced once every 10 years. Businesses and facility managers who use these lights will spend less money on replacement kits and also decrease the expenses related to replacing bulbs.

3. Enhanced Productivity


Better lighting can improve a business' bottom line. A company's success depends on the productivity of its employees. Many companies are always looking for ways to improve employee productivity, but it can be as simple as changing the light bulbs. The human body uses light to regulate its circadian rhythm (the 24-hour internal clock that cycles between alertness and sleepiness at regular intervals).

The lighting used in a workplace or facility can make employees feel drowsy or active. LEDs produce light which is similar to the light produced by the sun. When these lights are used in a workplace, employees feel more alert and energized.

The temperature of a workplace can also affect employee productivity. Since LEDs have a lower heat emission than HID lights, they create a cooler work environment, making employees happier and more productive.

In addition, LEDs do not irritate or cause eye strain because they don't buzz or flicker. This helps workers to stay focused and also boosts their morale.

LED Safety First


One of the best decisions a company can ever make is to upgrade to LED technology. Most businesses, in an effort to cut costs, choose retrofitting over a full redesign. Others do so in order to maintain the aesthetic appearance. Without a doubt, LED Fixture Retrofits offer a myriad of benefits.  However, from time to time, questions arise regarding their safety. To address this concern once and for all, we decided it’s time to list the features that make LED Fixture Retrofits just as safe as brand new fixtures.



Safety Features of Retrofit Conversion Kits

The 3 main attributes that determine the safety of LED Retrofits are the certifications, the brand credibility, and the installation process. Retrofits (LED) for HID Fixtures that lack the right certification, are made by disreputable brands, and are not properly installed may cause many potential hazards.

Let's examine each one of these features in detail.

UL Certification

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a 3rd party organization that establishes safety specifications and carries out tests on products to make sure they are safe for the workplace and the public. The organization uses the UL1598C standard to choose retrofits that don’t negatively affect the functionality of completed lighting units.

Retrofits for HID fixtures that have been tested and comply with the applicable UL standard – which also undergo periodic inspection to ensure they are up to par – bear the UL Listed mark. All products that are UL listed appear on a list on the UL website.

ETL Certification

The ETL Listed Mark is proof of product safety. Kits bearing this mark have met the minimum requirements of the set product safety standards. The mark also indicates that a manufacturer's production site conforms to different compliance measures and undergoes periodic follow-up inspections to prove continued conformance.

All products that bear UL and ETL Listed Marks have met the minimum requirements of nationally accepted product safety standards. These products go through independent testing in a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). As part of the testing procedure, product manufacturers agree to periodic follow-up inspections to prove continued compliance.

Most electrical professionals, project managers, and contractors steer clear of kits that are not UL or ETL listed – and with good reason. Without these certifications, there is no way of knowing how safe a lighting fixture is.

Installation

Next to certifications, incorrect installation of these kits is the second most common safety concern. In fact, it is such a huge concern that UL issued a warning on the potential hazards of improper installation of these kits. If retrofit installations are wrongly done, they can create hazards where none existed before. To ensure these kits are properly installed, hire a certified contractor with a lot of experience in retrofitting MetalHalide and HPS Fixtures.

Brand Credibility

The last important feature that can determine the safety of LED Fixture Retrofits is the credibility of the manufacturer. Reputable brands, such as MyLEDLightingGuide, have high-quality kits with the right certifications and ensure each kit contains detailed installation instructions. One way to check whether a manufacturer is of great repute is by doing an online search.

However, it is worth noting that not all companies that manufacture retrofits are reputable. Some may recommend retrofitting even when it’s completely unnecessary. Take time to do thorough research and get different expert opinions before deciding whether a retrofit conversion kit is ideal for your project. Remember, LEDs have a long lifespan and the decision you make will stick with you for a long time.

The Takeaway

High-quality LED Fixture Kits have nationally recognized certifications, are made by reputable brands, and come with detailed installation guides. To avoid potential hazards, these kits must be installed by retrofitting experts. If contractors and facility managers follow these recommendations, they will choose retrofit conversion kits that are just as safe as new fixtures.


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