Commercial/Industrial LED Lighting Retrofits- Preferability or a Responsibility?
Switching to energy-efficient lighting solutions is certainly the need of the day. It has become more of a responsibility now than preferability, especially at commercial/industrial buildings. Do you know that according to the US Department of Energy’s estimation, over three-quarters of commercial buildings in the US are using fluorescent lamps as their primary source of energy, due to which energy costs are skyrocketing and environmental concerns are rising?
Why LED Lighting?
At the moment, the primary concern of every responsible individual should be to think beyond monetary limitations and focus on the collective goal of conserving the environment. LED lighting is the first step in this direction. LEDs are at least 80% more energy-efficient than conventional options like HID, Fluorescent and Incandescent lights. About 95% of the LED energy is renewed into light and just 5% gets wasted as heat. Comparatively, fluorescent lights transform 95% energy into heat and just 5% into light.
Moreover, LEDs consume lesser power than conventional lighting but you get the same level of light from a 36watt LED and an 84watt fluorescent. Besides, LEDs don’t contain toxic elements whereas standard fluorescent strip lights have highly toxic chemicals such as mercury, which increase greenhouse gas emissions and contaminate the environment.
Pros of Commercial/Industrial LED Lighting Retrofits:
Don’t be confused by the heavy-weight term retrofit. It just means to replace the outdated lighting with new-age, energy-efficient options like LEDs. The benefits of switching to LEDs are various and truly diverse. It not only amplifies the lamp life but also brings down operating costs considerably apart from lowering overall energy costs and consumption. Since LEDs last way longer than traditional HIDs or fluorescent lamps, so the replacement cost is also reduced. The best aspect is that LEDs’ heat emittance ratio is much lower than other lamps so the need to install cooling systems is greatly curbed. These are just a few direct benefits that commercial and industrial facilities can enjoy while the wide-ranged environmental and monetary benefits are far more substantial and far-reaching.
Does Every Commercial Building Require Lighting Retrofit?
That’s a tricky question to answer. It depends upon a variety of factors and not every commercial building needs a lighting retrofit. Before executing a retrofit, assessing the extensiveness of light usage, building’s age and future energy goals is important. You need to decide whether you are ready to bring down the building’s energy bills, lamp replacement/maintenance expenses, and switch to a more sustainable and long-lasting lighting solution. Other key aspects to consider include the number of hours your building requires lights to be turned on and existing lighting system. If it is above 12-hours, then your building definitely needs lighting retrofit.
What are the Different types of Lighting Retrofits?
LED lighting retrofit isn’t a job that will be completed in minutes; it is a simple job indeed but does require enough care and concern. Your building can undergo a retrofit in three ways, which include:
- Direct Lamp Replacement:
Since LEDs use internal drivers and don’t require ballasts so some lighting fixtures can easily be retrofitted by changing out the lamps. It is a low-cost method that can be concluded quickly. Most replacement applications also come with a plug-and-play feature that allows direct installation into existing fixtures.
- Retrofit Kits:
A commercial building can also be upgraded using an LED retrofit kit, which can be directly mounted into the current luminaire housing. So, you get to keep original fixtures and just convert the lighting to LEDs.
- Complete Replacement of Fixtures:
This is probably the most expensive of all three methods but most reliable as well if the condition of current sockets or lens/louver isn’t too good. It is also a feasible option if existing lighting fixtures are enclosed because, ideally, LEDs must not be installed into enclosed fixtures.
We live in an era dominated by a variety of issues that threaten the sustainability of the planet and future generations. Perhaps, it is time to think about retrofitting older, outdated lightings with to energy-efficient LED lights, especially at commercial and industrial buildings. To know if your commercial building requires a lighting retrofit, contact us immediately to schedule energy audit.