Michael Morrison of Light Efficient Design UK advises on how installers can take advantage of LED retrofit opportunities.
Although demand for LED lighting keeps growing, this could prove to be a double edged sword as no doubt you’re under pressure from customers to replace those HIDs to LED as quickly, and as cost-effectively, as possible.
Making a decent profit margin out of total HID to LED system upgrades is hard to achieve. In the commercial and industrial sector, a considerably lower cost approach to take is retrofit LED, increasing your margin opportunity and providing a regular revenue stream from repeat business as part of ongoing re-lamping maintenance schedules, albeit every five years.
Retrofits also enable a straightforward and lower cost upgrade path. You can be confident of keeping customers up-to-date with the latest LED solutions as they continue to evolve.
Taking the plunge
The simplicity of retrofit makes easy it quick and easy to demonstrate, enabling a much faster demo to final sale cycle. There’s no hold up waiting for capital construction budget approvals and the reduction in labour costs ensures faster paybacks.
A ‘no quibble’ 60-day tryout policy with a few lamps installed on-site for a couple of weeks should be more than adequate. This will allow the end-user time to experience the enhanced lighting quality firsthand.
Retroﬁt LED is non-invasive and maintenance friendly, as lamps can be installed in phases while keeping a consistent ’look’ for the site. It’s a ﬁve-minute job to remove the existing lamp, take the ballast out by wiring directly from the power to the lampholder, and connect the new lamp.
Typical LED HID retrofits and applications include High Bay: 100 – 300W replacing up to 1000W HID (warehouses, retail spaces, factories/industrial, leisure facilities); Low Bay: Up to 120W replacing 400W HID (interior car parks, warehouses, small industrial units); Wallpacks & Floodlights: 30 – 120W replacing up to 400W HID (low bay and floodlighting); Post Top: 30 – 100W replacing up to 250W (street lighting, paths and walkways); Bollard: 14 – 24W replacing 36 to 100W (paths and walkways); SOX: 20 – 35W replacing 35 and 55W SOX (housing estates, rail stations, private industrial areas, local authorities).
DO’S AND DONT’S
BALLAST: Always bypass or remove the ballast, as using the old control gear adds wasted wattage. Old control gear can always fail.
HEAT: Retroﬁt solutions with integrated fans may be required. Check for long life (70,000 hour) fans.
LIGHT OUTPUT – LUMENS PER WATT ETC: Check products are fully CE/ROHS tested and certiﬁed and have LM79/80 data
Now is the time
While in the past retroﬁt LED has been tarnished by poor quality imports and insufficient breadth in the ranges available, high quality, fully tested, CE/ROHS certified and warrantied LED retroﬁt solutions are now increasingly available. Prices have also reduced considerably in recent times.
Light Efficient Design UK, for one, is now backing no quibble ﬁve-year product lifetime guarantees with two-year on-site warranties for most large projects. The company’s LED retroﬁts can be applied to most industrial and commercial lighting/re-lamping and energy performance applications.