LED Retrofit Kits, Traditional Outdoor Lighting Options Remain
By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor - September 2013 - Lighting
Retrofit kits are considered another cost-effective way to get facilities into the LED market.
"You don't always have to replace the fixture," Sallee says. "In many cases, you can keep the existing fixtures and update the light source inside, which is good because you don't have to send that big piece of aluminum to landfill. You can re-use it. And you don't have to paint around the wall.
"I would look at fixture and retrofit kits when looking at outdoor lighting requirements because many times, it's better to keep the fixtures you have and upgrade them to LED, versus putting in entirely new fixtures. It can be advantageous in terms of costs."
Traditional Options Remain
Managers looking for quick savings from their projects also can rely on more traditional light sources such as fluorescents and HID to provide benefits.
"Generally, the least costly thing to do is look at your existing fixture and retrofit it with basically the same technology or similar technology — something that may screw into the same socket and may operate more efficiently," Ponzini says. "There are some options like that available, but those are typically small improvements. They are low-cost, and the payback is going to be quite quick if you do something like that."
While LEDs might currently be the hot technology of the lighting industry, manufacturers remind managers that they have still not turned their backs on the traditional lighting options.
"Some of the newer developments in HID lamps, or ceramic metal halide, offer very nice white lights and long life — anywhere from 24,000 to 30,000 hours of operation," Freitag says. "Your lamp-replacement maintenance goes down dramatically compared to older quartz metal. There are very high-quality choices in electronic drivers or electronic HID ballasts and a wide variety of HID ballasts that allow for a system to be controlled more readily and increase energy savings even further."