Lighting Retrofits: Match Technology to the Application
Careful planning enables managers and the project team to match lighting technology to the space and facility more effectively, but organizations also make planning mistakes.
"Not fully understanding the application or its context is a common misstep," Stoneman says. "For example, if you are upgrading a high-bay application, is the space climate controlled? A technology that gets installed and tested in August may provide plenty of light at that time, but in an unregulated space, it may not prove to deliver enough light in February."
So it is essential managers understand the environment in which they install the new system.
"For example, if the space is difficult to access, then managers will want to make sure that the lamps and ballasts they choose are rated for long life to reduce maintenance costs," Stoneman says. "In other scenarios, the application might require lamps and ballasts rated for high temperatures. Perhaps the space is currently overlit or underlit. The right solution can't be implemented unless the specific conditions of the application are fully evaluated."
Lien encourages managers to pay close attention to lamp voltages.
"The specification sheets for fixtures generally provide enough information to order the correct lamps," he says. "With some metal-halide products now, there are tricky qualifiers by brand. Ask for the lamp recommendation in writing from your distributor or manufacturer to limit your liability." One proven strategy for success is keeping an open mind when it comes to technology.
"I see a lot of one-size-fits-all attitude, especially when it comes to controls," Davis says. Considering additional options, such as time control or a mechanical-system interface "might be in the better interest of the owner," he says.