How to Optimize Your LED Lighting Retrofit
January 29, 2021
So, you’re considering an LED retrofit for your facility. That’s a smart move. Energy-efficient lighting companies along with light-emitting diode (LED) technology have been shifting the lighting landscape for over 15 years. LEDs drastically reduce energy consumption, decrease maintenance costs, and increase overall lighting performance.
But do you know how to optimize your LED lighting retrofit savings?
When planning an LED lighting retrofit, the experts at Action Services Group suggest starting by prioritizing where you need to see improvements. Below we examine the 3 key factors in any LED lighting project and the 5 best lighting environments where they will have the greatest financial impact.
3 Key Factors In Prioritizing Your LED Goals
No matter what lighting application you want to convert, prioritizing these three factors will lead to an optimized LED lighting solution. There are thousands of lighting options available on the LED market, and not all of them offer the same results. Without prioritizing these 3 factors, you could select an LED lamp that provides optimal performance but does not provide the energy efficacy needed to lower your energy costs. Let’s review the 3 key factors to setting your LED savings criteria.
When we refer to lighting performance, we are talking about the “functionality” of the lighting in your facility. The lighting performance encompasses questions like:
- Are your light levels sufficient for your facility?
- Do you have the right color temperature for your space?
- Do your patrons feel safe when they are at your facility?
While many organizations make the final LED retrofit decision based on the energy and maintenance savings, many times the initial inquiries are due to lighting performance issues. When making your LED product selections, make sure you have prioritized your lighting performance.
As any business owner or facilities manager knows, energy is a huge cost driver of monthly expenses. Finding creative ways to reduce these expenses can drastically enhance the profitability of any organization regardless of the size. LED lights have the potential to save your organization 40% to 60% on your utility bill after a typical LED conversion.
Finally, maintenance expenses while tangible, tend to be a “less visible” cost for organizations and facilities. These costs are harder to predict and tend to be variable depending on the scope of the problem and the size of the facility.
As an example, parking lot lighting tends to be mounted in excess of 20-40 feet in the air. Maintaining these lights becomes a difficult proposition for in-house maintenance staff. Usually, a third-party vendor with access to bucket trucks will be called to maintain these types of lighting. Depending on the size of your facility, these costs can be very expensive and add up over time.
An Example of How to Prioritize Your LED Retrofit Goals
Let’s say your first priority is lighting performance, your second priority maintenance savings, and your third is energy savings. Since performance is your first priority you should be analyzing the lumens per watt that will meet the performance requirements.
With your second priority being maintenance savings, look for the manufacturer’s warranty. You may be able to get a 10-year warranty. Now you are left with energy savings and that may vary greatly since the LED has specific performance requirements. Because of that priority, you may find that the higher lumens per watt will consume more energy.
While the above factors are a great place to start when evaluating an LED retrofit, once these basic questions are asked, you will need to dig deeper into the process. In our eBook, A Critical Guide to Setting Criteria Goals for your LED Project, we look at:
- How to evaluate the three critical end goals for any LED Project
- Assess your energy savings – examples included
- Reports from energy.gov
- Evaluate your lighting performance – examples included
- Often overlooked lighting performance factors
- How to evaluate your maintenance savings – examples included
- Maintenance considerations you can’t forget
- Review of successful LED retrofits
Where Energy Efficiency Can Make the Most Difference
Once you have laid out your LED retrofit goals there are 5 specific applications or spaces, where starting your energy-efficient lighting project makes the most sense for a great ROI.
High Burn Time Scenarios
For organizations that have their lights on for extended periods of time (warehouses, machine shops, etc..), installing LED lights by hiring an energy-efficient lighting company makes great economic sense.
The reasons being:
- LED lights require less maintenance than metal halide.
- The useful life for LED’s is significantly longer than their HID counterparts.
- The LED is the perfect lighting application for lamps that run for long periods of time.
See how this commercial warehouse drastically reduced their energy costs with an LED retrofit to their high burn time lamps.
Applications Utilizing MR16 Lamps
It is still very common to see the MR16 lamps installed in buildings and facilities around the country. However, facilities utilizing the MR16 could be drastically improved with an LED retrofit by an energy-efficient lighting company.
Some negative attributes of the MR16 lamps are:
- High heat output,
- Very energy inefficient
- Short rated life (from an hour’s perspective)
All these issues can be mitigated with LED lamps. This is primarily due to the way that LED generate and distribute their light. Instead of consuming a fuel source, LED’s generate light via a semiconductor which makes them more energy-efficient and dramatically extends their useful life.
Facilities with Parking Garages
Facilities with parking garages will also see a significant return on investment by having an energy-efficient lighting company install LED’s.
Non-LED parking garage lamps have some issues:
- Typical parking garage lights have a high burn time.
- Maintaining these lights can be challenging as vehicles are constantly traveling in and out of the space.
- Finding downtime to perform maintenance can be difficult.
By installing LED’s, you decrease the maintenance burden on existing staff, and you extend the useful life of the lamps. Over time these maintenance savings will really add up for your organization.
Building managers overseeing a warehouse will also see tangible benefits from an LED retrofit conducted by an energy-efficient lighting company.
Warehouses are unique:
- They generally receive very little natural light.
- they have large surface areas that need to be illuminated.
- maintenance can be difficult because of the lamp height.
LED’s in this environment will help minimize productivity loss due to maintenance downtime, reduce energy consumption, while simultaneously increasing the overall lighting performance in the space below.
Are you running an industrial space and need to learn more about your options on how to save on energy consumption? Check out this article on LED Lighting for Industrial Spaces!
Outdoor Parking Lot Lighting
You have probably heard of this one before. Or are experiencing it as we speak.
Parking lot lights all have these things in common:
- Typically pole-mounted in excess of 15 feet in the air
- Maintaining this lighting necessitates a bucket truck.
- Parking lot lighting usually employs high-pressure sodium lamps or metal halide lighting, both of which are extremely inefficient.
For building managers responsible for outdoor parking lot lighting LED’s installed by an energy-efficient lighting company will help reduce maintenance cost and will drastically reduce energy consumption.
Looking to see How Much Money you can save with an LED parking lot retrofit? Check out this article on the Financial Benefits of Converting Parking Lot Lighting to LED. There are 2 free downloadable financial analysis tools from www.energy.gov.
Energy-Efficient Lighting Companies Maximize LED Savings
For those wanting to maximize their LED savings, we suggest working with an energy-efficient lighting company. Below are a few tangible strategies and tactics to take when evaluating an LED lighting organization to deal with:
- Numerous Product Options: First and foremost be sure the energy-efficient lighting company you are considering can provide you with a wide variety of quality product options from reliable manufacturers and the product has proper testing.
- Solution Based Business Model: The energy-efficient lighting company should have a solution-based business model versus a product-based business model. Often lighting companies are limited to representing only a few specific LED manufacturers. This can drastically limit your options. Once you have decided on your LED lighting priorities, a wide variety of options is critical.
Optimize Your LED Lighting Retrofit with Action Services Group
To learn more about how Action Services Group can help optimize an LED retrofit for your organization, call 610-558-9773, email [email protected] or schedule a call. We look forward to hearing from you.
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“Your project management on the 300+ national electrical rollout was flawless. Excellent communication and quality of work resulted in completing the project on time and under budget. Thank you Action Services Group!”
Facility Manager – National Quick Service Restaurant