What is an led retrofit?

LED technology has come a long way in the past few years. From color temperature to lumen output they are becoming increasingly more like there fluorescent and incandescent counterparts with less maintenance and greater energy savings. Now you can gain all the benefits of LED’s while still retaining the look and feel of “old school” lighting, giving way to the LED retrofit.

In the world of lighting technology retrofitting can mean a couple of different things. The first thing that comes to mind when you think retrofit would be to keep the aesthetics or look of the current fixture while changing the technology inside to LED. This can be accomplished by either changing the bulb while removing the ballast, using a ballast compatible LED product, or completely modifying to what’s called an LED driver. An LED driver does not have bulbs or ballasts, but rather has a plate or bar with LED diodes integrated in. This would then mount directly to the inside of the fixture. Changing the insides of fixtures can sometimes create issues not normally seen upfront. Fluorescents, HID’s (high intensity discharge), and incandescent lights emit heat. This constant cycle of heating and cooling can deteriorate a fixture at a higher rate. Plastic becomes brittle and hard which in turn can make it difficult to modify these types of fixtures.

The second type of retrofitting that is most common in todays market is to replace the entire fixture with an LED integrated product. While the costs are generally higher than a standard retrofit what you gain in savings from energy and maintenance can help to offset that cost. Manufactures quickly recognized the need for aesthetically pleasing and retro style LED fixtures. Today it is very easy to find almost anything with LED’s where it would have been normally an incandescent or HID fixture. Additionally, a great benefit is the ability to add controls to these new fixtures. Occupancy sensors, daylight sensors, and astronomical timers are just a few of the many different types of controls available in todays market and can help to increase energy savings exponentially.