LED Retrofit Questions, Answered
Added by Marissa. Posted on March 7, 2017
A huge part of the LED market revolves around LED retrofits to replace fluorescent tubes. Fluorescent tubes can be found in a majority of buildings you encounter; schools, hospitals, office buildings, retail stores, grocery stores and more. Fluorescent tubes are out of date and poor choices for lighting, especially when compared to LED tubes. Yet, there are a lot of questions revolving around how and why to retrofit LED tubes, or what retrofitting even means. Today, we’re here to answer those questions!
WHAT IS A RETROFIT KIT?
Retrofitting an LED tube is the process of upgrading the light bulbs and system while keeping the existing lighting fixture intact. See it as replacing the lights bulbs in a chandelier, instead of the entire chandelier.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER RETROFITTING VERSUS FULL REPLACEMENT?
LED direct fit linear lamps are an easy way to upgrade your lighting and save on energy with little to no effort. The lights may shine brightly at first, but you will begin to notice flickering or “burnt” out lights soon enough. If you installed direct fit LED lights and kept the ballast intact, what you are seeing is in fact a bad ballast, not a bad bulb. LED light bulbs are great because they have a life of 50,000 hours. If you see bulbs out after months or even a few years, it’s likely to be a ballast issue, not a bulb issue.
BENEFITS OF THE BALLAST BYPASS
While it may seem like less trouble to do away with the entire fixture and start from scratch, retrofitting can save you money, making your ROI greater. Unless your fixtures are completely outdated or falling apart, retrofitting is your best option!
CAN LED RETROFIT KITS DIM?
Of course! Just be sure to let your salesperson know you are looking for an LED retrofit with dimming capabilities. Plus, dimming allows you to save even more money!
IS RETROFITTING A FIXTURE DIFFICULT?
If you are new to the concept of lighting and electrical work, retrofitting a light can be difficult. Yet, for a professional, it is a fairly simple process. The retrofit process is just replacing existing lamps, ballasts, sockets and brackets with new ones to fit your retrofit kit. It is always recommended to have this done by a professional electrician, to be sure it is done correctly.
ARE LED RETROFITS THAT ARE COMPATIBLE WITH BALLASTS A GOOD OPTION?
When it comes to installing LED retrofits that still connect to the existing fixture and ballast, there are some thing to take into account. A part of the problem with fluorescent lighting is that ballasts tend to fail as often as tubes burn out. If you upgrade to LED tubes while still using a ballast, your bulbs may appear to be burnt out, when in reality your ballast has gone bad. We recommend bypassing the ballast when installing LED retrofits. You can read more about ballast bypasses on our blog here.
CONVERT YOUR FLUORESCENTS TO LEDS WITH SITLER’S!
Sitler’s team is skilled in helping clients install LED retrofit kits in their spaces! We work with a team of highly trained professional electricians to make sure your LED retrofit kits work from the get go! Give us a call at (319) 653-2123 or send us an email to get started!
Posted in LED Lighting Basics