Tips to Maximize LED Retrofits

Tips to Maximize LED Retrofits

  • Posted: Apr 13, 2016
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What are your priorities for your next lighting project? Are you aiming for energy savings? Is the constant need to replace failed lamps cutting into the time you could be spending on other maintenance? Or are you just  not happy with the quality of your existing light sources? LED lighting could help solve these issues. This ultra-efficient light source is more affordable than ever thanks to plummeting component prices and energy efficiency incentives. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, make sure your LED retrofit delivers maximum value with these tips. 1) Define the Problem What issue are you trying to solve with an LED retrofit? Are you mainly prioritizing energy savings, or are there other problems that the new installation needs to solve too? The General Services Administration (GSA) recommends asking yourself these questions to help define your needs: ■     Is the space already overlit? ■     What are your current and future lighting needs? ■     How long do you plan to occupy the space? ■     Do you want to incorporate sensors into fixtures? ■     What control capabilities are you looking for, even beyond your lighting system? For the Waukesha (WI) School District’s natatorium, energy savings was a high priority, but the need to improve lighting conditions was also urgent. The existing metal halide fixtures had a half-life of about 8,000 hours, by which point they would lose around 40% of their original light output, says Jeff Gatzow, Vice President of Optec LED Lighting, which manufactured and installed the new LED lamps used in the natatorium project. Bringing in a lift to change the lights was so needlessly complicated that the bulbs typically wouldn’t be replaced until they failed, which created a safety issue, notes Tom Cherone, Master Electrician for the Waukesha School District. “The maintenance was also extremely time-consuming. We had to shut the pool down because you can’t have people around when you’re working with an aerial lift,” Cherone says. “The fixtures were tempered glass – if the glass breaks and falls into the pool, you don’t have a lot of options other than draining it, which becomes extremely expensive when you have to pay for sewage and water fees to refill 480,000 gallons. With the new LED heads, each one is a sealed unit and the components are sealed as well so if they do fail, it’s a simple operation to just drop the head and put a replacement in its place.” To get a handle on your building’s needs, Vikrant Mahajan, Product Marketing Manager for OSRAM SYLVANIA, recommends assessing every space in the building to examine existing light levels, control requirements, maintenance expectations and other factors that could impact your LED choices. One way to do this is with a comprehensive audit that accounts for every light source in your building. Juliann Rogers, Director of Energy for CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., oversaw an audit and LED retrofit of 204 Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants nationwide. The company is participating in the DOE’s Interior Lighting Campaign, which encourages FMs to install high-efficiency lighting and has set an initial goal of 1 million efficient troffers installed by May. “We had retrofitted several dining rooms with LED kits two to three years ago. We didn’t want to tear those down and reinstall them because they were still fairly new, so I provided my auditor with a scope of work that said to audit the kitchen only in any restaurant where we’d already retrofitted the dining room,” Rogers explains. “I would recommend having them audit the entire restaurant. If a fixture is LED already, they can make a note about that, but at least you’ll know.”…

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