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How can your business convert fluorescent tubes to LED?

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How can your business convert fluorescent tubes to LED?

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A guide to replacing your Fluorescent tube lights with LED lamps

If your business is considering a fluorescent to LED retrofit project but you’re not sure where to start, this high level guide should help you.  You may not have time to look into all of the details of such a project and know what you should be considering, and so my goal is to provide you with enough information to make some decisions.  If after reading this you still need more information, I invite you to contact me directly for an initial consultation into your LED retrofit project.

There are 3 popular options to replace your fluorescent tube lights:

  1. Replacing your old tube lights with LED lights that are 17 watts or greater. The benefits to your business:
  • Lowest upfront costs.  These lamps are generally less than $10 each.
  • They are energy efficient, but not as efficient as the options below.
  • You can use the existing ballast without needing to replace it.
  • These lamps will typically last 35,000 hours, which equates to over 8 years of life if you’re running the lamps for 12 hours per day, 365 days per year.
  • These lamps do not produce the amount of light as the options below.
  1. Replacing your old tube lights with LED lights that are 15 watts. The benefits to your business:
  • These lamps cost about $17 each and provide the highest light output.
  • These lamps will typically last 50,000 hours, which equates to over 11 years of life if you’re running the lamps for 12 hours per day, 365 days per year.
  • This lamp will provide good energy savings.
  1. Replacing your old tube lights with LED lights that are 12 watts. The benefits to your business:
  • These lamps cost about $13 each and has a medium light output.
  • These lamps will typically last 50,000 hours, which equates to over 11 years of life if you’re running the lamps for 12 hours per day, 365 days per year.
  • This lamp will provide the best energy savings of the 3 options.

5 steps to start your LED Retrofit project

Now that you know the 3 primary replacement options, we’ll cover the steps you should take for your LED retrofit project.

Step 1 – Determine your LED retrofit budget: prices have trended downward and now is a great time to start your project. No matter your budget, there is an LED lamp that’s right for your project.

Step 2 – What are your goals for the project? If you’re looking to significantly reduce energy costs and/or ongoing maintenance expense, using a lamp with a longer lifespan should be part of your plans.

Step 3 – Identify the lamps to be part of the retrofit project.  Referred to as “group relamping” I recommend that a business identify clusters of lamps that make sense to replace at the same time.  In the long run, group relamping will save you more time and energy than doing the project on a one-off basis.  This also makes the spend more predictable and you can prioritize which lamp clusters should be done first, second, and so on.

Step 4 – Determine the level of light output needed.  Consider how the space is being used and select your light output accordingly.  If you need help with this step, contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.

Step 5 – Make your final decision.  You’ve determined your budget and goals, the level of light output needed, as well as the cluster(s) of lamps to be retrofitted.  Now it’s time to put it all together to determine which LED lamps you need for the project.  The following project types and lamp recommendations are just a guide, but should be helpful as you select your lamp type:

  • Warehouse (with low light output needs): 17 watt lamp recommended
  • Commercial office building: 15 watt lamp recommended
  • Hospital/Retirement home: 12 watt lamp recommended
  • Parking garage: 12 watt lamp recommended

Now that you have all of the preliminary steps cared for, it’s time to start your project.  If you’d like a partner to manage the project, installation and ongoing maintenance, contact the lighting experts at PKK Lighting in Madison WI.  We’ve managed hundreds of LED retrofit projects and would be delighted to talk to you about your project and how we might be able to help.