7 Steps to Successfully Installing an LED Lighting Retrofit. Step 1.

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When most companies think about implementing their first energy conservation measure, they immediately think about upgrading or retrofitting their lighting to new LED technology. This is because in most businesses in the US, lighting makes up almost 11% of their kWh usage.

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By retrofitting existing fluorescent, metal halide or other high wattage fixtures in a business, companies can easily reduce their lighting load by as much as 80%. If you are like most companies considering a lighting retrofit and are curious about how to properly install LED lighting in your facility, here are 6 steps to a successful LED installation.

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A note to engineers:  The purpose of these series of blog posts is to intorduce people to LED lighting and retrofits.  We will be covering and discussing a very high lever basic retrofit.  For more detailed lighting subscribe to our blog for future posts.

Step 1: Identify high wattage fixtures and lamps.

The first step with any energy conservation measure is to make sure that you have properly identified the source of the energy consumption. With lighting this is easier than other measures. Start out by identifying what fixtures are on the most during your normal operating times and then identify the wattage of those fixtures.

Standard lighting found today.

If your business is like most businesses today, chances are you have 3 or 4 lamp fluorescent fixtures. These fixtures and lamps have been the standard in the electrical industry for many years.

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If your facility is older, or you haven’t upgraded in a while, it is possible that you have an older “T12” light fixture in your facility. These fixtures are some of the highest energy consuming fixtures. These lamps can run anywhere from 45 watts to over 100 watts and come in multiple sizes, including 4′ and 8′ lengths.

If you have these fixtures or lamps, you’ve likely found that replacement bulbs are getting hard to find. That is because these fixtures were deemed obsolete a couple of years ago and are now being phased out.

You can identify the type of fluorescent lamp you have in your facility by simply removing an existing lamp and looking at the part number. Below is a picture of an example part number.

6 steps to successfully installing LED 1

It is also possible that you will have other types of fluorescent fixtures in your facility. Not all of these lamp types are obsolete or even worth upgrading. We will talk about these cases at another time.

Types of fluorescent fixtures you might find:

  • T8 both 4′ and 8′
  • T5
  • T5 HO (high output)
  • As well as smaller size fluorescent lamps ranging between 6″ and 4′ in length.

Other lighting fixture types

Although fluorescent fixtures and lamps are the most commonly retrofitted or replaced fixtures today, other lamps you might find throughout your facility that you may want to investigate include.

  • Metal Halide, typically outdoor lighting or in high ceilings
  • High Pressure Sodium (HPS)
  • Standard incandescent lamps

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Why energy monitoring is important.

It is important to also know how much energy your lighting is actually costing you. In order to do this, you need to know what percentage of your demand charges are attributable to your lighting and if you are going to be able to save more than just kWh through a lighting upgrade. This can be achieved through implementing a proper energy monitoring system.

Coming up next, Step 2 Investigate the possibility of removing fixtures and/or lamps.

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