Wolfers Lighting Blog

Wondering if You Should Retrofit with LED Lights?

Posted on Nov 13, 2015 by admin

There are many Retrofit LED Lights available now.

More and more people are making the move to LEDs, and for good reason. After all, LED technology offers numerous benefits:

  • LEDs last longer than incandescent, halogen, and CFL light bulbs.
  • LEDs produce much less heat than the standard light sources in the marketplace.
  • LEDs offer much more versatility in design, thanks to their small size and color temperature options.
  • LEDs are far more efficient, saving on energy costs.
  • Gas and electric utilities in Massachusetts offer rebates and incentives on certain LED bulbs and fixtures, offsetting the higher price in comparison to incandescent.

In fact, according to Energy.gov, "Today’s LED bulbs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent." And this: "Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent, and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions."

But what happens if you want to take advantage of all this LED goodness, but you can’t afford to replace all your fixtures? What should you do?”

Good news! You can often retrofit LED lights into many existing fixtures. Here are the pros and cons to keep in mind…

The Pros of Retrofitting LED Lights:

  • You can replace most fixtures that have a standard household medium or candelabra base (and it's usually quick and easy to do so).
  • Retrofitting is less expensive than replacing all of your fixtures.
  • By retrofitting with LED bulbs, you'll be able to reduce wattage and save energy.
  • Over time, you'll save money on your electric bill as well.

The Cons of Retrofitting LED Lights:

  • Some fixtures are easier to retrofit than others.
  • Dimming can prove problematic when you retrofit (but LED bulb manufacturers will generally note the best dimmers to use).
  • Not all LED lamps (bulbs) have the same characteristics.

Regarding that last bullet point, let's drill down further:

  • Inconsistent color temperature across multiple lamps can be an issue. Lower-grade LED lamps produced in different batches—a process called binning—might have minute color temperature differences.
  • Many LED lamp manufacturers do not rate their bulbs for enclosed fixtures. Using an LED bulb in an enclosed fixture can account for premature failure.
  • Replacement lamps change frequently as lower wattages (which measure power) and higher lumens (which measure brightness) are regularly released. Be careful when you buy these lamps and consider purchasing a spare so that they will match.

So why install integrated fixtures?

Installing an integrated LED light fixture is a smart strategy. Essentially, the LED module is integrated into the fixture itself and should last as long as the fixture lasts. This will provide high efficiency and carefully selected and consistent Kelvin temperature and CRI (color rendering index). It will also ensure easier dimming compatibility.

You can use integrated LED fixtures in many applications, and they carry manufacturer warranties when used with a compatible dimmer.

And, of course, a Wolfers Lighting consultant can help you make educated decisions regarding temperature, CRI, a particular LED's proven performance record, and so forth. Stop by one of our lighting showrooms or make an appointment. Our lighting consultants love answering your questions!

Interested in learning more about LED technology? Download our free LED Buying Guide now.

Download our LED Buying Guide

Topics: LED