Choosing between installing an entirely new fixture and LED retrofit seems like a no-brainer. The cost for LED retrofits is significantly cheaper – 50 to 75% to be precise – than a fresh installation. While been cost effective, beneficial in maintenance and energy savings, the retrofitting process can be just a bit complicated. Read on for tips for successfully retrofitting parking lot lighting to LED.
- Get the basics in place.
To avoid nasty surprises or complications, be sure to discuss with your installer what to expect and the scope of the project. Do this well before the project starts. As a rule of thumb, clarify details like;
- Voltage, wattage, and type of existing ballast
- Pole height
- Voltage, wattage, and type of existing lamp
- Building schedules and traffic patterns
- Distance between poles
- Hindrances to poles such as trees, slopes, and more.
- Know what issues you are trying to solve
Don’t just opt for retrofitting parking lot lighting to LED with no problem-solution scenario in mind. Will you be focusing on energy savings alone or other issues too? These are questions that ensure you get what you want for the system. Here are some questions to give you a head start-
- Is the parking lot currently over-lit?
- How long will you own or be in that space?
- What are your current and future lighting needs?
- What capabilities are you looking for in your LED retrofits?
- Choose warranty over rated life
If only there was a way to say this multiple times. Warranty is important for such a high-burn outdoor fixture. It’s great to have a good rating but a warranty to back that rating makes it even better and safer for you.
- Don’t fall in the photocell trap
This is more of something that can give you a hard time. Verify from your installer or lighting specialist if the existing fixtures have photocells. Knowing early can help you and your installer prepare adequately for a successful transition.
- Explore incentives
A little help of savings on cost is always welcome. Now that you know what you need for the retrofitting projects look into rebates, discounts, and other incentives that can reduce the costs. You can inquire from your local utility company agent or lighting specialist.
- Go for reputable brands
As much as you want to save cost by retrofitting and seeking rebates, you don’t want to fall into the cheapskate dilemma with a brand that won’t deliver. Go for brands or products from a reputable manufacturer. The idea is to choose affordable but quality products that suit your needs.
- Bundle projects
To make the project even more painless, you can opt for grouping projects together. Look around for other improvements you may need and get them done alongside. Or set aside the savings from the LED retrofit to pay for additional work needed.
- Consider protection for your LED retrofits
You are already investing in better lighting solutions, you may as well protect or with surge protection. Discuss with your lighting specialist on having affordable surge protection.