Both retrofit LED products and LED light fixtures offer a great selection of benefits, so how do you decide which option is best for your project? There are a few simple things to take into consideration when choosing the product for your lighting solution needs:
Is this a new construction project?
If yes, then both options provide an easy lighting solution. One of the biggest limitations of using LED light fixtures is that rewiring is often required; however, if this is a new project or a remodel that gives easy access to the lighting infrastructure, this isn’t an issue. LED fixtures will generally cost more than LED retrofits, but the cost will be quickly offset by their better efficiency. LED fixtures also provide a bright and focused light that can be used to create dramatic lighting designs. One final consideration is that LED fixtures can be a huge help in achieving the energy efficiency required by many building codes.
What condition are the existing lighting fixtures in?
One reason people lean towards the retrofit option is that their existing fixtures are in fully functional condition. Installing new LED fixtures would mean removing perfectly usable lighting components. In this case, it makes sense to choose retrofitting over replacement. However, if the fixtures in question are near the end of their lifespan, you should consider LED fixtures.
What features are needed from the lighting?
Hi-tech features are often a requirement on many lighting projects—does the lighting need to be dimmable, color changing, network connected, or offer demand response capability to reduce power usage in response to a signal from the local utility provider? If it does, you should lean towards replacing any old technology with new LED fixtures, which, unlike traditional lighting solutions, have the capability of meeting these demands. Utilizing existing fixtures, even with LED retrofits, will not provide the same level of functionality as using LED fixtures.
Is up-front cost a major consideration?
If purchase and installation costs are one of the major determining influences, then LED retrofitting will have the edge over new LED fixtures. Simple lamp replacements are by far the most affordable option when it comes to up-front costs; however, check what rebates are available in your area. You may find that the rebates offered on certain products can make fixtures a better choice.