LED Lighting Retrofit: Your Path to Savings

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LED Lighting Retrofit: Your Path to Savings

Is your company spending more on lighting than it needs to—both in terms of energy and maintenance?  If so, it’s time to consider retrofitting your lighting to LED and put more of your profits back where they belong—in your business.

Retrofitting is a popular topic, particularly among our commercial and industrial end user customers. Converting existing fixtures to LED, either through the swapping of lamps or a fixture retrofit, is a way to transition to LED technology without the full financial investment of purchasing and installing new fixtures.

The demand is strong, and there are many manufacturers offering a cost-effective retrofit solution for just about any existing fixture.  Here are some options to consider:

Step into LED with a lamp retrofit.

The most economical move into LED technology is to swap your current lamps from conventional light sources to LED.  LED lamps can improve ambiance, energy efficiency and reduce maintenance.

  • Philips InstantFit is a truly compatible plug and play LED tube lamp that performs as expected, so you don’t have to go back and waste time and money redoing a job, and can instead focus on growing your business. Available in a variety of sizes and wattages, popular types include T8, 4-Pin Long Compact, U-Bent T8, and 4-Pin Plug-in.
  • Transform your environment while reducing lighting-related energy costs with Philips “Screw-in” LED lamps. The line includes popular A-type, candle, globe, MR16 and PAR lamps – all with smooth dimming technology.

Get rid of your florescent strip fixtures.

Linear fluorescent technology represents an estimated 80% of the installed equipment and 72% of total annual energy consumption for commercial lighting making it the perfect candidate to upgrade to LED with a retrofit. Universal Lighting Technologies’ EVERLINE® LED Retrofit Kit simplifies the transition from fluorescent to LED.  The EVERLINE® Retrofit Kit converts 2’, 4’ or 8’ fixtures to LED lighting.  The kits include everything needed for simple installation and are available in 2,300 lumens to 6,000 lumens with an 82 CRI and CCTs of 3500K, 4000K and 5000K.

Troffer Retrofit Kits

Are you looking for an affordable way to use LED lighting to cut back on energy costs, but don’t have a huge budget? Upgrading your traditional fluorescent in-grid ceiling troffers may be easier than you think.

    • The Universal Lighting Technologies LED General Purpose Fixture is a recessed prismatic LED Luminaire. Designed for replacement of fluorescent troffer and parabolic style luminaires. The GPA Series is installer friendly and comes in standard sizes for grid lay-in applications. Designed as an economical option for lighting indoor spaces with T-Grid ceilings, its high efficacy and excellent uniformity make it a great choice for most office and classroom environments.
    • Lithonia Lighting’s BLT Relight Series provides quick, easy installation into most
      existing luminaires. It provides look, feel and performance of a full fixture replacement at a fraction of the cost – reducing installation cost and materials. The BLTR series also provides control options to further enhance your space.

Got illuminated signs? Upgrade their lighting.

Now signs can be seamlessly converted from existing fluorescent to LED technology. Universal Lighting Technologies’ EVERLINE® LED Sign Tubes are an LED outdoor replacement solution for T12HO or T8HO lit signs. Designed for fast and easy installation, the Sign Tube uses the existing RDC sockets with minimal modification. It features 90° adjustable RDC style endcaps for correct lamp orientation in vertical or horizontal installations, regardless of how the socket was originally installed.

Think “outside” for even more retrofit opportunities.

Retrofits aren’t just for indoor applications. The Lithonia Lighting KADRD-LED retrofits any existing 100 – 400W metal halide or high pressure sodium KAD into a high-performance LED luminaire, while realizing typical energy savings up to 70% with expected service life up to 100,000 hours. The KADRD-LED retrofit door simply replaces the existing KAD door containing the glass lens and installs in minutes.  Part of the Contour® Series luminaires, the KADRD offers traditional square dayforms with softened edges for a versatile look that complements many applications.

Hazardous locations deserve LEDs, too.

It’s important for hazardous (classified) work sites to be equipped with proper lighting for their classification. Ratings are used by engineers and architects to determine where specific fixtures should be used under the specific conditions. Currently, there are a handful of classifications for explosion-proof LED lighting.

Dialight offers fixtures for installation and use in hazardous (classified) locations including: Class I, Divisions 1 and 2, Groups A, B, C, and D; Class II, Division 1, Groups E, F, and G; Class II, Division 2, Groups F and G; and Class III, Divisions 1 and 2, in accordance with the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70.  Their Vigilant Industrial Solutions and SafeSite Hazardous Area Solutions offer a variety of LED retrofit and replacement products for classified spaces.

Start on your path to savings today! With LEDs you use up to 90% less energy than traditional sources and the longer lifespan reduces maintenance needs – saving you both time and money.  In addition, you may be able to take advantage of utility incentives available in most areas by retrofitting your facility’s lighting with LED.

Along with our manufacturer partners, French Gerleman can help you improve your facility with solutions to improve lighting efficiency and save on annual utility expenses.  Our lighting team is well versed in LED lighting products for use in commercial and industrial facilities.

To learn more about these products to for help with your next lighting project, contact your French Gerleman Account Manager.  Our lighting team can help you identify any applicable utility incentives in your area and help with LED solutions to meet your project’s specifications.


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French Gerleman Helps to Light Veteran Memorials in Quincy, IL

At French Gerleman, it’s important for us to not only give back to our community, but to also support those who fought to keep us and our country safe. Rick Craven, Quincy’s Branch Administration Manager, was inspired by an email from RAB Lighting detailing a program to light up monuments and memorials for veterans. Rick then challenged the Quincy team to help identify a location to help promote RAB and give back to a veteran. Ultimately, they identified the Illinois Veterans Home as the recipient of this monument lighting program.

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Together, RAB Lighting and French Gerleman donated approximately $3,100 of exterior LED fixtures along with the lighting layout and selection to illuminate nearly a dozen monuments and memorials, including the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial, on the Veterans Home’s property with 13 new fixtures. French Gerleman’s Quincy branch donated the layout and selection of lights, and the Veterans Home staff provided the labor to install the material.

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From start to finish, this project took several months. We had to identify the areas that would be included in the project, work with the local rep and RAB lighting to get approval on the project, and then get them in and to the home for installation. It might have been a lengthy process, but it was worth it to help out this great organization and to see the finished product.

The previous lighting at the Veterans Home was only partially functioning. They had a mix of incandescent, HID and fluorescent lights. We were able to provide functional lighting on all of the monuments that improved light levels and the quality of light for the monument. As well, the new LED lighting will reduce energy consumption and require less maintenance. Over 15 years, this new lighting will save the Veterans Home more than $12,500 in energy.

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While on a tour of the home, we noticed that this hallway was extremely dark.  The Superintendent of the Veterans Home’s office is in this hallway, and we thought it would be a nice gesture to improve this area. We reached out to Philips and they were able to provide us with some LED lamps.  As you can see it really helps the hallway and shines some much needed lights on the flags and artwork.

“When we heard about this program through RAB, we knew it was something we wanted to do as an organization to give back and show our support,” said Rick Craven. “It was a great experience for us as a team to research and identify a local organization we would be able to help save money and receive the recognition they deserve.”

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“The monuments, memorials and paintings look better than ever thanks to the new lighting,” said Rick Gengenbacher, Director of Marketing for the Illinois Veterans Home. “Not only does this beautify our grounds, but the annual energy savings will help us fund other projects to help the Veterans who reside at the Home. We cannot thank French Gerleman and RAB enough for their support of the Illinois Veterans Home.”

The Quincy French Gerleman branch started out as an 8,000 square foot warehouse that focused on automation products, specifically Rockwell Automation. Located at 1700 North 45th Street, our Quincy branch has not only physically grown over the years to our current 17,500 square foot warehouse, but we have also grown our product offerings including products for the construction market, datacom, mechanical power transmission and personal safety supplies.

Quincy might feel like a small town, but this French Gerleman branch is anything but small potatoes. They have access to over $20 million in inventory, but offer the friendly customer service of a small, hometown company, which our customers love. It’s also important to this group to give back to their community, so opportunities like this monument lighting program are exciting to the Quincy team.

To learn more about the Quincy Branch or the RAB monument lighting program, feel free to give us a call at 217-223-3122.


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New Outdoor LED Lighting Surge Protection Solutions from Mersen

LED technology and lighting has taken over the market because of their efficiency, versatility, energy savings and longer life. But why is surge protection needed, particularly in outdoor applications? While they have countless benefits, the technology also has a number of drawbacks, including higher cost of implementation, more complex internal electronics and they are much more sensitive to overvoltages than traditional light sources.

To help extend the life of an outdoor LED luminaire, the use of overvoltage surge protection systems is a cost effective investment to ensure the ROI of LED projects.

Often times people associate SPDs with interior machinery, but with outdoor LED lighting, it’s important to protect your equipment, or your cost savings might go out the window. So what is a surge protection device (SPD)? A SPD connects upstream of the drive, complements the intrinsic immunity of the luminaire, creating a more robust protection against lightning and overvoltages. SPDs protect equipment by discharging the overvoltage to earth, therefore limiting the voltage reaching the equipment.

The three-stage SPD solution from Mersen

  1. Lighting Panel (SPD+POP series)
  2. Pole/Fusebox (STM SLIM series)
  3. Luminaire (STLB series)

Surge Protection in the Lighting Panel
This is the first stage of protection. A two-in-one combined (POP + SPD), it protects against permanent

or temporary overvoltages (POP) is the perfect complement to the typical first stage protection, a type 2 SPD in the lighting panel.

Surge Protection in the Pole/Fusebox

Mersen’s STM SLIM is the new range of LED arresters which provides a solution for installation in fuse boxes (located in the mast of the luminaire) with a DIN rail. It’s perfect for retrofitting.

Surge Protection in the LED Luminaires
These feature STLB Surge-Trap, the best in-line surge protection for LED lighting applications. A single device is suitable for single, split or three-phase applications; can be installed in series or parallel with the luminaire; features leakage current free technology and visual end-of-life indication.  The fastening flange allows the SPD to be installed upright or flat, depending on the space constraints of the luminaire.

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It is certified and suitable for worldwide installations.

Mersen’s Surge-Trap three stage LED solution is ideal in a wide range of outdoor lighting applications, including: street lighting, industrial lighting, public lighting, parking garages/surface lots, stadiums, tunnels and much more. For more information on Mersen’s Surge-Trap LED surge protection, give your Account Manager a call or contact us.


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What You Need to Know About LEDs Before Your Next Project

How LED work

What is an LED and how does it work? 

A LED, or light emitting diode, is a semiconductor diode which has the ability to conduct an electrical current.  The diodes are formed by combining two different semiconductor materials to form a P-N (positive and negative) junction.  When current is applied, the negative moves to one side while the positive moves to the opposite.  Light is generated when the positive and negative charges recombine.

Lifespan

LEDs are unlike other traditional light sources in that they do not simply fail.  Instead, the LED’s light output slowly diminishes over time.  For example, L70 is the point in hours that the lumen output has depreciated to 70% of the initial lumen output.  L80 would be 80% of the initial lumen output.

Color temperature

The RGB white method and the phosphor white method are the two methods of producing white light with LEDs.  The RGB white method produces white light by combining the output from red, green and blue LEDs.  The phosphor white method produces white light in a single LED by combining a short-wavelength LED, such as blue or UV, and a yellow phosphor coating with one another.

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Key terms related to LEDs

  • Luminous Efficacy is the total luminous flux emitted by the light source divided by the lamp wattage and is expressed in lumens per watt (lm/w).
  • Lighting Fixture Efficiency is the ratio of the total lumens exiting the fixture to the total lumens produced by the light source.
  • Absolute Photometry is the evaluation of the performance of the combined LED fixture system. Prior to LEDs, luminaire performance was done using Relative Photometry which allowed fixtures and lamps to be evaluated separately.
  • Fixture Efficiency is the ratio of the total lumens exiting the fixture to the total lumens produced by the light source.
  • Delivered Lumens is the amount of a light source’s raw lumen output that reaches the intended illuminated area.

 

Now that you understand the LED technology and terminology a bit better, here are some considerations when evaluating your next lighting project:

 

  • DON’T assume that all LEDs are created equal because they are not! Be sure to do your research.
  • DO know who you are buying from. Use established manufacturers you can trust. Many early LED manufacturers are no longer in business.
  • DON’T assume that any fixture can be converted into a LED. New and old technology don’t always mix.
  • DO look for retrofit kits designed by the original manufacturer. Find out if retrofitting is the right choice.
  • DON’T use lumen output alone to evaluate light sources. Look at fixture efficacy to determine efficiency.
  • DO read the fine print and check the environmental temperature rating. While cold is rarely an issue for LEDs, heat can sometimes affect performance.
  • DON’T forget that equivalencies are not always equal. Again, always do your research.
  • DO pay attention to specific fixture listings and environmental concerns.
  • DON’T assume that just because a fixture looks good on paper that it will work for you. Ask for samples if they are available.
  • DO remember that technology is constantly evolving. Purchase extras if consistency is important to you.
  • DON’T assume that all measurements and calculations are the same. Entrust one solitary source to do all the measurements to ensure consistency.
  • DO remember to check your verticals. They are just as important as horizontals.
  • DON’T assume that colors will look the same from all fixtures.
  • DO pay attention to warranty information when choosing your LEDs.
  • DON’T stop upgrading your lighting system after switching to LEDs. Take full advantage of your LEDs by pairing them with the appropriate control strategy.
  • DO look into dimming, OCC and controls. They will increase the future value of your system.
  • DON’T settle for fixtures that aren’t designed to be serviced. Look for fixtures with replaceable parts.
  • DO include the additional maintenance savings of not having to change lamps and ballasts. Maintenance savings can be substantial.

 

This information was presented at our Product and Technology Expo.  Click here to view the full presentation.

If you have questions about LED lighting or want to incorporate it into your facility, please contact your French Gerleman Account Manager or click here to request information


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LED Lighting Retrofits Reduce Labor and Maintenance Costs

LED lighting continues to be a hot topic, and in our last blog we focused on the energy saving from LED lighting retrofits. But the benefits don’t stop there! Retrofitting reduces installation time and labor costs and your overall investment in maintenance over the life of the fixture.

Faster Installation

If your facility presents challenging conditions for fixture access (high ceiling heights, lighting placement over equipment, etc.), reducing labor time and cost via a retrofit solution should be an important consideration. The faster the installation can be completed, the less disruption the project will have to your operations.

Reduced Labor and Maintenance Costs

In many applications, leaving the existing fixture housing in place can reduce the labor cost associated with an upgrade to LED lighting. This helps improve the project economics and overall return on investment. The long lifespan of LEDs dramatically reduce maintenance costs.  LED fixtures typically require a single annual inspection versus lamp, ballast and lens replacements common with traditional lighting fixtures.

French Gerleman Featured Retrofit Products

Philips

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EVOKit
The EVOKit makes it easier and more affordable than ever to make the transition from fluorescent troffers to energy-efficient LED. The EVOKit from Philips are compatible with both standard and narrow T-grids and they can be fitted without having to enter your ceiling. It harnesses the latest advances in lighting technology to provide unparalleled energy-efficiency. With 110 lumens of light per watt, it is powerful enough to replace fluorescent troffers whole consuming significantly less energy. As if the savings weren’t enough, it also takes less than 5 minutes to install each fixture!

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InstantFit Lamps
The LED T8 InstantFit Lamp from Philips offers over 41% energy savings versus the F32T8 electronic instant start systems. The InstantFit is a direct replacement for T8 lamps and works off of all instant start ballasts and most program rapid start ballasts. This lamp has no mercury, allowing for non-hazardous waste disposal. Emitting virtually no UV rays or IR, it is glass-free for safer working conditions. It is perfect for full light output in spaces with temperatures down to -22F, applications with frequent on/off switching cycles and for buildings that desire to be mercury free.

Appleton

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Areamaster
If you’re looking for an enclosed or gasketed floodlighting, look no further than the Areamaster from Appleton. It is designed for a variety of general applications including marine and hazardous locations. It is attractively styled with a rugged build for dependable and vandal resistant service. These lights are weatherproof and are perfect for small to very large areas.
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Mercmaster
The Mercmaster LED Series from Emerson provide supreme energy efficiency and safety for locations that are subject to severe conditions, vibrations and shock, hazardous locations and corrosive chemicals. The Mercmaster LED series is extremely reliable and durable, and is growing increasingly prevalent in industry settings. With no mercury, a beam that gives off no heat and twice the utilization efficiency of an HID lamp, LED is the perfect option for any company looking to become more “Green”. Where can the Mercmaster be used? It is ideal for marine, wet locations such as waste and sewage treatment facilities. It is also perfect for a wide range of industrial, chemical and processing facilities where flammable gases and vapors are present. It’s also great for areas of low clearance and non-hazardous locations where severe weather conditions are encountered.

Ready to learn more about LED lighting and retrofits? Join us at our French Gerleman St. Louis Customer Center on Thursday, October 29, for our LED Upgrade Opportunities event! We will be featuring live demonstrations and a chance to discuss your retrofit project with product experts. Click HERE to register and learn more about the event. We hope to see you there!

 


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LED Lighting Retrofits for Energy Savings

We have presented the pros and cons of making the switch to LED lighting in a previous blog and we wanted to delve into the benefits of LED Retrofits. Businesses who are looking to become more energy efficient are turning to LED retrofit. By retrofitting traditional lighting fixtures, you are harnessing the efficiency and reliability of LEDs cost-effectively with minimal disruption to your business.

LED technology reduces electrical consumption compared to conventional lighting systems, and also offers controllability and light uniformity, which can be a benefit to your business. Not only does LED lighting provide a substantial reduction in energy usage, by using the existing installation they decrease your initial installation investment.

Featured LED Lighting Retrofit Products

Lithonia Lighting

KAD LED

KAD-LED
The KAD-LED is the most cost effective 400W Metal Halide replacement available today! The Contour Series luminaries offer traditional square dayforms with softened edges for a versatile look. The long life and energy savings of the KAD-LED makes it perfect for illuminating streets, parking lots, walkways and surrounding outdoor areas.

RV6

RV6
The RV6 LED Retrofit commercial downlight delivers up to 1500 lumens, allowing you to upgrade your existing “pan-style” housings to a more energy efficient LED technology in just a matter of minutes! The RV6 is idea for retrofit applications where lighting performance and design are critical. For example, offices, corridors, reception areas, schools and retail environments.

Universal Lighting

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Everline RK Kit
The Everline LED retrofit kits convert 2′ or 4′ fixtures to LED lighting. It includes everything you need for a simple installation, there’s no hassle! It is available in 2,300 lumens to 6,000 lumens with an 82 CRI and CCTs of 3500K, 4000K and 5000K.

 

In our next blog we will focus on the reduced labor and maintenance costs associated with LED lighting retrofit. Be sure to check back next week to see how you can save money and see our featured products.

Interested in learning more about LED lighting and retrofits? Join us on Thursday, October 29, for our LED Upgrade Opportunities event at our French Gerleman St. Louis Customer Center! The event will feature live demonstrations and a chance to discuss your retrofit project with product experts. Click HERE to learn more or to register.


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Are You Ready for LED Lighting?

A popular trend we’ve all heard about is the transition to LED lighting. Of course, there are countless benefits to LED lighting. Here is a list we pulled together of the positive aspects of LED lighting and possible challenges you might face with switching.

Benefits:

  • Longer lifespan. LED fixtures have a longer life than traditional fixtures. If used in suitable conditions, you could be saving money in the long run, as well as future maintenance and replacement. Well-designed LED lighting fixtures can retain 70% of their initial output for 50,000 hours or more.
  • Environmentally friendly. LED lighting has dramatically higher efficiency and lower power usage compared to that of other common lighting technologies, and unlike fluorescent lighting, there is no mercury to dispose of.
  • Cost effective. By using the Philips Energy Saving LED Calculator, you can see just how much money you could be saving by switching to LED lighting.
  • Lower infra-red and ultraviolet output. This can mean a lower fire risk, especially when you compare to halogen lights.
  • Less heat output. Conventional incandescent lights waste about 90% of their power on heat output. LEDs produce no infrared energy, therefore the beam of light from an LED source is cool.
  • Low energy. High lumens/watts mean less wattage is required than other equivalent sources.
  • Rugged. LED lighting is generally more rugged. There is normally no glass that can break and no filament to damage with vibration.

Challenges:

  • Using LEDs in high ambient environments raises the junction temperature which can reduce both output and life. New fixtures are being engineered to minimize this issue.
  • Solid state devices. LED fixtures are more susceptible to surges and lightning strike. It may be necessary to utilize surge suppression.
  • Emergency lighting. Battery packs are not as easy to integrate as it was for fluorescent. They are available but what limited at the moment, however the market is growing. As LED continues to become more prevalent, this issue will disappear.
  • Variety. Not all fixtures are made in LED as of yet, but as the demand continues to increase, manufacturers will expand to almost all fixtures, or will have a LED equivalent.

The Takeaway:
LEDs are a great choice if you are looking to:

  • Lower energy costs on lighting
  • Lower maintenance costs associated with lighting replacement and repair
  • Be “Green”
  • Integrate controls into your lighting

With every energy efficient option, it is best to research and understand fully before diving in. Selecting the wrong LED for your application may negate any of the technology’s advantages.  This list includes just a few of the factors you should consider when evaluating LEDs for your particular lighting project.

If you have any questions about lighting technology, controls or best practices for LED lighting projects, your French Gerleman team is ready to help. Whether you need turnkey lighting project management or material only, we want to be your LED lighting partner. Please call your French Gerleman Account Manager or contact us to learn more.

And don’t forget, to offset the initial investment in energy efficient products, there are several utilities and organizations in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas that have developed programs offering cash incentives to go Green! Learn more about them HERE.