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Should you replace your high-bays or retrofit?

February 15,2019
Should you replace your high-bays or retrofit?

Have you already made the decision to convert that warehouse or factory lighting to LED?  With energy savings of as much as 70% from replacing metal halide high bays that decision is a no-brainer.

The next logical question to ask yourself is should I buy new fixtures, or should I retrofit existing ones?  In this blog we’ll weigh the options to help you come to the best decision for your environment.

The 3 most important things to weigh when converting to LED
While there might be other factors in your decision, total cost, ease of installation, and reliability are among the most important to

Savings with LED
Total cost
First let’s consider what’s about the same. Energy savings between new and retrofit are the same. Rebates for new fixtures tend to be higher than for the retrofits. New LED high-bays have come down in price in recent years while the efficiency has gone up.  So, the difference in price between new or retrofit is negligible. Get a quote.

Really, the most important costs to consider are the installation costs. The time it takes your electrician(s) to install will likely be the biggest difference in the total cost of the project.  That’s why ease of installation is an important aspect.

High Bay Retrofit
Ease of installation
Unlike outdoor parking lot fixtures, new high-bay fixtures typically take one person to install, it’s nearly as simple as removing the old fixture and completely
replacing it with the new one.  Whereas a retrofit high-bay may take two people because you must remove the ballast and the time that it takes to physically perform the work can be 2-3 times longer than a new replacement. Multiply that by the number of fixtures and you may have a significant difference in cost.

So, if ease of installation is your primary concern, choose new LED high-bays.

LED high bay lights in white
White UFO LED - replace 400W HID

New high-bays or retrofits from HELOS LIGHTING provide reliable light.  They all come with at least 5-year warranties.  They use the same, reliable drivers – Mean Well, Inventronics, or Philips.

So, where do the reliability differences begin?  They are mostly in the existing fixture.

Evaluate the condition of the current fixtures.  Are the lenses yellow? Is there rust?  How durable are they? If their condition is not good enough to last another 5-10 years, then consider buying new.  The new high bay fixtures HELOS offers are rugged but compact.  They have an epoxy coating to make them tougher.  They don’t need reflectors and you have choices in optics and features.

If your current fixtures have a custom design and they are in good condition, or you just like the look of them better than the new available options, then retrofitting may be a good choice for you.

Overall, when we consider the total cost, ease of installation, and reliability, purchasing new LED high bays is the better option.
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